Quantifying Energy Flows in PV Circularity Processes

Heather Mirletz, Silvana Ovaitt, Ashley Gaulding, Seetharaman Sridhar, Teresa Barnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


As sustainable deployment and end-of-life management become a hot topic to timely address in the PV community, a dynamic comparative evaluation of the benefits of circular pathways such as reuse, and remanufacturing, recycling has not been performed holistically beyond material flows or LCA analysis. Energy flows are critical for evaluating energy generation technologies. Previously they have been used to compare renewables to fossil generation and then between PV technologies. This paper quantifies energy flows to evaluate circular pathways for PV. The energy flows tracking manufacturing, generation, and losses complementary to the mass flows of silicon are quantified leveraging the PV ICE framework.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2022
Event49th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference, PVSC 2022 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


Conference49th IEEE Photovoltaics Specialists Conference, PVSC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5K00-81926 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-85059


  • circular economy
  • energy flows
  • energy return on investment (EROI)
  • photovoltaics
  • recycle
  • remanufacture


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