M.S. Thesis: Life Cycle Assessment of a Novel Building-Integrated Photovoltaic-Thermal (BIPVT) System

By Yuda Sun

Advisor: Prof. Nickolas J. Themelis
Co-advisors: Profs. Huiming Yin (Civil Eng.) and Vasilis Fthenakis (EAEE)

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science
Columbia University

January 2014

This study presents the results of a detailed performance and environmental analysis of a 2.5 kWp innovative Building Integrated Photovoltaic Thermal (BIPVT) system in three locations in the USA (Phoenix, AZ; Duluth, MN; and Albany, NY) on a residential house roof with slope of 6/12. The studied renewable energy system consists of BIPVT panels, a balance of system (BOS)  and a power conditioning system (PCS). Life-cycle environmental issues were analyzed using as major indicators like global warming potential (GWP), cumulated energy demand (CED), and energy payback time (EPBT). The results were compared with those of alternative PV systems and energy sources.

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