The Life Cicle and Environmental Impact of Photovoltaic Systems

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Dr. Kiss Péter
Department of Electric Power Engineering

There are lots and lots of misbeliefs about photovoltaic systems in humanity, and I want to clarify these myths mainly related to their benefits. First, I describe various photovoltaic cell types with regard to their physical construction, operation principles, electricity generation characteristics and their lifetime upon normal usage. I analyze their production rate within the boundaries of Hungary with a self-made simulation in MATLAB, using publicly available real solar radiation, temperature data and formulas. I display the one-year-production result and the temperature ratings graphically. Using the simulation result data, I count the financial and energetic payback of using this technology. I reveal, what kind of possibilities can the people, who want to build photovoltaic systems in the future expect in Hungary, and what opportunities do we have now. In the end, I analyze their effect on the environment, how much greenhouse gas can we expect in the manufacturing process, and how much can we avoid by using these instead of the standard electrical service. I mention the use of chemicals in the manufacturing process, which is in relation with the environmental problems.


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