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Life Cycle Assessment of New High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) Modules and Multi-Junction Cells

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CYCLECO, 18 Avenue Roger Salengro, 01500 Ambérieu-en Bugey, France
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SIE-GE Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(15), 2916; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12152916
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 12 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 29 July 2019
Worldwide electricity consumption increases by 2.6% each year. Greenhouse gas emissions due to electricity production raise by 2.1% per year on average. The development of efficient low-carbon-footprint renewable energy systems is urgently needed. CPVMatch investigates the feasibility of mirror or lens-based High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) systems. Thanks to innovative four junction solar cells, new glass coatings, Position Sensitive Detectors (PSD), and DC/DC converters, it is possible to reach concentration levels higher than 800× and a module efficiency between 36.7% and 41.6%. From a circular economy’s standpoint, the use of concentration technologies lowers the need in active material, increases recyclability, and reduces the risk of material contamination. By using the Life Cycle Assessment method, it is demonstrated that HCPV presents a carbon footprint ranking between 16.4 and 18.4 g CO2-eq/kWh. A comparison with other energy means for 16 impact categories including primary energy demand and particle emissions points out that the environmental footprint of HCPV is typically 50 to 100 times lower than fossil fuels footprint. HCPV’s footprint is also three times lower than that of crystalline photovoltaic solutions and is close to the environmental performance of wind power and hydropower. View Full-Text
Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Energy Payback Time; four-junction cells; photovoltaic; carbon footprint; HCPV; multi-criteria; achromatic lens; recycling; circular economy Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Energy Payback Time; four-junction cells; photovoltaic; carbon footprint; HCPV; multi-criteria; achromatic lens; recycling; circular economy
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Payet, J.; Greffe, T. Life Cycle Assessment of New High Concentration Photovoltaic (HCPV) Modules and Multi-Junction Cells. Energies 2019, 12, 2916.

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