SUS­TAINAB­LE ELECTRI­CI­TY FROM SUN­LIGHT THROUGH METZ­NERS’ OWN PHO­TO­VOL­TAIC SYSTEMS

Decem­ber 9th, 2021

As a future-ori­en­ted com­pa­ny, Metz­ner Hol­ding atta­ches gre­at impor­t­ance to envi­ron­men­tal awa­reness, sus­taina­bi­li­ty and cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion. We cover 90 — 100 % of our electri­ci­ty requi­re­ments from our in-house pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem. Metz­ner Maschi­nen­bau GmbH, Metz­ner E‑Mobility and rama­tech sys­tems GmbH have been drawing their electri­ci­ty from our pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem sin­ce 2013. 

The goal of acqui­ring a pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem was the­re­fo­re not only eco­no­mic — to save money in the long term, for examp­le — but had much more eco­lo­gi­cal moti­ves. Why? We will exp­lain this in a short arti­cle on pho­to­vol­taic sys­tems and their sus­tainab­le con­tri­bu­ti­on to the ener­gy transition.

A pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem redu­ces emis­si­ons of air pollutants

Unli­ke coal or gas, the genera­ti­on of electri­ci­ty by pho­to­vol­taic sys­tems does not rely on fos­sil fuels, which con­tri­bu­tes to redu­ced CO2 emis­si­ons. This is in con­trast to emis­si­ons such as sul­fur, car­bon and nitro­gen oxi­des, as well as dust, which escape into the envi­ron­ment during electri­ci­ty pro­duc­tion in gas and coal-fired power plants. The use of a pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem redu­ces the emis­si­on of air pol­lut­ants and decre­a­ses the attack on the ozone layer.

Recy­cling of pho­to­vol­taic systems

Up to 95% of solar sys­tems can be recy­cled — ano­t­her advan­ta­ge when it comes to sus­taina­bi­li­ty. The reco­ve­r­ed mate­ri­al can thus be reu­sed for the pro­duc­tion of new sys­tems. Defec­ti­ve modu­les are instal­led in new, func­tio­n­al pho­to­vol­taic sys­tems after recycling.

Posi­ti­ve eco-balance

To deter­mi­ne the envi­ron­men­tal balan­ce of the com­pon­ents, the Ener­gy Return on Ener­gy Inves­ted (ERo­EI or EROI; trans­la­ted har­vest fac­tor) is used. This descri­bes the rela­ti­ons­hip bet­ween the ener­gy used and the ener­gy inves­ted and is an indi­ca­tor of the ener­gy payback of various technologies.

The ERo­EI value for pho­to­vol­taic sys­tems is on average 10. Con­se­quent­ly, a con­ven­tio­nal pho­to­vol­taic sys­tem pro­du­ces 10 times more ener­gy during its use­ful life than was inves­ted in the pro­duc­tion of its indi­vi­du­al components.

An indi­ca­ti­on of the sus­tainab­le ope­ra­ti­on of pho­to­vol­taics is the over­all ener­gy balan­ce, which is very posi­ti­ve over the ent­i­re ser­vice life.

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