Life cycle assessment of polycrystalline solar panel production in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, Iran University of Science & Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 Arj Ertebat Sabz Javid Company


In recent decades, global energy demand and environmental pollution have been steadily rising. The power sector is one of the major sources of global environmental pollution. Hence, it is necessary to pay more attention to renewable energy resources. In order to identify the best scenario for construction of a renewable power plant, it is necessary to examine all scenarios from all environmental aspects. Life cycle assessment methodology can be a useful tool for this purpose. In this research, life cycle of polycrystalline solar panel production in Iran is assessed. Primary energy consumption, global warming potential, acidification potential and eutrophication potential for panel and also cell manufacturing is assessed and the share of each panel component in all impact categories is presented. The primary energy demand is calculated as 15.4 MJ/WP and GWP, AP and EP are calculated as 1.4356 kg CO2-equiv. /WP, 0.006 kg SO2-equiv. /WP and 0.0013 kg PO43—equiv. /WP respectively. Transportation of panel components to the panel manufacturer is modeled in detail, results show that its contribution to life cycle primary energy consumption and environmental pollution is negligible. The results of this study can be used to identify critical points of the manufacturing life cycle and also to make decisions for the development of photovoltaics in Iran.