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Open AccessReview

Review on Life Cycle Assessment of Solar Photovoltaic Panels

1
Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze Ed.9, 90128 Palermo, Italy
2
Department of Heritage, Architecture, Urbanism (PAU)-University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria, Salita Melissari, 89124 Reggio Calabria, Italy
3
R2ES Lab, Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(1), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13010252
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 28 December 2019 / Accepted: 30 December 2019 / Published: 3 January 2020
The photovoltaic (PV) sector has undergone both major expansion and evolution over the last decades, and currently, the technologies already marketed or still in the laboratory/research phase are numerous and very different. Likewise, in order to assess the energy and environmental impacts of these devices, life cycle assessment (LCA) studies related to these systems are always increasing. The objective of this paper is to summarize and update the current literature of LCA applied to different types of grid-connected PV, as well as to critically analyze the results related to energy and environmental impacts generated during the life cycle of PV technologies, from 1st generation (traditional silicon based) up to the third generation (innovative non-silicon based). Most of the results regarded energy indices like energy payback time, cumulative energy demand, and primary energy demand, while environmental indices were variable based on different scopes and impact assessment methods. Moreover, the review work allowed to highlight and compare key parameters (PV type and system, geographical location, efficiency), methodological insights (functional unit, system boundaries, etc.), and energy/environmental hotspots of 39 LCA studies relating to different PV systems, in order to underline the importance of these aspects, and to provide information and a basis of comparison for future analyses. View Full-Text
Keywords: literature review; life cycle assessment (LCA); photovoltaic system (PV); environmental impacts; energy impacts; PV generations literature review; life cycle assessment (LCA); photovoltaic system (PV); environmental impacts; energy impacts; PV generations
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MDPI and ACS Style

Muteri, V.; Cellura, M.; Curto, D.; Franzitta, V.; Longo, S.; Mistretta, M.; Parisi, M.L. Review on Life Cycle Assessment of Solar Photovoltaic Panels. Energies 2020, 13, 252.

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