Energy, Vol.181, 1-10, 2019
Life Cycle Assessment of tandem LSC-Si devices
Given the increasing interest in tandem silicon-based solar cells and the recent advances in luminescent solar concentrators, the luminescent solar concentrators/silicon tandem structure has been proposed as an option for a four-terminal tandem structure. As part of the evaluation of a new type of solar cell, it is important to conduct a Life Cycle Assessment to effectively guide research efforts towards cell designs with minimum environmental impacts. Here, we carry out a process-based Life Cycle Assessment to assess global warming, human toxicity (carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic), freshwater eutrophication and ecotoxicity and abiotic depletion potential impacts associated with three luminescent solar concentrators/silicon tandem cell structures, considering a bottom layer as being a passivated emitter rear contact silicon solar cell. The results are based on experimental parameters and show that the increase in the performance of the cells and modules using the studied tandem structure can produce lower environmental effects than the passivated emitter rear contact technology (single-junction) for the impact categories studied. These results encourage the studies on cell and module performance improvements using such tandem luminescent solar concentrators/silicon structures. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.