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

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  • BASHIR A SYED
    The Conducting Polymer technology that may produce cheap and disposable Solar Cells is being developed. The 2000 Chemistry Nobel Prize was shared by two
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 2, 2003
      The Conducting Polymer technology that may produce cheap and disposable Solar Cells is being developed. The 2000 Chemistry Nobel Prize was shared by two Americans (one an organic chemist, another a physicist) and a Japanese (Ishikawa, who discvered this property). Conducting Polymers coupled with nanotechnology (Composites) show a great promise for new Photovoltaic devices. I published an article in NASA's EEE-Link published by NASA/GSFC about two years ago describing the applications of this new emerging technology, one prominent application is the Organic Light Emitting Diodes or OLEDs. The two sources cited below are very good references.
       
      Bashir A. Syed
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 10:11 PM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Cost in energy of producing a PV panel vs. it's lifetime return

      Joseph,
      The answer is not easy because the technology is advancing rapidly.  Ten years ago, it may have taken as much energy to make a solar panel as would the solar panel produce over its life time.  Right now, modern plants produce solar cells that will produce about 4 to 5 more time energy than went into them.  However, from what I read, it is scarry to build a plant right now, as soon as you build it, the technology is obsolete.  They say the solar panels will produce about 10 time more energy than required to build them in the next few years.  That is equivalent to the "efficiency" of today's American oil well.
       
      Two good sources are:
      1) "Renewable Energy World" July-August 2003, Vol 6, No4.  Contains several articles.
      2) "Renewable Energy" Godfrey Boyle, Oxford Press.  1st Edition 1996.  2nd Edition comming 2004.
       
      Regards,
      Chris
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Joseph
      Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 2:58 PM
      Subject: [hreg] Cost in energy of producing a PV panel vs. it's lifetime return

      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



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    • txsolarguy
      ... make ... to ... 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
      Message 2 of 6 , 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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