Drivers, barriers and enablers to end-of-life management of solar photovoltaic and battery energy storage systems: A systematic literature review

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Salim, Hengky K
Stewart, Rodney A
Sahin, Oz
Dudley, Michael
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2019
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Abstract

Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are a low-cost form of renewable energy technology that has had an exponential rate of uptake globally in the last decade. However, little attention has been paid to the potential environmental and human health related impacts associated with PV systems, if not managed properly at the end-of-life (EoL). Rare materials such as ruthenium, gallium, indium, and tellurium are essential components in PV panels, while battery energy storage systems (BESS) are composed of various chemistries (i.e. lithium-ion, lead acid, nickel cadmium, salt water, and flow batteries). An appropriate EoL management strategy for solar photovoltaic systems (i.e. PV modules, BESS) is necessary, not only to prevent and/or mitigate future environmental problems but also to reduce demand on rare earth materials. Drawn from a portfolio of 191 papers collected from Scopus and Web of Science databases between 2000 and 2018 (by 30 June 2018), a systematic quantitative literature review on solar energy systems EoL studies was conducted to examine the temporal trend of current research as well as methodological and geographical distributions of the published articles. Research has been concentrated within Europe, some parts of Asia, and North America, with experimental and modelling/simulation methods being mostly applied. The focus of this study was to compile and synthesise reported drivers, barriers, and enablers to EoL management of PV panels and BESS in the context of the circular economy. A conceptual framework is proposed to facilitate the transition of current PV system material flows and supply chain management practices to circular economy concepts. This paper also presents a future research agenda.

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JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION

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211

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Environmental engineering

Manufacturing engineering

Other engineering

Built environment and design

Engineering

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