Solar panels became really popular over the past few years, partly due to the subsidies that made them financially interesting. An opportunity to help protect the environment and to help you save money on your energy bills. But what to do when your solar panels become defective? The ecological circle will be fully closed when you recycle your old solar panels. Curious to know how it works? Keep on reading!
How do solar panels become defective?
Solar panels do not just stop functioning. Those with a good quality can easily stay on your roof for 35 years. A defect can be the result of different causes, hail being the main one. The panels don’t have removable parts and are therefore in general less sensitive to disruption, which increases their lifetime. Disruptions, if there were to be, would be usually caused by high temperature variations or by humidity.
Choosing good quality solar panels is also lengthening their lifetime. Their stability and the resistance of their materials to corrosion largely determine their lifetime. Therefore, choose quality over price.
The recycling process
The recycling process has known a strong evolution over the past few years. There is still research being made in order to find a better method to recycle.
Previously, each solar cell was recovered as a singe full piece. They were then re-used to make new solar panels, apparently without loosing on quality.
The disadvantage with this method is that the cells become thiner and thiner which makes the recovery process more complicated. We are now shifting towards a new method that consists of the recovery of materials such as glass, aluminium and silica.
What to do when your solar panels reach their expiration date? You have 3 options. First, you can ask to get them removed for free by the installers, as stipulated by the law of the 1st January 2013. Secondly, you can consult the removal system PV Cycle that will happily collect your solar panels to recycle them. The 3rd option, not free in this case, is to take them yourself to the waste collection. In Germany, different centres exist specifically for solar panels, unfortunately none in Belgium to this day. Be patient, good things come to those who can wait.
Why is recycling the best solution?
If you already have solar panels, we suppose that you are actively engaged in the protection of the environment. To reduce your carbon footprint, it is also important to think about the recycling process. In the composition of your solar panels, defective or not, there are precious materials like glass, aluminium and semiconductors that can be re-used. Recycling won’t only reduce the amount of waste but will also help to contribute to the energy required to produce raw materials for new solar panels or other products. After generating ecological energy for 35 years, you can still continue to sustainably contribute to the recycling process.
Recycling has become crucial since we slowly realise that the future of the Earth is uncertain. There are different reasons to recycle, the first one being contributing to the environmental protection. Even if you do it only to impress your neighbour, recycling is always a great idea! Do you recycle?