Assessment of ecological effectiveness of competing photovoltaic technologies

Active development of new production technologies for photovoltaic modules and growth of production capacities give relevance to the problem of evaluating and forecasting possible negative ecologic effects of photovoltaic technologies on all stages of their lifecycles: production, operation and utilization. This research is meant to evaluate negative ecologic effects of photovoltaic elements of various types using the life cycle analysis methodology in compliance with the requirements of ISO 14040. To evaluate effects from the photovoltaic lifecycle, we use the seven most important categories of the EcoInvent database: oxidation, climate change, toxicity of fresh water, toxicity for humans, ionizing radiation, use of land and the thinning of the ozone layer of the stratosphere. Data for various types of photovoltaic systems have been processed with descriptive statistical methodologies for each of the aforementioned categories. As a result of researching each category, we identify technologies with highest and lowest negative ecologic effects

Keywords: photovoltaic, solar elements, silicon elements, thin-film elements, ecological effects, ecoInvent database, methodology of an assessment of life cycle


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