Keywords: roof installation, photovoltaic systems, life cycle analysis, LCA, energy payback, pollutant emissions, externalities, energy consumption, environmental impact, environmental technology
A Life Cycle Analysis of roof integrated photovoltaic systems
In this paper a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology is used to investigate the energetic and environmental impact of a Building Integrated Photovoltaic installation (BIPV) with reference to a roof installation case study. The results reveal that the roof integrated photovoltaic systems can bring both energy and environmental benefits even in areas characterised by medium values of insolation. It is demonstrated that the embodied energy consumed during manufacturing phases is normally recovered after few years of operation; the same can be said for pollutant emissions. On the contrary, the economic payback time is always higher than the energy payback time and sometimes exceeds the expected life of the systems.