Solar panels contribute to the earth’s sustainable development. Furthermore, solar-powered photovoltaic (PV) panels convert the sun’s rays into electricity by transferring electrons in silicon cells using the photons of light from the sun. They are a sustainable source of energy, reliant only on solar radiation, and capable of delivering electricity to homes and businesses. So, companies that work with solar panels may question, “Who recycles scrap PV solar panel modules near me?”
Like all things solar panels have an expiration date, where they fail to perform efficiently. In addition, there were 2 million installations of solar panels in the Unites States in the early 2000s. This means that these panels will be reaching the end of their lives soon, as they have a lifespan of about 30 years. Similarly, scrap piles will increase drastically for companies.
Solar panels also need to be recycled properly, or their toxic components will leak in landfills and cause other problems. For example, the toxic metals in solar panels are lead and cadmium. If these metals leak in landfills and enter our drinking water, lead causes problems with the human nervous system and cadmium can cause cancer.
A good place to start might be the Solar Energy Industries Association Website.
- This trade association “embodies the innovation and entrepreneurship that defines solar energy”
- SEIA members represent North America’s top solar panel installers, decommissioning companies and recycling companies. This membership experiences significant growth.
Interco is Who Recycles Scrap PV Solar Panel Modules Near Me
Interco is a global recycling company providing metals, computers, and electronics recycling services to industrial, dealer, and government organizations throughout the western hemisphere. Furthermore, the company specializes in the placement of smelter-ready materials throughout the world utilizing established partnerships with end consumers in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
The company has been a member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) since 1996.
Moreover, ISRI is the voice of the recycling industry advocating safe, economically sustainable, and environmentally responsible recycling through networking, advocacy, and education.
Interco processes more than 1,000 tons of scrap solar panel modules each month. Solar panel recycling is important for the environment. Additionally, through reuse and recycling, solar panel recycling can reduce what goes to the landfill, reduce waste, and save on energy used to produce materials.
How to Recycle Solar Panels
Using a recycler center, guarantees proper recycling of solar panels. Also, we recycle solar panels according to their types. The two types we recycle are silicon-based and thin-filmed panels. As a result, there are two main methods of recycling solar panels:
Silicon Based Solar Panel Recycling
- Recycling silicon-based solar panels begins with the dismantling of the panels. This process separates its aluminum and glass. Both materials are individually recyclable.
- 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.
- Once the heat is applied, the plastic evaporates. This leaves the silicon cells for processing.
- After the heat treatment, the melting process separates the hardware. The separate the hardware, which is 80 percent reusable, from the silicon particles.
- As a result, material is ready for use in the new silicon modules.
Thin-Film Based Solar Panel Recycling
- Recycling solar panels of this type speeds up the process. It completes the process faster and more drastically.
- Machines shred the thin film-based panels from the mill the material. This ensures all particles are approximately 4-5 mm in size.
- Unlike silicon-based panels, a rotating screw separates the remaining solid and liquid materials.
- Consequently, the process purifies liquids through precipitation. It also separates them from the semiconductor materials through a metal processor.
- Recyclers remove the contaminated solid materials containing inter-layer materials. Furthermore, a vibrating surface separates these materials.
- Approximately 90% of these materials are reintroduced. Most can be used in the re-manufacturing processes.
Silicon-based panels are more widely used than thin-filmed based panels. This is because silicon-based panels use process technologies with a huge database. This makes them more reliable.
Recycling centers buy these damaged or old solar panels to recycle. Recycling solar panels helps recover over 80 percent of a crystalline silicon unit from each solar panel. It also recovers electric junction boxes, glass and plastics, aluminum frames and brackets.
Without recycling, these scrap solar panels will cause more landfills. Recycling centers, when recycling solar panels, are assisting to reduce landfills, protect natural resources and reduce overall pollution.
The Answer to Who Recycles PV Solar Panel Modules Near Me?
Overall, solar panels are going to reach end-of-life status, at a high volume, in a few years. Companies will need to decide on how to handle it. They will need an answer to “who recycles scrap PV solar panel modules near me?” And the answer is Interco. Interco is a leader in solar panel recycling in the United States. The company recycles solar panels from across North America.
Even solar panels from the Caribbean find their way to Interco for recycling. Interco often handles the domestic and international logistics services and recycles solar panels from Hawaii as well. The importance of recycling solar panels increases every day. To learn more about who recycles scrap PV solar panels near me, click here.