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LCA of a Photovoltaic System with Hetero-Junction Modules and Mono-Axial Tracker
A. Danelli, A. Gargiulo, P. Girardi
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4DO.6.4
ISBN: 3-936338-73-6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): presentation


The present paper describes the potential environmental impact of the power generated by an hypothetic innovative PV system located in Italy, considering different plant configurations. This paper presents the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results – carried out in accordance with the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards - of a hypothetical 85 MW power system equipped with bifacial heterojunction modules; in particular, three possible plant configurations are analysed: i) with modules mounted on a mono-axial tracker; ii) with modules installed on a fixed structure; iii) an agrivoltaic plant where energy and food production are combined. In order to assess the influence of the incident solar radiation value on the results obtained from the LCA analysis, two possible locations were considered, one in the north and the other in southern Italy. The aim is to compare the different configurations from an environmental point of view and to identify, if any, the optimal solution. Beside a brief description of the LCA methodology used for the activities (including for example the choice of functional unit, system boundaries, allocation method) and of the PV power plant, LCA results are presented and discussed. In particular, the impact category “Climate Change” and “Abiotic Depletion” have been deeply evaluated. As far as the greenhouse gas emission for per unit of energy produced, an amount of 11.5 g CO2 eq. / kWh has been estimated for the PV plant configuration with the tracker and for an irradiation levels characteristic of southern Italy of 1800 kWh/m²/year, far below the average value for existing photovoltaic plants (about 20 g CO2eq/kWh for HTJ modules and about 24 and 34 gCO2eq/kWh for PERC technologies).