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2176Re: Cost in energy of producing a PV panel vs. it's lifetime return

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  • txsolarguy
    Sep 13, 2003
      --- In hreg@yahoogroups.com, Joseph <joseph@d...> wrote:
      > I was wondering where I can get some data on the energy it takes to
      make
      > a PV panel in comparison to the energy that same panel will be able
      to
      > produce during it's operational lifetime.
      >
      > Any ideas?
      >
      > Joseph Davis

      Hi, this thread goes back to the question on Aug 31. Below is a link
      to an article on the Home Power website that answers this exact
      question about energy payback vs energy used to produce a PV panel.
      http://www.homepower.com/files/pvpayback.pdf
      It's a fairly long article but the authors published a paper at Solar
      2000: ASES Annual Conference in Madison, Wisconsin on this exact
      question, so I suspect that it's pretty accurate. Which is good
      because the answer is that the payback time is 2-4 years.
      They take into account every step of the process including the
      smelting of the aluminum and the casting of the glass. Both processes
      are very energy intensive. However, the cost goes down as the volume
      goes up so the actual cost for 10 feet or so of extruded aluminum for
      the module frame, for instance, is really not that great.
      Anyway, I hope to see you all at the Roundup. A bunch of us from
      NTREG will be there!
      Jim Duncan, Fort Worth
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