Date of Award

8-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Environmental Engineering and Science

Committee Member

Dr. Michael Carbajales-Dale, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. David A. Ladner

Committee Member

Dr. Rajendra Singh

Abstract

Nowadays, greenhouse gas emission problem is becoming more and more severe. At the same time, world energy demand increases a lot every year. All the countries focus on using renewable energy and take it as the solution of future energy demand problem. Although the solar energy only makes up 1% market share of the total renewable energy, it grows rapidly recent years. Because the energy coming from sun is tens of time more than energy coming from the fossil fuel. There are three main type of the photovoltaic technologies, which are crystalline silicon solar cell, thin-film solar cell and polymer solar cell. Crystalline silicon solar cell is the first generation technology, which make up 90% market share of the solar energy industry. Thin-film solar cell is the second generation technology, which makes up 10% market share of the solar energy. The goal of this thesis are 1) to evaluate the efficiency of each technologies of solar energy; 2) to compare the cumulative energy demand (CED) of solar module of each technology; 3) to compare the energy return on investment (EROI) of each technologies; 4) to know energy demand of balance of system of all technologies; 5) to show the trend of different generation of solar energy through time by showing relation between efficiency, cumulative energy demand and energy return on investment. To accomplish these goals, we use a meta-analysis method in thesis. We collect all the studies on solar energy which has passed the criteria we set. After getting all the data, we evaluate the CED and EROI by using our own method to harmonized each data.

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