A life cycle assessment model for quantification of environmental footprints of a 3.6 kWp photovoltaic system in Bangladesh

*Md. Mustafizur Rahman  -  Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Islamic University of Technology, Board Bazar, Gazipur 1704, Bangladesh
Chowdhury Sadid Alam  -  Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Islamic University of Technology, Board Bazar, Gazipur 1704, Bangladesh
TM Abir Ahsan  -  Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Islamic University of Technology, Board Bazar, Gazipur 1704, Bangladesh
Received: 9 Jan 2019; Revised: 14 Apr 2019; Accepted: 9 May 2019; Published: 13 Jun 2019; Available online: 15 Jul 2019.
Open Access Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Citation Format:
Cover Image
Abstract
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is an extremely useful tool to assess the environmental impacts of a solar photovoltaic system throughout its entire life. This tool can help in making sustainable decisions. A solar PV system does not have any operational emissions as it is free from fossil fuel use during its operation. However, considerable amount of energy is used to manufacture and transport the components (e.g. PV panels, batteries, charge regulator, inverter, supporting structure, etc.) of the PV system. This study aims to perform a comprehensive and independent life cycle assessment of a 3.6 kWp solar photovoltaic system in Bangladesh. The primary energy consumption, resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CH4, N2O, and CO2), and energy payback time (EPBT) were evaluated over the entire life cycle of the photovoltaic system. The batteries and the PV modules are the most GHG intensive components of the system. About 31.90% of the total energy is consumed to manufacture the poly-crystalline PV modules. The total life cycle energy use and resulting GHG emissions were found to be 76.27 MWhth and 0.17 kg-CO2eq/kWh, respectively. This study suggests that 5.34 years will be required to generate the equivalent amount of energy which is consumed over the entire life of the PV system considered. A sensitivity analysis was also carried out to see the impact of various input parameters on the life cycle result. The other popular electricity generation systems such as gas generator, diesel generator, wind, and Bangladeshi grid were compared with the PV system. The result shows that electricity generation by solar PV system is much more environmentally friendly than the fossil fuel-based electricity generation. ©2019. CBIORE-IJRED. All rights reserved
Keywords: Life cycle assessment (LCA), solar photovoltaic (PV), energy payback time (EPBT), greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, electricity generation

Article Metrics:

  1. Masson, A. G., & Brunisholz, M. (2015). Snapshot of global photovoltaic markets 2015. Report IEA PVPS T1
  2. Baky, M. A. H., Rahman, M. M., & Islam, A. S. (2017). Development of renewable energy sector in Bangladesh: Current status and future potentials. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 73, 1184-1197
  3. Battisti, R., & Corrado, A. (2005). Evaluation of technical improvements of photovoltaic systems through life cycle assessment methodology. Energy, 30(7), 952-967
  4. Desideri, U., Proietti, S., Zepparelli, F., Sdringola, P., & Bini, S. (2012). Life Cycle Assessment of a ground-mounted 1778 kWp photovoltaic plant and comparison with traditional energy production systems. Applied Energy, 97, 930-943
  5. García-Valverde, R., Miguel, C., Martínez-Béjar, R., & Urbina, A. (2009). Life cycle assessment study of a 4.2 kWp stand-alone photovoltaic system. Solar energy, 83(9), 1434-1445
  6. Graebig, M., Bringezu, S., & Fenner, R. (2010). Comparative analysis of environmental impacts of maize–biogas and photovoltaics on a land use basis. Solar energy, 84(7), 1255-1263
  7. Hammond, G., & Jones, C. (2008). Inventory of carbon & energy: ICE (Vol. 5): Sustainable Energy Research Team, Department of Mechanical Engineering , University of Bath, UK
  8. Islam, A. S., Rahman, M. M., Mondal, M. A. H., & Alam, F. (2012). Hybrid energy system for St. Martin Island, Bangladesh: an optimized model. Procedia Engineering, 49, 179-188
  9. Ito, M., Kato, K., Komoto, K., Kichimi, T., & Kurokawa, K. (2008). A comparative study on cost and life‐cycle analysis for 100 MW very large‐scale PV (VLS‐PV) systems in deserts using m‐Si, a‐Si, CdTe, and CIS modules. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and applications, 16(1), 17-30
  10. Kannan, R., Leong, K., Osman, R., Ho, H., & Tso, C. (2006). Life cycle assessment study of solar PV systems: An example of a 2.7 kWp distributed solar PV system in Singapore. Solar energy, 80(5), 555-563
  11. Mathur, J., Bansal, N. K., & Wagner, H.-J. (2002). Energy and environmental correlation for renewable energy systems in India. Energy Sources, 24(1), 19-26
  12. Müller, A., Wambach, K., & Alsema, E. (2005). Life cycle analysis of solar module recycling process. MRS Online Proceedings Library Archive, 895
  13. Pacca, S., Sivaraman, D., & Keoleian, G. A. (2007). Parameters affecting the life cycle performance of PV technologies and systems. Energy Policy, 35(6), 3316-3326
  14. Phylipsen, G. J. M., & Alsema, E. A. (1995). Environmental life-cycle assessment of multicrystalline silicon solar cell modules: Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University Utrecht
  15. Rahman, M., Baky, M. A. H., & Islam, A. (2017). Electricity from Wind for Off-Grid Applications in Bangladesh: A Techno-Economic Assessment. International Journal of Renewable Energy Development, 6(1),55-64
  16. Rahman, M. M., Canter, C., & Kumar, A. (2015). Well-to-wheel life cycle assessment of transportation fuels derived from different North American conventional crudes. Applied Energy, 156, 159-173
  17. Rahman, M. M., Islam, A. S., Salehin, S., & Al-Matin, M. A. (2016). Development of a Model for Techno-economic Assessment of a Stand-alone Off-grid Solar Photovoltaic System in Bangladesh. International Journal of Renewable Energy Research (IJRER), 6(1), 140-149
  18. Rahman, M. M., Khan, M. M.-U.-H., Ullah, M. A., Zhang, X., & Kumar, A. (2016). A hybrid renewable energy system for a North American off-grid community. Energy, 97, 151-160
  19. Rydh, C. J., & Sandén, B. A. (2005a). Energy analysis of batteries in photovoltaic systems. Part I: Performance and energy requirements. Energy conversion and management, 46(11-12), 1957-1979
  20. Rydh, C. J., & Sandén, B. A. (2005b). Energy analysis of batteries in photovoltaic systems. Part II: Energy return factors and overall battery efficiencies. Energy conversion and management, 46(11-12), 1980-2000
  21. Sharma, R., & Tiwari, G. (2013). Life cycle assessment of stand-alone photovoltaic (SAPV) system under on-field conditions of New Delhi, India. Energy Policy, 63, 272-282
  22. Tripanagnostopoulos, Y., Souliotis, M., Battisti, R., & Corrado, A. (2005). Energy, cost and LCA results of PV and hybrid PV/T solar systems. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and applications, 13(3), 235-250
  23. Verma, A., Raj, R., Kumar, M., Ghandehariun, S., & Kumar, A. (2015). Assessment of renewable energy technologies for charging electric vehicles in Canada. Energy, 86, 548-559
  24. Wang M. GREET 1; 2013. Argonne National Laboratory: Argonne (IL)
  25. Wang M. GREET 2; 2013. Argonne National Laboratory: Argonne (IL)

Last update: 2021-03-01 02:02:05

  1. Assessment of energy storage technologies: A review

    Md Mustafizur Rahman, Abayomi Olufemi Oni, Eskinder Gemechu, Amit Kumar. Energy Conversion and Management, 127 , 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.enconman.2020.113295
  2. Should Photovoltaics Stay at Home? Comparative Life Cycle Environmental Assessment on Roof-Mounted and Ground-Mounted Photovoltaics

    Victor Kouloumpis, Antonios Kalogerakis, Anastasia Pavlidou, George Tsinarakis, George Arampatzis. Sustainability, 12 (21), 2020. doi: 10.3390/su12219120
  3. Catalytic and non−catalytic pyrolysis of Spirulina platensis residue (SPR): Effects of temperature and catalyst content on bio-oil yields and its composition

    THERMOFLUID X: 10th International Conference on Thermofluids 2019, 127 , 2020. doi: 10.1063/5.0013164

Last update: 2021-03-01 02:02:06

No citation recorded.