This study was conducted to ascertain how the use of recycled materials instead of virgin materials affect the installation of renewable energy systems for the energy transition of buildings. LCA was used to estimate the life cycle energy use and GHG emissions of building and renewable energy systems with and without using recycled materials. For the case study, a public building and four representative photovoltaic (PV) systems were selected. National recycling standards and processes were considered for suggested recycled materials. In general, replacing virgin material with recycled counterpart reduced embodied GHG emissions more than embodied energy. However, due to high carbon intensity of operation energy and building materials without available counterparts, using recycled materials reduced the life cycle energy use and GHG emissions of the case building by 4.9% and 3.3%. Among four PV systems, using recycled materials was most significant in the single crystalline-silicon (sC-Si) PV system, 44.5% reduction of energy use and 41.3% reduction of GHG emissions. Therefore, when recycled materials are used for achieving the energy transition of the case building with the sC-Si PV system, the PV system requirements could be reduced by a maximum of 9.6% for energy payback and 4.9% for GHG payback. This study demonstrated that the use of recycled materials is effective at reducing the embodied energy and GHG emissions of PV systems as well as buildings. To achieve carbon-neutral buildings, particularly, the use of recycled materials based on a thorough LCA should be considered in addition to renewable energy system.
|Journal||Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Mar|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement( KAIA ) grant funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Grant: 21PIYR-B153494-03 ).
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment