Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 65–80 | Cite as

Life cycle energy and carbon footprint analysis of photovoltaic battery microgrid system in India

  • Jani Das
  • Ajit Paul Abraham
  • Prakash C. Ghosh
  • Rangan Banerjee
Original Paper


Electricity supply in India is from a centralized grid. Many parts of the country experience grid interruptions. Life cycle energy and environmental analysis has been done for a 27 kWp photovoltaic system which acts as grid backup for 3 h outage in an Indian urban residential scenario. This paper discusses energy requirements and carbon emission for a PV storage system for five different battery technologies in Indian context. This can be used as a metric for comparative analysis for new batteries, with an undeveloped market. The energy requirements for the components are quantified and are compared in terms of energy payback time (EPBT) and Net Energy Ratio (NER). All the calculations are done for Indian context. EPBT is found to be in the range of 2–4.5 years for all the systems, while NER is in the range of 6.6–2.52. NaS has the highest emission factor of 0.67 kgCO2/kWh and the least for NiCd (0.091 kgCO2/kWh). These factors can be used to select a PV battery option and to target selection of materials and systems based on the reported values.


Microgrid Grid backup Battery Energy payback Net Energy Ratio Carbon emission factor 

List of symbols


Vector of all components of the PV battery system




Material production




Number of materials


Mass of the materials


Material, energy and environmental burden vector


Efficiency of adding material j to component C


Production energy of the jth material


Material production energy (MJ/kg)


Manufacturing energy (MJ/kg)


Transportation energy (MJ/kg)


Distance of transportation (km)


Mass to be transported (kg)


Transportation energy (MJpf/kg-km or MJpf/ton-km)


Recycling energy (MJ/kg)


Total life cycle energy (MJ/kg)


Carbon output (kg)


Power demand from the PV (kW)


Daily demand to be met by the PV system (kWh)


Number of effective sunshine hours in a day


PV peak rating (kW)


System efficiency


PV module derating factor


Module temperature derating factor


DC and AC wiring inefficiency factor


Derating factor for dirt/soiling


Module mismatch derating factor


System availability derating factor


Required storage capacity of the battery (kWh)


Days of autonomy


Round trip efficiency of the battery


Discharging efficiency of the battery


Charging efficiency of the battery


Depth of discharge of the battery


Battery mass (kg)


Battery energy density (Wh/kg)


Annual electricity generation from the system in electrical units (kWhe)


Yearly average solar insolation at the location (kWh/m2)


Efficiency of the PV panel


Efficiency of the inverter


Efficiency of the charge controller


Length of the PV panel (m)


Breadth of the PV panel (m)


Number of panels used


Embodied energy expressed in MJpf/kg (primary fossil energy)


Embodied carbon expressed in kgCO2/kg


Direct energy input to the system (MJ)


Indirect energy input to the system (MJ)


Energy payback time (years)


Net Energy Ratio


Annualized life cycle cost (₹)


Annualized energy output from the system (kWh)




Service life for component i (years)


Carbon content for the ith component



This paper is based upon work supported in part under the UK and India partnership in smart energy grids and energy storage technologies for intelligent microgrids with appropriate storage for energy (IMASE) funded by Govt. of India through the Department of Science and Technology (DST/RCUK/SEGES/2012/13).


  1. Abraham AP, Ghosh PC, Banerjee R (2016) A framework for incorporating load profiles for sizing and designing of microgrid, 21st century energy needs-materials, systems and applications (ICTFCEN), Kharagpur, pp 1–6Google Scholar
  2. Akinyele DO (2017) Environmental performance evaluation of a grid-independent solar photovoltaic power generation (SPPG) plant. Energy 130:515–529CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akinyele DO, Rayudu RK (2016) Techno-economic and life cycle environmental performance analyses of a solar photovoltaic microgrid system for developing countries. Energy 109:160–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alsema E (1996) Environmental aspects of solar cell modules. Summary Report Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht UniversityGoogle Scholar
  5. Alsema E (1998) Energy requirements and CO2 mitigation potential of PV systems. In: Presented at the BNL/NREL workshop “PV and the environment 1998”, Keystone, CO, USAGoogle Scholar
  6. Alsema E (2000a) Energy payback time and CO2 emissions of PV systems. Prog Photovolt Res Appl 8(1):17–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Alsema E (2000b) Environmental life cycle assessment of solar home systems Tech. Rep. NWS-E-2000-15. Department of Science, Technology and Society Utrecht University, Utrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  8. Alsema E, de Wild-Scholten M (2005) The real environmental impacts of crystalline silicon PV modules: An analysis based on up-to-date manufacturers data. In: Presented at the 20th European photovoltaic solar energy conferenceGoogle Scholar
  9. Battke B, Schmidt TS, Grosspietsch D, Hoffmann VH (2013) A review and probabilistic model of life cycle costs of stationary batteries in multiple applications. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 25:240–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Baumann M, Peters JF, Weil M, Grunwald A (2017) CO2 footprint and life cycle costs of electrochemical energy storage for stationary grid applications. Energy Technol 5:1071CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burnham A, Wang M, Wu Yi (2006) Development and application of GREET 2.7-the transportation cycle model, ANL/ESD/06-5 and GREET 2.7. Accessed Jan 2016
  12. CEA Annual Reports-Executive Summary-May 2017 (2017) Accessed June 2017
  13. CO2 Baseline and Database for the Indian Power Sector Central Electricity Authority (2009) Accessed June 2017
  14. Das J, Ghosh PC, Banerjee R(2016)Life cycle analysis of battery technologies for photovoltaic application in India. 21st century energy needs-materials, systems and applications (ICTFCEN), Kharagpur, India, pp 1–5Google Scholar
  15. De Wild-Scholten MJ, Alsema EA (2006) Environmental life cycle inventory of crystalline silicon photovoltaic module production. In: Proceedings of the 2006 Materials Research Society Symposium, Materials Research Society, Warren-dale, PAGoogle Scholar
  16. Deng Y, Li J, Li T, Gao X, Yuan C (2017) Life cycle assessment of lithium sulfur battery for electric vehicles. J Power Sources 343:284–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Denholm P, Kulcinski GL (2004) Life cycle energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions from large scale energy storage systems. Energy Convers Manage 45:2153–2172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ehnberg J, Liu Y, Grahn M (2014) Grid and storage-system perspectives on renewable power. ISBN:978-91-980974-0-5Google Scholar
  19. Electricity Supply Monitoring Initiative-Summary Analysis-May 2017. Accessed 23 Feb 2017
  20. Gaines L, Singh M (1995) Energy and environmental impacts of electric vehicle battery production and recycling. SAE Paper 951865Google Scholar
  21. Gaines L, Sullivan JL, Burnham A, Belharouak I (2011) Life cycle analysis of lithium ion battery production and recycling. 90th Annual meeting of transportation research board, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  22. Germani M, Landi D, Rossi M (2015) Efficiency and environmental analysis of a system for renewable electricity generation and electrochemical storage of residential buildings. Proc CIRP 29:839–844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hawkins TR, Singh B, Majeau-Bettez G, Strømman AH (2013) Comparative environmental life cycle assessment of conventional and electric vehicles. J Ind Ecol 17(1):53–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hiremath M, Derendorf K, Vogt T (2015) Comparative life cycle assessment of battery storage systems for stationary applications. Environ Sci Technol 49(8):4825–4833CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hitmann Associates (1980) Life cycle energy analysis of electric vehicle storage batteries, H-1008/001-80-964. submitted to the US Department of Energy, Contract Number DE-AC02-79ET25420.A000Google Scholar
  26. IEEE (2007) IEEE Std 1562 IEEE guide for array and battery sizing in stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) systemsGoogle Scholar
  27. Ishihara K, Nishimura K, Uchiyama Y (1999) Life cycle analysis of electric vehicles with advanced battery in Japan. Proc Electric Veh Symp Beijing China 16:7–10Google Scholar
  28. Ishihara K, Kihira N, Terada N, Iwahori T (2002) Environmental burdens of large Lithium Ion batteries developed in a Japanese National Project. Accessed Jan 2016
  29. ISO (1997) ISO International Standard, ISO/FDIS 14040, Environmental management: life cycle assessment—principles and frameworkGoogle Scholar
  30. ISO (1998) ISO International Standard, ISO 14041, Environmental management: life cycle assessment—goal and scope definition and inventory analysisGoogle Scholar
  31. ISO (2000) ISO International Standard, ISO 14042, Environmental management: life cycle assessment—life cycle impact assessmentGoogle Scholar
