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How much carbon dioxide is emitted from solar panels?

Author : jmichaelcruz002

Submitted : 2018-01-11 07:04:50    Popularity:     

Tags: dioxide  carbon  emitted  panels  solar  

Hey Cruz, Mordent and Logan are correct, when a solar panel is producing power, or when it isn't at night, there is no CO2 emitted from it, or the related equip

Answers:

Hey Cruz, Mordent and Logan are correct, when a solar panel is producing power, or when it isn't at night, there is no CO2 emitted from it, or the related equipment, like charge controllers, inverters and batteries. Lead acid batteries emit oxygen and hydrogen when charging, that's why they periodically need water added.

There is the matter of "embodied energy." This refers to the energy needed to produce the panel, such as mining for aluminum, making glass for the cover, shipping, and so forth. There was an argument some time ago that solar panels and wind turbines never earn back their embodied energy no matter how long they are allowed to produce power. First of all this isn't true. Solar Energy International, and some colleges did studies on this. On average, a solar panel earns back its embodied energy in less than 3 years, but it doesn't matter. Everything we make and use has embodied energy. Building cars, baking cookies, and building coal plants. The difference is once you build a coal, or oil or natural gas plant, you then have to feed it more coal, oil or gas, which it converts to electricity at a conversion rate somewhere below 100%. So in the end a fossil fuel fired power plant keeps digging itself a deeper and deeper embodied energy deficit that it can never recover from. At least a solar panel, turbine or water wheel can one day get even, this is the real reason they make such environmental sense.

We've been powering our home for 17 years from the wind and sun. I don't really know if I've broken even on the total cost, but the embodied energy in my equipment has earned its keep several times over. Take care, Rudydoo.

None (or very little), but there are carbon costs in producing the cells in the first place.

A 2008 study calculated that 1kWh generated under UK conditions (i.e pretty sub par, the UK is not an ideal location for PV cells) generates 20-80g of CO2 equivalent gases. This is compared to up to 1000g of CO2 from coal - so PV cells are 10 times less damaging in terms of emissions, and that's using cells which have now been surpassed in terms of efficiency.

none that I know of, passive power

none from their operation as far as I know. if you're one of these people that likes to count basically unreleated things like the power and transport required for their manufacture and distribution, I'd just tell you those are separate issues, that need to be addressed separately, and certainly can be, in part at least with pv panels themselves, and you're just grasping at whatever excuse you can find to dismiss them



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