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Title
A sustainable approach for managing the end-of-life phase of photovoltaic systems / von Roxana L. Predoiu
AuthorPredoiu, Roxana L.
CensorFechner, Hubert
PublishedWien, 2017
Description107 Blätter : Illustrationen, Diagramme, Karten
Institutional NoteTechnische Universität Wien, Master Thesis, 2017
LanguageEnglish
Document typeMaster Thesis
Keywords (DE)PV Recycling / Systems Thinking / Linear Optimization Model / SDG / Industry 4.0 / Reduce-Reuse-Recycle / Blockchain / IoT / Preventive Maintenance
Keywords (EN)PV Recycling / Systems Thinking / Linear Optimization Model / SDG / Industry 4.0 / Reduce-Reuse-Recycle / Blockchain / IoT / Preventive Maintenance
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:1-105133 Persistent Identifier (URN)
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Abstract (English)

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was adopted (2015) by more than 190 countries and it focuses on limiting the increase in global average temperature well below 2C above the pre-industrial levels. Essentially, this represents an unprecedented, global agreement to meaningful action in order to gradually transform the worlds energy sector, and to mitigate anthropogenic climate change, by implementing clean, low-carbon energy sources. Also in 2015, countries adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new United Nations sustainable development agenda. Despite certain challenges, it is generally considered that clean energy technologies are capable of meeting the global energy demands, supporting the world to transition towards decarbonized energy systems and to mitigate climate change issues. ^Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology has been one of the fastest growing clean energy industries over the last two decades, reaching 300 GW installed capacity by 2016. Assuming an average PV Panel lifetime of 30 years, IEA PVPS and IRENA have estimated in 2016 that considerable amounts of PV Panel Waste will start occurring within the next decade, and will continue to upsurge up until 2050 (and after). Quickly growing amounts of PV Panel Waste could pose serious environmental challenges, due to their expected amounts, and also due to their chemical composition, which includes certain hazardous elements. This thesis presents the current status of the PV technologies, future PV technology trends, the evolution of global PV electricity production, and the expected streams of PV Panel Waste. ^It also applies a Systems Thinking, integrative approach, to identify and discuss concrete options in order to manage, in a sustainable manner, the overall PV life cycle, focusing primarily on the end-of-life phase. Adopting the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle paradigm and implementing Industry 4.0 concepts will fortify and accelerate the worlds transition towards a circular economy, fostering resource use efficiency and increased productivity. Moreover, it will contribute to achieving several of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, by generating economic growth and creating new job opportunities while safeguarding the environment. ^A linear programming model has been developed for this thesis, in order to support the optimal decision process, concerning the allocation of PV Panel Waste amounts to PV Recycling Centers, in a manner that minimizes environmental costs due to transport and logistics associated with the PV end-of-life management, while fostering a competitive business environment.

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