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Carbon Footprint Analysis of CIGS Thin-Film PV Modules with Focus on Building-Integrated Applications
P. Borowski, F. Grömmer, F. Karg
CIGS, Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV), CO2 Footprint
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4DV.2.19
901 - 906
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-4DV.2.19
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Carbon footprint (CF), being the most important parameter of a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of a product, is becoming a vital quantity both in the field of energy production and in the sector of building materials. Focusing on the three production stages A1 to A3 (“cradle-to-gate”, DIN EN 15804), the carbon footprint of a Copper-IndiumGallium-Selenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) module of the manufacturer AVANCIS is computed for the production in Germany. From the main result of 59 kg CO2eq per module, deduced quantities are reported: carbon footprint per area, per kWp, per kWh electricity generated, energy payback time as well as the carbon payback period. For two types of PV systems in Munich, Germany, values for the latter in the range of 1 to 1.6 years are obtained. The paper briefly discusses the relevance and sources of input data and compares the quality of simple estimates with the result obtained with a commercially available software for LCA. It is found that energy consumption during production and the module’s content of glass and steel account for approximately 80% of the total carbon footprint of a glass-glass CIGS thin-film PV module. Different to crystalline silicon PV modules, the contribution of the material forming the semiconductor is small and below 10%.