Search documents

Browse topics

Document details

Insights into Circular Material and Waste Flows from c-Si PV Industry
P. Brailovsky, K. Baumann, M. Held, A.K. Briem, K. Wambach, E. Gervais, S. Herceg, B. Mertvoy, S. Nold, J. Rentsch
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Total Cost of Ownership, Photovoltaic, Revalorized Waste, Circular Production
Energy Transition – Integration, Storage, Sustainability, Policy, Economics, Energy Poverty, Society
Subtopic: Sustainability, Environment, and Circularity of PV
Event: 8th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion
Session: 5DO.14.1
1541 - 1546
ISBN: 3-936338-86-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/WCPEC-82022-5DO.14.1
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


A material flow model for the production of Bifacial Selective Emitter 60-cell p-type Cz PERC (Passivated Emitter and Rear Contacted) glass-backsheet modules with aluminium frame was built. The selected module represents mature technologies in the PV industry and their manufacturing is considered to take place in China in a production cluster with an annual module capacity of 5 GWp. In a first step, data acquisition and validation for wafer, cell, and module fabs took place. The data were used to generate the reference system lifecycle inventories (LCI) and extended waste databases for the reference wafers, cells, and modules. A set of potential circularity actions, such as the vertical integration of the operations and waste revalorisation strategies, had been proposed and their environmental performance and cost assessed by means of a life cycle assessment (LCA) and a total cost of ownership (TCO). Our results show that 87% of the waste can be reduced and revalorised, this represents a circular flow of raw materials of 18,756 Mg per year from a 5 GWp PV module production cluster. Environmental impact reductions of 0.6 to 2.3% are estimated for different impact categories. We also estimate a cost reduction potential of 2.59% from total module costs.