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What Happens When Solar Panels Stop Working?

Solar Panels

Solar panels give out eventually but most of their parts are recyclable.

The good news is that solar panels are created with longevity in mind; not only do they have an expected lifetime of 30+ years, but they’re also made to withstand the elements. On top of that, the vast majority of the solar panels in the world weren’t installed until after 2009 when the industry boomed, meaning that the majority of panels out there still have a good bit of life in them. At some point, however, panels do begin to fail and it’s important that we know what happens to those solar panels.

What Are Panels Made Of?

To know what we do with dead panels, we first need to know what they are made of. Typical solar panels are made using crystalline silicon solar cells. Theses solar cells are joined together with inside electrical contacts housed within an aluminum-framed, glass-topped panel that you are familiar with if you’ve ever seen the average panel. What’s great about this is that many of these elements are recyclable. This lends to the credence that solar panels are better options for the environment.

Worries About Toxicity

Most silicon solar cells have a negligible amount of toxic chemicals. The tests done have shown that the levels of toxic chemicals are beneath the standards set forth by the EPA, so one shouldn’t worry about any toxicity in solar cells. As a result, there’s no need to throw panels away as much of the valuable materials within them can be recaptured. This is why the solar industry has poised itself to recycle panels in order to reuse or re-sell the components within.

What’s the Process?

There are two different ways to recycle solar panels. The first is to disassemble them entirely, which allows the reuse of 100% of the metal involved as well as the majority of glass and silicon. On the other hand, shredding the panels is another option that, while not as efficient in what is rendered reusable, does allow the job to be done much quicker. In either case though, the parts that make up a solar panel go on to live a new life and continue to contribute to a better tomorrow where energy is clean and recyclability is a priority.

Contact Solar Home & Roof USA Today!

If you have any solar needs in Maryland, contact Solar Home & Roof USA, LLC. at 410-266-7891 or by email at patrick@solarhomeandroofusa.com. Our solar powered products will help make your life easy, environmentally safe, and cost efficient! We’re located at 3200 Escapade Circle, Riva, Maryland 21140. Contact us today!

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018 at 3:59 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.