Utilization and processing of solar PV modules
Companies are tending to increase the percentage of production and consumption of green energy in order to conserve natural resources for traditional energy sources. But on the other hand, solar modules that have finished their expiration date will be disposed of so as not to harm the world around them. What is happening today in the world and how is it developing in this direction.
Recycling of the solar modules
Currently, the system of commercial processing of solar panels is being adjusted. The United States and Europe are exploring options for creating a centralized and cost-effective scheme for collecting and disposing of solar panels that are no longer suitable. This is the responsibility of two photovoltaic waste organizations: PV CYCLE in the EU and the Solar Energy Industries Association in the US. In 10 years of existence, they have been able to recycle more than 30,000 metric tons of obsolete solar modules. There were even centers for collecting “solar” raw materials, and manufacturers began production of next-generation photovoltaic modules. Our main partner for the supply of solar panels, JinkoSolar, works with PV Syst, disposing of obsolete modules. And we strive to work including with such manufacturers.
Disposal of solar panels
To understand where the batteries can be disposed of, scientists are investigating the usecond use of the module, how to remove components and extract materials for future use. You can take the windshield with a silicon solar cell from the panel, remove the aluminum frame, separate the junction box and use copper from the cable. After a series of chemical processes, you can separate high-value materials: silicon and silver. After all, about 90% of the solar panel is glass. The rest are silicon, silver, lead, copper and aluminum. All this can be reused in production.
According to statistics, about 45 million metric tons per year are waste from computers, televisions and mobile phones. And in 30 years, waste from electricity generation could double this rate. Therefore, innovation and public policy in this matter are looking for the best option for development, what to do after the end of the service life of solar panels. In Ukraine, this issue is not so relevant yet, because the field of “green” energy is quite young and the term of operation of solar stations has not yet expired (lasts 25-35 years from the date of installation). But we advise to be interested in the development of this area in the world and to invest in the future disposal of panels for the next 10 years.