Life cycle assessment and evaluation of energy payback time on high-concentration photovoltaic power generation system

A. Nishimura, Y. Hayashi, K. Tanaka, M. Hirota, S. Kato, Masakazu Ito, K. Araki, E. J. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, the environmental load of photovoltaic power generation system (PV) during its life cycle and energy payback time (EPT) are evaluated by LCA scheme. Two hypothetical case studies in Toyohashi, Japan and Gobi dessert in China have been carried out to investigate the influence of installation location and PV type on environmental load and EPT. The environmental load and EPT of a high-concentration photovoltaic power generation system (hcpV) and a multi-crystalline silicon photovoltaic power generation system (mc-Si PV) are studied. The study shows for a PV of 100MW size, the total impacts of the hcpV installed in Toyohashi is larger than that of the hcpV installed in Gobi desert by 5% without consideration of recycling stage. The EPT of the hcpV assumed to be installed in Gobi desert is shorter than EPT of the hcpV assumed to be installed in Toyohashi by 0.64 year. From these results, the superiority to install PV in Gobi desert is certificated. Comparing with hcpV and mc-Si PV, the ratio of the total impacts of mc-Si PV to that of hcpV is 0.34 without consideration of recycling stage. The EPT of hcpV is longer than EPT of mc-Si PV by 0.27 year. The amount of global solar radiation contributing to the amount of power generation of mc-Si PV is larger than the amount of direct solar radiation contributing to the amount of power generation of hcpV by about 188 kW h/(m2 year) in Gobi desert. Consequently, it appears that using mc-Si PV in Gobi desert is the best option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2797-2807
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Energy
Volume87
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Energy payback time
  • Generation system
  • Gobi desert
  • High-concentration photovoltaic power
  • Life cycle assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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