  32. Jacob AS, Das J, Abraham AP, Banerjee R, Ghosh PC (2017) Cost and energy analysis of PV battery grid backup system for a residential load in urban India. Energy Procedia 118:88–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jungbluth N (2005) Life cycle assessment of crystalline photovoltaics in the Swiss ecoinvent database. Prog Photovolt Res Appl 13(5):429–446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jungbluth N, Stucki M, Flury K, Frischknecht R, Büsser S (2012) Life cycle inventories of photovoltaics. ESU-services Ltd., UsterGoogle Scholar
  35. Kato K, Murata A, Sakuta K (1998) Energy pay back time and life-cycle CO2 emission of residential PV power system with silicon PV module. Prog Photovolt Res Appl 6(2):105–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kertes A (1996) Life cycle assessment of three available battery technologies for electric vehicles in a Swedish perspective. Master Thesis, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  37. Knapp K, Jester T (2001) Empirical Investigation of the energy pay back time for photovoltaic modules. Sol Energy 71(3):165–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Krauter S, Ruther R (2004) Considerations for the calculations of greenhouse gas reduction by photovoltaic solar energy. Renew Energy 29(3):345–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Larcher D, Tarascon JM (2014) Towards Greener and more sustainable batteries for electrical energy storage. Nat Chem 7(1):19–29. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Longo S, Antonucci V, Cellura M, Ferraro M (2013) Life cycle assessment of storage systems: the case study of a sodium/nickel chloride battery. J Clean Prod 2013:337–346. Google Scholar
  41. Majeau-Bettez G, Hawkins TR, Strømman AH (2011) Life cycle environmental assessment of lithium ion and nickel metal hydride batteries for plug in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. Environ Sci Technol 45(10):4548–4554CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Martinez PE, Eliceche AM (2009) Minimization of life cycle CO2 emissions in steam and power plants. Clean Techn Environ Policy 11:49. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Matheys J, Autenboer W, Timmermans JM, Mierlo J, Bossche P, Maggetto G (2007) Influence of functional unit on the life cycle assessment of traction batteries. Int J Life Cycle Assess 12:191–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McKenna E, McManus M, Cooper S, Thomson M (2013) Economic and environmental impact of lead-acid batteries in grid-connected domestic PV systems. Appl Energy 104:239–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nawaz I, Tiwari GN (2006) Embodied energy analysis of photovoltaic (PV) system based on macro- and micro-level. Energy Policy 34(17):3144–3152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Newnham RH, Baldsing WGA (1997) Performance of flooded- and gelled-electrolyte lead/acid batteries under remote-area power-supply duty. J Power Sources 66(1):127–139Google Scholar
  47. Notter DA, Gauch M, Widmer R, Wager P, Stamp A, Zah R, Althaus HJ (2010) Contribution of Li-Ion batteries to the environmental impact of electric vehicles. Environ Sci Technol 44:6550–6556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rantik M (1999) Life Cycle Assessment of five batteries for electric vehicles under different charging regimes. Swedish Transport and Communications Research Board.
  49. Rydh CJ (1999) Environmental assessment of vanadium redox and lead-acid batteries for stationary energy storage. J Power Sources 80(1):21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rydh CJ, Sanden BA (2005a) Energy Analysis of batteries in photovoltaic systems-Part I: performance and energy requirements. Energy Convers Manag 46:1957–1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rydh CJ, Sanden BA (2005b) Energy analysis of batteries in photovoltaic systems. Part II: energy return factors and overall battery efficiencies. Energy Convers Manag 46:1957–1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Spanos C, Turney DE, Fthenakis V (2015) Life-cycle analysis of flow-assisted nickel zinc, manganese dioxide, and valve-regulated lead-acid batteries designed for demand-charge reduction. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 43:478–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sullivan JL, Gaines L (2010) A review of battery life cycle analysis, State of knowledge and critical needs. Energy Systems Division Argonne National LaboratoryGoogle Scholar
  54. Sullivan JL, Gaines L (2012) Status of life cycle inventories for batteries. Energy Convers Manage 58:34–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sullivan JL, Gaines L, Burnham A (2011) Role of recycling in the life of batteries. In: Supplemental proceedings: materials processing and energy materials, the minerals, metals and materials society, vol 1. doi:
  56. Van den Bossche P, Vergels F, Van Mierlo J, Matheys J, Van Autenboer W (2006) SUBAT An assessment of sustainable battery technology. J Power Sources 162(2):913–919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yu Y, Wang X, Wang D, Huang K, Wang L, Bao L, Wu F (2012) Environmental characteristics comparison of Li-ion batteries and Ni–MH batteries under the uncertainty of cycle performance. J Hazard Mater 229:455–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yue D, You F, Darling SB (2014) Domestic and overseas manufacturing scenarios of silicon-based photovoltaics: life cycle energy and environmental comparative analysis. Sol Energy 105:669–678CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy Science and EngineeringIIT BombayMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations