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Re: Tour of Photovoltaic Solar Array Facility, DC area


A report I have bookmarked is "Environmental aspects of solar cell technology" at:


It briefly covers some of the metals, such as cadmium, used in cell production, and gives a very summarized analysis of the environmental aspects/LCA.

Another bookmark:  EPA's Solar site at www.epa.gov/solar, has a report on some air pollutant impacts, Demonstration of the Environmental and Demand-Side Management Benefits of Grid-connected Photovoltaic Power Systems (1996), among other things.

Safe to say that all energy technologies have at least some negative impacts, and I'll bet the analysis is somewhere on the WWW.

All for now,


Anthony Sasson
Ohio EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention
P.O. Box 1049, Lazarus Government Center
Columbus, OH  43216-1049
614/644-2810  fax - 644-2329

>>> Robert Pojasek <rpojasek@sprynet.com> 05/11 12:00 AM >>>
Does anyone know if the you must dispose of used photovoltaic cells as a
hazardous waste?  I understand that some exotic compounds are used in the
manufacture of these materials.  I also wonder about the life cycle impact
of these cells.  How much energy does it take to make them (melting of
silicon, etc.) vs. what they save in the grid?  Are there any web sites on
these life cycle impacts?  Other renewable energy sources have negative
impacts such as wind energy conversion that kills endangered birds and
causes TV reception problems.  These units also use metals that have mining
and other issues.  With GREEN companies flocking to "renewable energy" I am
wondering if they have done their homework on the life cycle impacts.  

At 09:17 AM 5/10/99 -0400, you wrote:
>The local chapter of The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and
>Air-conditioning Engineers is sponsoring a tour of the solar array located
>at Montgomery County Community College in Germantown, MD (Jon's account!)
>The array generates 26 kW of electricity, supplying 1/3 of the building's
>peak electric demand, and is the largest such array of its type in the US
>(2nd in the world).
>Here's more info:
>Date:  May 19th   (register by 5/13)
>Time:  5:45 - 9:00 PM
>Price:  $30 (includes beer, wine, and light and heavy hors d'oevres)
>There will be a 1 hour presentation after the tour, which will include
>discussion of the fundamentals of photovoltaics, design details, cost
>information, and operational information.
>Gene Troy, P.E., C.E.M.
>Sr. Account Manager, ENERGY STAR BuildingsSM and Green Lights( Partnership
>The Cadmus Group
>1901 N. Ft. Myer Drive, Suite 1016, Arlington, VA  22209
>T:  703.558.0215     F:  703.558.0201
>For information on the ENERGY STAR Buildings and Green Lights Partnership,

Dr. Robert B. Pojasek 
Pojasek & Associates 
P.O. Box 1333 
E. Arlington, MA 02474-0071
(781) 641-2422 
(617) 788-0288 (FAX)