An Open-Source Framework for PV in the Circular Economy Evaluation

Research output: NRELPresentation


This open-source tool follows the dynamic Material and flows for each component and material in a PV system, from mining to end of life to evaluate the material and energy impacts of different paths. Following circularity principles, virgin material inputs can be offset by recovered materials to reduce impacts due to mining and extraction. Unlike consumer products, renewable energy technologies generate power over their useful life to quickly offset energy required for manufacturing. The model provides unique baselines of PV evolution, and allows us to evaluate the material and soon energy return on investment of decisions such as field repair, off-site refurbishment, reuse, or recycling. Energy layer and cost, as well as visual dashboard under development.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePresented at the 5th Open Energy Modelling Workshop: Online Lightning Talk Mini-Workshop, 16 February 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-5K00-82146


  • circular economy modeling
  • mass flow
  • open-source
  • photovoltaics
  • renewable energy


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