SmartGreenScans, a CHEOPS partner specialising in Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) of photovoltaic technologies, has conducted a preliminary study to assess the life-cycle environmental impact of the perovskite/silicon tandem modules to be commercialised by Oxford PV, another CHEOPS partner. The analysis covers all activities from “cradle” up to the factory “gate” where it is manufactured and assembled. This “cradle-to-gate analysis” is considered a partial product life-cycle.
- Resource depletion, climate change, ozone depletion, cancer and non-cancer toxicity effects, particulate matter, ionising radiation, photochemical ozone formation, acidification, terrestrial eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity and land use. All were assessed through the ILCD2011 impact assessment method.
- The Global Warming Potential (greenhouse gas effect) has been assessed with the IPCC2013 GWP100a method.
- The Cumulative Energy Demand: the energy used throughout the life cycle of a good or a service including direct and indirect uses.
- According to the ILCD2011 single scores, the highest impact for the tandem module originates from the monocrystalline silicon solar cell (43%). Other contributors are indium in the transparent conducting oxide (29%), metallization paste (11%), silver (5%) and aluminium frame (4%).
- Emitted lead from the tandem module contributes only 0.27% or less to the total freshwater ecotoxicity, total cancer effects in human toxicity or total non-cancer human toxicity.
- Regarding the Global Warming Potential of the tandem module, the dominant contribution comes from the monocrystalline silicon solar cell (73%). Lesser factors are electricity consumption (7%), glass (7%), aluminium frame (5%), and metallization paste (1%). The Cumulative Energy Demand has a similar ranking.
This study is a first step towards a full “cradle-to-grave” LCA analysis which will also include the installation, operation, maintenance and end-of-life phases of the photovoltaic module.
Dead area of photovoltaic modules decreased to 400µm
Partners in CHEOPS have managed to decrease the break lines – also known as “dead area” – of the photovoltaic modules of perovskite solar cells to only 400µm...