CdTe PV: Real and Perceived EHS Risks

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    As CdTe photovoltaics reached commercialization, questions have been raised about potential cadmium emissions from CdTe PV modules. Some have attacked the CdTe PV technology as unavoidably polluting the environment, and made comparisons of hypothetical emissions from PV modules to cadmium emissions from coal fired power plants. This paper gives an overview of the technical issues pertinent tothese questions and further explores the potential of EHS risks during production, use and decommissioning of CdTe PV modules. The following issues are discussed: (a) The physical and toxicological properties of CdTe, (b) comparisons of Cd use in CdTe PV with its use in other technologies and products, and the (c) the possibility of CdTe releases from PV modules.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - 2003
    EventNational Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) and Solar Program Review Meeting - Denver, Colorado
    Duration: 24 Mar 200326 Mar 2003


    ConferenceNational Center for Photovoltaics (NCPV) and Solar Program Review Meeting
    CityDenver, Colorado

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-520-33561


    • cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic solar cells modules
    • Environment, Safety, and Health (ESH)
    • manufacturing
    • solar cells
    • thin films


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