Chair of Waste Processing Technology and Waste Management // Montanuniversitaet Leoben


Project long title

Sustainable photovoltaics


Project description

Sustainable Processes are of high importance for current and also future technologies. This includes the use of sustainable resources as well as the end-of-life management. Although Photovoltaics (PV) is usually seen as a green energy provider based on renewable energy source, sustainability plays only a small role in PV module technology. This starts with the selection of the used materials. At the moment the focus is on increasing efficiency and lowering production costs. Recycle- and repairability as well as the omission and/or reduction of critical materials (e.g. lead and fluorine) play only a secondary role. At the end of their life old and defect modules are currently recycled in non-specialized treatment plants. A dedicated waste management system for optimal resource recovery does not exist. The research project PVRe² will take on the challenge of improving the sustainability of PV, while still keeping reliability and efficiency on a high level.


Entwicklung einer nachhaltigen PV Modultechnologie


Aims of the project

  • Optimization of recycling processes for PV modules
  • Enhancement of recyclability and minimization of environmental effects through development of sustainable PV modules
  • Development of in-field repair solutions for damaged PV modules
  • Assessment of the technological measures in relation to their economic and ecological effects


List of publications (excerpt)

Dobra, T., Vollprecht, D., & Pomberger, R. (2021). Thermal delamination of end-of-life crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules. Waste management & research, 40(1), 96 - 103

Dobra, T., Oreski, G., & Figl, H. (2021). Environmental Assessment of Ecodesign Measures for Silicon Based Photovoltaic Modules. e-nova 2021.

Dobra, T., Hilweg, M., Eder, G. C., Voronko, Y., Oreski, G., Feldbacher, S., Neumaier, L., Lenck, N., & Figl, H. (2021). Environmental and economic assessment of repair solutions for cracked backsheets in photovoltaic modules. 13th International Conference on Sustainable Energy & Environmental Protection SEEP2021.

Dobra, T., Wellacher, M., & Pomberger, R. (2020). End-of-Life management of photovoltaic panels in Austria: current situation and outlook. Detritus, 10(June), 75 - 81.

Dobra, T., Wellacher, M., & Pomberger, R. (2020). Mechanische Verbundsauftrennung beim Recycling von c-Si Photovoltaikmodulen: Aktueller Stand und neue Ansätze. Recy & DepoTech 2020: Konferenzband zur 15. Recy & DepoTech-Konferenz

Dobra, T., & Wellacher, M. (2019). End-of-Life Management of Si-Wafer Based Photovoltaic Panels and its Effect on Sustainability Assessment. e-nova 2019.



Logo Ffg 5 Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)


Project partner

Borealis Borealis AG

Ctr CTR Carinthian Tech Research AG (CTR)

Encome ENcome Energy Performance GmbH

Kioto KIOTO Photovoltaics GmbH

Ofi Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Chemie und Technik (OFI)

Seppele 1 Peter Seppele Gesellschaft m.b.H.

Pccl Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH (PCCL)

Renewables VDE Renewables GmbH



You can send a message directly to the working group leader Mister Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Thomas Nigl by using the following form.

Thomas Nigl

Thomas Nigl

Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont., BSc.
Scientific staff

Phone: +43 3842 / 402-5124
Cell: +43 676 / 84 53 86-824
Fax: +43 3842 / 402-5102
E-mail: thomas.nigl@unileoben.ac.at


You can send us a message, if you want to...


Please fill in all fields marked with Pflichtfeld

Fenster schließen