Quantifying Energy Flows in PV Circularity Processes: Preprint

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As sustainability and end-of-life management become a hot topic to timely address in the PV community, a proper evaluation of the benefits of circular pathways such as recycling, reuse, and remanufacturing 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 brings energy flows to bear on reaching circular pathways for PV. The energy flows to track energy usage, generation, and losses complementary to the mass flows are presented for silicon through the leverage of the PV ICE framework.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2022
Event49th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 49) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Duration: 5 Jun 202210 Jun 2022


Conference49th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 49)
CityPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5K00-85059 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5K00-81926


  • circular economy
  • energy flows
  • energy return on investment (EROI)
  • material flows
  • photovoltaics
  • recycle
  • repair
  • reuse


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