When maintained properly, a solar panel can last 20 to 25 years before it needs to be replaced. Many do not think of what happens with old solar panels once their life is over. Because of the materials that make up a solar panel, there is a level of complexity to their recycling. It is important to know what should I do with obsolete solar panels as their time nears.
Recycling These Solar Panels
While the majority of the solar panel is glass, there are other materials used which make recycling a little more complicated. While the glass can be separated and reused, the value on glass is less than other materials. The incentive for recycling glass is not as strong as other materials. The other 20 to 25 percent of the materials cannot be recycled and will be considered waste. It is important to note that if you attempt to recycle your solar panel, there is a breakdown process required, as only certain parts can be recycled, and there will still be a component that could end up in landfills. If you are dedicated to the recycling process, make sure you are ready to sort and carefully take apart your panel to most efficiently recycle the solar panel.
Follow Laws and Regulations
As the first wave of solar panels becomes obsolete, it is critical that they be stored and managed properly. There may be regulations in your area for discarding these solar panels. You will need to make sure that when you take them to be recycled, it is done so properly due to the high levels of silicone in the panel. At the federal level, there is not a law that determines what you should do for these panels, but some states or counties may want them disposed of in a specific way so that they can manage the panels.
Reuse Your Panels
Although these panels are past their warranty lifespan, they still may be able to generate some solar energy and be reused around your property. They can be used for small structures that store property and do not need lots of energy to operate. This will keep them out of the landfill and prevent the release of harmful chemicals in the environment if they are not able to be recycled.
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Categorised in: Solar Panel Installation