SPLTRAK Abstract Submission
Environmental and Circularity Considerations in Solar Photovoltaic Module Design and Product Development
Chris Powicki1, Wayne Li2, Cara Libby2
1Water Energy Ecology Information & Design Services, Inc., Brewster, MA, United States
/2Electric Power Research Institute , Palo Alto, CA, United States

This study explores environmental trends and considerations in solar photovoltaic (PV) module design and product development based on published material as well as industry surveys and interviews. Module design, traditionally focused on improving performance and cost sufficient to find markets and applications, has sharpening emphasis on the efficiencies in materials and manufacturing needed to gain competitive edge. With PV industry scale-up well under way and increasing recognition that the volume of defective, damaged, and spent modules will explode in the decades ahead, a new design consideration addressing end of use and circularity is emerging. Furthermore, federal and state regulations, customer interests, and the cost and value of recycling can all play a significant role in the process.