[Greenbuilding] Photovoltaic Life Expectancy

J Messerschmidt john at fourpointscg.com
Fri May 20 08:28:54 PDT 2011

I think they were talking about the silicon, aluminum, what else? wires,
inverter.  Most people don't use batteries anymore, but if an off grid
installation is requested, that would have to be taken into account too.  I
was very disappointed when I read it and it's been gnawing at me ever since.
I'd love to find out some real facts.




From: greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org
[mailto:greenbuilding-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of Reuben
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 11:17 AM
To: Green Building
Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Photovoltaic Life Expectancy


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>

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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