As a kind of clean and green energy without causing any pollution, solar energy is becoming a popular trend in recent years. And for solar users, have you ever considered that you can also recycle your solar panels. There are so many benefits to going solar, and among them is the benefit to the planet by offsetting other forms of energy that pollute our atmosphere. But solar panels don’t last forever. In fact, they degrade in performance over time, with panels able to grab and convert less and less energy until they reach the end of their effective lifespan at about 25 years.
For many of the early adopters of solar energy, their panels are beginning to reach that point of no return, so it’s time to look into ways to recycle solar panels. After all, when the time comes to upgrade your solar energy system, you don’t want to contribute additional waste to a planet you’ve spent the last few decades helping. So, how can solar panels be recycled?
The process of recycling solar panels
Most of the pieces that make up a solar panel can be recycled, which is good news. However, the process is not as straightforward as it could be with the machinery and labor involved in separating the PV panel into its parts.
- The aluminum frame – It’s 100% recyclable once removed.
- Glass panels – These need to be separated along a conveyor belt and are 95% reusable.
- When you recycle solar panels, you need to include thermal processing at 500 degrees Celsius to allow the solar cells to be more easily separated.
- The silicon wafers can be smelted down back into the slabs of material they began as with an 85% reusability rate.
The European solar recycling solution
In other parts of the world, solar recycling is further along. In Europe, solar panel recycling has a process that is more advanced and allows for nearly 96% of materials to be recouped and reused. In the United States, however, recycling solar panels becomes an issue of cost and return. The process to break down and safely recycle solar panels is more expensive than the resale of the recyclable parts recovered.
Current and future solar panel recycling needs
Being sustainable must be a part of a solar panel from the beginning through to the end of its lifecycle. Most solar installations in the United States popped up in the last 10 years and still have at least another 10 years of solar energy-giving life left. The industry is calling for a shift in focus to plan for the future and keep all of these solar panels from filling up future landfills, and hopefully to reclaim materials to produce the next generation’s solar energy. The need for aftermarket solar panel recyclers will increase over time as the need to recycle solar panels grows.
Our commitment to clean
We are always looking to find ways to help more people go solar because it`s clean, it`s good for our planet, and it can save you money. SOLARPARTS can design the right solar energy system for your home and help you be a parts of the solution for a greener earth. Decades from now, by the time your solar panels have matured and the recycling issue had been resolved, you`re looking at greener energy for greener earth--- and more green in your pocket.
Can solar panels be recycled? Yes! Want to learn more about how to recycle solar panels? Keep following with SOLARPARTS official website for more information about recycling solar panels.
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