Environmental issues of material input in CDTE-module manufacturing Page: 1 of 8
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ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF MATERIAL INPUT IN
CDTE-MODULE MANUFACTURING R E CE IV E D
FEB 0 8 1996
Hartmut Steinberger, Ralf Hochwimmer, Harald Schmid, ' S T
Fraunhofer Institut fir Festkdrpertechnologie, 80686 Munchen, Germany
Werner Thumm, Antonius Kettrup,
GSF - Institut fUr Okologische Chemie, Neuherberg, 85758 OberschleiBheim, Germany,
Paul Moskowitz, Brookhaven National Laboratory,
Biomedical and Environmental Assessment Group, Upton, NY 11973-5000, USA,
ABSTRACT: The goal of a low-cost and high-volume photovoltaic (PV) module
fabrication demands an optimised process sequence to guarantee product quality
and module stability on a long-term basis. Nevertheless, large-scale module
manufacturing uses several input and auxiliary materials and generates waste from
processing output materials. The mining and refining of the PV manufacturing
material consumes input and auxiliary material and also creates waste. Therefore,
investigations into these materials were conducted with respect to their risk
potential for environment and health.
In the production of electric energy by
photovoltaics not only the efficiency of
solar modules and economic aspects are
worth discussing. Today the environmental
and health issues in the life cycle of solar
cells and modules also have to be
considered. Large-scale and highly efficient
module manufacturing consumes input and
auxiliary materials and creates output
materials. A process sequence analysis
takes these materials into con-sideration
which are needed for module fabrication
and the production techniques applied.
Thin-film technology research focuses on
CdTe as a promising absorbing material. Its
physical properties qualifies CdTe as a
suitable material for highly efficient
photovoltaic modules. Various deposition
techniques for the thin-film layer pro-
duction are technically well developed. In
CdTe-technology more than four different
manufacturing techniques are tested and
applied for typical module efficiencies > 6
%. As a consequence, the used input and
output materials cover a wide range of
DISTRIBUTION OF T-1S DOCUMENT IS UNLMIED
elements and compounds (Table 1) and are
also subject of investigation regarding
Table 1: Input / output materials and layer
structure of four selected CdTe modules
INPUT RANGE OUTPUT
glass substrate ?
snO2, siO2, snCl12, front contact HCI
H2O, SnO2: F 0.6-0.9 pm
(NH2)2Cs, CdCI2, CdS H2O, H2CN2, CdS,
CdS powder (5N), 0.2-10 pm NH4Cl, CO2, CdC12,
TeO2, CdSO4, TeCI4, CdTe-
CdCI,, Te-powder absorber H2SO4 , CdTe, CdC2,
(5N), Cd powder 2-10 pm N2
taining metal, resin, back contact N2, 02, graphite,
copper, silver, indium- 10-16 pm resin, Agin, Ni, Al, Ar
pwder, Ni, Al
? patterning ZnO, CdS, CdTe,
SnO2, graphite, Ni, Al
EVA, polyethylene, lamination
resist, sO0s 0.45mm
glass, Al, silicon capsulation
rubber, epoxy, metal,
material, copper __ _ _ _____
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Steinberger, H.; Hochwimmer, R.; Schmid, H.; Thumm, W.; Kettrup, A. & Moskowitz, P. Environmental issues of material input in CDTE-module manufacturing, article, December 31, 1995; Upton, New York. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc666078/m1/1/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.