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Sacramento Solar Companies

Nov 11

What happens to solar panels when their useful life is over?


How long can solar panels last? This question is often asked about solar panels. According to studies, Sacramento Solar Companies have a life expectancy that is approximately 30 years before they must be decommissioned.


  • Solar Panels Disposal

Under regulatory guidelines, PV panel trash can still be classified as normal waste. The EU's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) classifies PV panels as e-waste. This is the only exception. The management of PV panel waste is governed by this regulation and other legislative frameworks.


Solar panel producers must comply with strict recycling and regulatory requirements in order to make sure that they don't become a nuisance to the environment. This is when solar panel recycling solutions emerged.


  • Solar Panels: Waste

In fact, without recycling systems, PV panel waste would amount to 60 million tonnes by 2050. PV panels contain a certain amount of harmful compounds so this would become a non-sustainable source of energy.


  • Get the Embed Code

The popular belief that solar panels cannot be recycled has been disproven. It is not a quick and easy method to adopt and will require further research to fully realize its potential to recycle all components of solar panels. To ensure recycling is possible, it is important to have strong collaboration between the design team and the recycling units.


  • Recycle Solar Panels

There are two types, and each type requires a different recycling technique. Both types of solar panels, silicon-based and thin film-based, can be recycled using different industrial processes. While silicon-based panels are currently more common, there is still a lot of value in thin film-based cell materials.


Research on solar panel recycling has led to many innovations. Many of these panels achieve a remarkable recycling efficiency of 96 percent, and the goal is to improve the standard in the future.


  • Recycle solar panels made from silicon

The first step in recycling is to disassemble silicon-based PV panels and separate aluminum from glass. The glass can be reused in large quantities (95 percent), and all-metal elements can be used to re-mold cell frames. To ensure that the elements of the cell stay together, the remaining ingredients are heated up to 500°C in a thermal processing plant.


After the thermal treatment, the green hardware is physically separated. Most of them can be reused while the rest are polished further. Wafers are made from silicon particles etched with acid. The 85 percent rate of silicon material recycling is achieved by melting and reusing broken wafers.


  • Recycling thin-film solar panels

Thin-film panels are, however, subject to more intensive processing. First, you need to shred all documents. A hammermill can be used to ensure that no particles exceed 4-5mm. This is the size at which the lamination holding the interior components together cracks and can be removed.


Liquids undergo a precipitation process to ensure purity. The process of metal processing is used for the complete separation of the different semiconductor components. This last step is dependent on the panel manufacturing process used; however, an average of 95 percent of the semiconductor material can be reused.


Interlayer materials, which have a lighter mass, can be removed by vibrating surfaces. However, they can contaminate solid matter. The material is then rinsed. The result is pure glass with 90% remaining glass elements that can be reused for future manufacturing.


Solar Sacramento

5605 Harold way 95822

(916) 775 5590