Title: Evaluation of the economic impact of a new high value process for the management of the end of life of thin film photovoltaic modules

Authors: Giancarlo Giacchetta; Mariella Leporini; Barbara Marchetti

Addresses: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy ' Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy ' Facoltà di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi eCampus, Italy

Abstract: This paper presents the evaluation of the economic impact in terms of valuable material recovered, and cost associated to the recycling, of a new method proposed for managing the end of life of thin film photovoltaic panels that has been developed by the Industrial Engineering and Mathematical Science Department of Università Politecnica delle Marche. The revenues associated to the recovery of valuable and common materials, the avoided cost for landfill disposal, the recycling costs have been assessed for evaluating the sustainability of the process. Other aspects such as the potential damages for health and environment due to an improper management of the PV panels end of life phase, have been considered.

Keywords: photovoltaic panels; recycling costs; thin film panels; LCA; life cycle assessment; damage categories; global warming; thin films; economic impact; high value materials; end of life products; EOL products; sustainability; sustainable development; environmental impact; public heath; solar panels.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2015.069712

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2015 Vol.15 No.4, pp.528 - 541

Received: 08 Jan 2015
Accepted: 17 Jan 2015

Published online: 15 Apr 2015 *

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