[Greenbuilding] Photovoltaic Life Expectancy

Reuben Deumling 9watts at gmail.com
Fri May 20 08:17:18 PDT 2011

I did some research on this fifteen years ago. The 'will never pay itself
back' claim is I think not generally sound. The fondness for using lots of
aluminum in the frames and support structures does weigh heavily in the
equation, however. I think a few years to pay back the energy is probably
much closer to the truth. But it does make a difference whether you're
including just the panels, or the rest of the materials/structure that
usually accompanies an installation. When I lived off grid and had PV panels
I used wood frames. Worked fine.

Reuben Deumling

On Fri, May 20, 2011 at 8:10 AM, J Messerschmidt <john at fourpointscg.com>wrote:

> I read in an article a few weeks ago that the  embodied energy of PV panels
> is greater than they will ever produce in their lifetime.  I can't seem to
> find the article for reference, but I was under the impression that it
> would
> take 4 years of producing electricity to even out.  Does anyone have any
> information on this?
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