Recycle Solar Panels
Solar panels are renewable energy tools and help limit global warming. Discard any old, broken or defective solar cells in normal household waste or landfills – solar cells contain toxins or potential toxins such as silicon tetrachloride, cadmium, selenium and sulfur hexafluoride. Very little solar panel recycling, compared to other electronic waste recycling in the US
volume of solar panels is done for recycling is still too small, cost to make it more effective. This may change with the increase in the volume. At this time, solar cells have to be recycled through the manufacturer.
Recycle Solar Panels
Various companies have solar panel recycling programs in place. Discuss manufacturer’s solar panel policy with company’s representatives before you start putting up your panels. If you have not done this, get in touch with manufacturer to find out about their recycling policy.
There should be no charge for recycling your solar panels if companies have set up recycling program. Money will have been set aside for future recycling. This fund may be managed by third party in case of bankruptcy or company change, given that lifespan of solar panels is 20 to more than 40 years.
Take down old panels to be recycled or let solar company dismantle them. Remove metal end brackets on each side of panel if your solar panels have been flush mounted. Roof tops and recreational vehicles usually have flush mounted solar panels.
Large panels on roof or ground are held up by ground mounts. Ask solar company to remove these types of panels, because they are usually very large. Some solar panels are mounted on poles with pole mounts. Cut and remove bolts in these mounts to take down panels. Try not to damage panels when you take them down.
Wear gloves and protective clothing when handling boken panels to prevent exposure to toxic substances. Package and ship your solar panels for recycling. Depending on policy, you will either have to bring solar panels to company’s recycling facility or company will send its own employees to package and transport your solar panels to its facility.
Package your solar panels in material such as polystyrene plastic and pile them onto pallets for shipping. Thick polystyrene will prevent breakage during transport. Use different recycling programs for different types of solar panels.
recycling method for crystalline silicon solar panels has been used by companies like Solar World since 2003. All solar cells, glass and metals are recycled. Use another process, such as one developed by First Solar, to recycle thin film solar panels.
It involves slow leach process to remove film before glass and metals can be recycled.
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