Organic solar cellslife cycle assessment as a research tool to reduce payback time and environmental impacts

Supervised by:
  1. Antonio Urbina Yeregui Director
  2. Rafael García Valverde Director

Defence university: Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena

Fecha de defensa: 13 June 2012

  1. Jenny Nelson Chair
  2. María José Abad López Secretary
  3. Mariano Campoy Quiles Committee member
  4. Paul Dominique Lacharmoise Committee member
  5. Jaime Virgilio Colchero Paetz Committee member
  1. Electrónica, Tecnología de Computadores y Proyectos

Type: Thesis


In view of the world energy panorama, modern societies are urged to rethink and redesign the energy model into a more sustainable one if they want to preserve an ecological balance. Renewable energies as low-carbon technologies can tackle climate change targets. Sunlight in particular, as the most abundant resource and sustainable resource, is a possible solution. Among the existing photovoltaic technologies, organic photovoltaics (OPV) has evolved in an exponential way in the last five years exhibiting a large potential. Despite that there are still important challenges to overcome, there is an active research in this subject that has enabled for example that the efficiency of the devices has increased by a factor of 10 during the last decade. These progress lead to expect fast, cheap and low environmental impact production methods. In this thesis, OPV devices have been prepared by different methods and the great potential of this technology has been quantified through life cycle assessment (LCA) methods. LCA studies on production of printed polymeric modules at semi industrial scale have been carried out, showing promising results. The studies have sought to establish the parameters that are critical for the beneficial use of polymer solar cells in society and to firmly demonstrate where the potential of the polymer solar cell technology is.