Scrap PV Solar Panel Modules

Recycling Scrap PV Solar Panel Modules for a Business

The decreased cost of solar has made renewable energy accessible to more consumers than ever before and has resulted in an exponential increase in solar use. Whether your solar panels have reached the end of the use or decreased efficiency, end-of-life management is important for all solar technologies.

Recycling scrap PV solar panel modules ensure clean energy solutions are a sustainable component of the energy economy for future generations. In fact, businesses with scrap PV solar panel modules piles that recycle boost their green image while positively impacting the environment.

Scrap PV solar panel modules contain heavy metals such as lead and tin, which can result in significant environmental pollution issues. Additionally, valuable metals like silver and copper are also present that recyclers can recover. Landfill creates additional costs and it does not recover these valuable metals.

The installations of PV solar modules are growing rapidly. As a result of the increase, the volume of modules that reach the end of their life will develop at the same rate soon. It is expected that by 2050 that figure will rise to 5.5-6 million tons.

Fortunately, recycling methods for scrap PV solar panel modules are being developed globally to reduce the environmental impact of PV waste and to recover some of the value from old modules.

Who Recycles Scrap PV Solar Panel Modules Near Me?
Solar Panel -- Recycling Solar Panels

Solar Panel Disposal

The design of PV solar modules operates to produce renewable and clean energy. As solar panel disposal, much PV waste currently ends up in a landfill.

Photovoltaic (PV) panels typically last more than 25 years under normal operating conditions. The lifespan of a solar PV panel is about 20-30 years, so installations from the early 2000s are on track to reach an end-of-life status.

Four patent-pending material processing plants give Interco the capacity to process more than 10 million pounds of computers, electronics, batteries, solar panels, and alternative energy generation and storage equipment monthly.


Interco recycles solar panels according to their types. The two main types at present categorize as silicon-based or thin-filmed panels. As a result, there are two main methods of recycling solar panels:

Silicon-Based Solar Panel Recycling

  1. Recycling silicon-based solar panels begin with the dismantling of the panels. This process separates its aluminum and glass. Both materials are individually recyclable.
  2. Then, they subject the rest of the modules to a temperature of 500◦ Celsius. This takes place in a thermal processing unit to ease the bonds between the cell elements.
  3. Once the heat is applied, the plastic evaporates. This leaves the silicon cells for processing.
  4. After the heat treatment, the melting process separates the hardware. The separate the hardware, which is 80 percent reusable, from the silicon particles.
  5. As a result, the material is ready for use in the new silicon modules.

Thin-Film Based Solar Panel Recycling

  1. Recycling solar panels of this type speed up the process. It completes the process faster and more drastically.
  2. Machines shred the thin film-based panels from the mill the material. This ensures all particles are approximately 4-5 mm in size.
  3. Unlike silicon-based panels, a rotating screw separates the remaining solid and liquid materials.
  4. Consequently, the process purifies liquids through precipitation. It also separates them from the semiconductor materials through a metal processor.
  5. Recyclers remove the contaminated solid materials containing inter-layer materials. Furthermore, a vibrating surface separates these materials.
  6. Approximately 90% of these materials are reintroduced. Most can be used in the re-manufacturing processes.

Why Choose Interco for Scrap PV Solar Panel Modules?

Interco is a global recycling company providing metals, computers, and electronics recycling services to the industrial, dealer, and government organizations throughout the western hemisphere.

The facility has a 145,000 sqft. processing plant committed to the processing of computers, electronics, and batteries with the remainder of the indoor facility used for the processing of nonferrous industrial metals.

USA Solar Panel Recycling


The option to recycle scrap PV solar panel modules as solar panel disposal increases in importance every day. Interco is a leader in solar panel recycling in the United States. The company recycles solar panels from across North America. In fact, solar panels from the Caribbean find their way to Interco for processing. Interco handles domestic and international logistics services. If your business would like to learn more about Interco, click here.

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