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Sustainability Metrices for Wind turbine life cycle with environmental impacts, embodied energy and Human toxicity using Open LCA.
  • Shenbagaraman S,
  • Gnanavel B K
Shenbagaraman S
Saveetha Engineering College
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Gnanavel B K
Easwari Engineering College

Corresponding Author:gnanavelbk@gmail.com

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Wind turbines produce electricity with almost no emissions; nonetheless, there are environmental consequences associated with their life cycle stages. The present study focus on offshore wind farm in rural areas of Tamilnadu during their entire life cycle from Manufacturing, transportation, installation, operation and maintenance, finally decommissioning with cradle to grave system boundary. The process is modelled by Open LCA software following ISO 14044 standards. CML, TRACI, Ecoindicator, and ReCiPe were compared for environmental impacts and cumulative energy demand for embodies energy assessment respectively. Acidification, Eutrophication, Global warming, Ozone layer depletion, and human toxicity were some of the impacts. A Sensitivity analysis was performed with recycling scenarios for 50% and 80% showed 6 times and negligible reduction of global warming potential respectively. According to life cycle analysis, environmental consequences are concentrated in the manufacturing stage, which accounts for 78% of impacts. Assumptions in the LCA procedure were methodically addressed, with special emphasis on the O&M and transportation stages. Steel, iron, epoxy fibers in the manufacturing stage contributes 84%, 78%, and 86% of total CO2, SOx and CFC, concrete contributed 85% in the installation stage produces more emissions and energy intensive. Significant impact category among all is the human toxicity which contributed by styrene and glass fibres predominantly affects adults on dermal exposure. The energy pay back time 1.51 months for the embodied energy calculated was 539 MJeq. Higher percentage of recycling at the decommissioning stage reduces the kg CO2 emissions by 74 – 83% average.