Life cycle assessment of perovskite solar cells and comparison to silicon solar cells

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Sustainable energy systems (MPSES), MSc
Stasiulionis, Jonas
The solar energy field has grown vastly in the past decades, and this trend seems to continue also in the future. But there is still a lot of work to be done in order to make solar energy competitive to other energy production systems. Because of this, there is constant research toward improving existing solar energy systems, and to find new materials to lower the initial cost and increase efficiency of energy producing units. Recently, a material called perovskite has received a lot of attention from the solar industry by potentially offering a cheap and efficient material for solar cell production. With efficiency increasing every year, this could potentially be the next dominant design for solar energy extraction. One of the main concerns brought up related to this new technology is the lead content of the perovskite solar cell. Because of the toxic nature of lead, and the potential of these cells to be produced in large quantities in the future, the possible impacts of lead to the environment have to be assessed. This thesis consists of life cycle assessment of a perovskite solar cell and comparison to the currently most used common solar cell, which is the silicon solar cell. Several parameters were varied in the study in order to see which processes that have the largest influence to the environmental performance. From the study, it was found that perovskite solar cells could be competitive with silicon solar cells from an environmental point of view if produced on a large scale. Management of lead use and emissions during the production process of perovskite cells had the largest impact on the results. If all of the lead used would be supplied from recycling, and emissions of lead from the cell itself during and after the use phase is completely prevented, perovskite cells show better environmental performance than silicon cells. Regarding manufacturing technology, the study showed that the blade coating technology is environmentally preferable over spin coating for large scale production of perovskite cells.
Energi , Energisystem , Energy , Energy Systems
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