Recycling

How and why solar panel production has grown
How and why solar panel production has grown
Solar panels gaining popularity

Solar panels gaining popularity

When the production question comes to mind, a lot of factors are at stake. Production of solar panels has grown so much in the last couple of years, owing much to campaigns for clean sources of energy and eco-friendly practices. According to studies, the production of solar panels has grown about 117.8% in recent years. This has pushed the number of solar energy systems installed to about 15.1GW of electricity worldwide. This shows how popular solar energy systems are. Many people who have installed solar systems enjoy huge savings in their electricity bills. It can be said that the annual growth in solar system installations all over the world is not about to stop in the near future.

Looking closely at the numbers, you  will realize that production in major panel companies has gone up. Companies like Yingli, Trina Solar Company, Sharp Solar Company, the Canadian Solar Company are producing the most number of panels if you look at the electricity capacity for their products. Yingli is in the lead, producing about 3200 Mw of electricity worth of panels. These companies have almost doubled their shipments year on year since 2010.

The science behind solar panels production

The production of solar panels mostly involves silicon cells. As of now, they are not as efficient as they should be and can only produce (or convert) solar energy to usable electricity at just 10-20%. A lot of scientific effort has been made to ensure that these cells become more efficient which lead to the production of more electricity.

Solar panel production statistics
Solar Panels are eco-friendly

Affordable & eco-friendly

Solar energy is an affordable and eco-friendly source of energy all over the world. To add numbers to these statements we have to view the surveys of this year, 2016 to understand more about these. 7.5 GW installed in the United States of America in 2015 alone. It can be assumed that it’s due to the price reduction in solar panels. The market has also experienced about 18% growth of photovoltaic cells compared to 2014. Generally, there is an observable trend of solar panels production increasing year on year.

According to the department of energy in the US, the first quarter of 2016 has seen the number of solar panels hitting one million. There are speculations that solar panels installation may hit 2 million units in the following year. This source of clean energy is desired by everybody. This means more solar panels production and sales in the coming years.

 

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 Recycling solar panels

Recycling solar panels

As the world aims to be cleaner and greener, initiatives are undertaken to achieve these objectives, especially through the use of solar energy. Recycling solar panels can also be done in environmentally-friendly ways. When the solar module cannot function anymore, it can go into the recycling bin. Recycling solar panels parts is an industry gaining popularity. This has mostly been seen, especially through the formation of the PV cycle. This movement, initiated by many photovoltaic companies, has been encouraging the recycling of old solar panels. However, what really happens to old solar panels during recycling?

Recycling of materials made of silicon
solar panels can be recycled

solar panels can be recycled

Solar panels are made of silicon, glass and other materials. Parts of the solar panels made of silicon get recycled. In fact, almost 90% of materials from old solar panels can be recycled to make new ones. The recycling process starts manually where junction boxes, aluminum frames and various parts are taken apart one by one. After crushing down the old solar modules, glass, plastics, silicon and other metals are separated and taken to different processing plants. Glass are readily accepted by glass foam or car manufacturing industries. The silicon parts are returned to make more solar panels. With this recycling process, you could yield almost 85% of the initial weight of the panel. Talk about making money out of trash.

Recycling for non-silicon materials

What about the non-silicon parts from old solar panels? Well, they are also removed one by one and crushed. The goal here is to remove as many semiconductors in the old solar panels as possible. This is mostly done in the cadmium telluride modules. The process may also involve the use of chemical baths to separate as much materials as possible. Most private companies use the chemical baths method to squeeze out as much cash as possible from old solar panels. This process is designed to recover about 95% of glass and possibly 90% of semiconductors embedded in the old parts.

The process of recycling has been there since 2007 with the initiation of the PV cycle as stated above that was to involve both people and the companies making panels to help out in the recycling process in Europe. Most panel manufacturers have committed to eco-friendly practices in their businesses.

 

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