This paper was presented at the World Renewable Energy Council in Sweden in 2011. It is a summary of a life cycle assessment of solar thermal collectors. Life cycle studies assess the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life.
This study used two different systems: a temperate-climate system and tropical systems.
The study concludes that the environmental impacts are highly dependent of the type of energy backup that is used, but overall solar thermal energy is a very good solution to reduce environmental impacts of hot water production.
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