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Technological and Ecological Assessment of Concepts for Sustainable Photovoltaics
G. Oreski, A. Omazic, G.C. Eder, Y. Voronko, L. Neumaier, C. Hirschl, M. Wellacher, T. Dobra, M. Aarnio-Winterhof, N. Lenck, H. Figl, A. Wolfberger
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 36th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4AV.2.46
ISBN: 3-936338-60-4
0,00 EUR
Document(s): poster


Photovoltaics (PV) has developed to one of the most promising key technologies within renewable energy supply systems. PV started as a niche for small specialized applications more than 30 years ago and, according to the EC PV Status Report [1], has become a major power source with a cumulative total capacity of ~ 500 GW. Sustainability is a key factor for all future technologies, especially in the use of natural resources, but also regarding End-of-Life management. Even though photovoltaics represent a renewable way of energy generation, sustainability in respect of composition and production of PV-modules does not play a major role in today´s PV technologies. However, within the last years, activities for improved Eco-design of PV-panels started to arise, paired with an increased awareness of all stakeholders towards environmental safety [2,3]. The Austrian flagship project PVRe² aims to increase the sustainability of electricity generation from photovoltaics by (i) improving c-Silicon PV module recycling processes through layer-by-layer separation techniques (ii) increasing the recyclability and reducing the environmental impact of PV materials and components implemented in a sustainable module architecture and composition (Eco-design) (iii) initiating on-site PV module repair solutions and strategies for infant and midlife-failures such as cracked backsheets and/or defects in the electrical components (e.g. junction boxes).