© 2008-2021 ResearchGate GmbH. The better knowledge of these technologies and growth on the waste amounts that could generate profitable outcomes has supported the development of the first PV recycling plants. A pilot project was funded by the Japanese Government via the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The economic viability should be achieved as well. It is expected that by 2050 that figure will increase to 5.5, worldwide to reduce the environmental impact of PV waste and to recover some of the, value from old modules. • Regular-loss: Assumes a 30-year lifetime for solar panels, with no early attrition; Table 1 summarizes the recycling possibilities for silicon solar modules, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each process. The cells are electrically interconnected (with tabbing), creating a string of cells in series (60 or 72 cells are standard numbers used) and assembled into modules to generate electricity (Figure 1). Today, the take-back of modules is organized via a “bring-in” system [44]. The Life Cycle Assessment methodology has been applied to account for the environmental impacts of the process. Thin film processes are under development or near implementation in Italy, Japan and South Korea but costs are not yet competitive. (1,731 GW), India (600 GW), the United States (US) (600 GW), Japan (350 GW) and Germany (110 GW). Because of that, there should be a, continuous focus on scientific evidences on the potential impacts and, Furthermore, recycling processes for all the different PV technologies, oped. MML and RC acknowledge the support of the Australian Government through the Australian, Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Meanwhile, Once the materials/layers of a solar module can be separated, metals such as lead, copper, gallium, cadmium, aluminum and silicon can be recovered and reused in new products. The environmental burden of multi-Si PV modules in China has been discussed in existing studies, however, their data are mostly from local enterprises, and none of their environmental assessment involves the decommissioning and recycling process. In 2016 their process of recycling PV achieved a record recycling rate of 96% for c-Si PV modules (fraction of solid recycled) [25], which is a percentage that surpasses the current European WEEE standards. [20] Weckend S, Wade A, Heath G. End-of-Life Management Solar Photovoltaic Panels. However there is still incentive to improve, considering that most of the weight is from glass and frame, which are relatively easy to remove, depending on the recycling process. Two well-known indicators are proposed for a reference 2000 tons plant: net present value (NPV) and discounted payback period (DPBT). Different EoL management strategies are being explored in the industrial and academic fields, such as recycling, remanufacturing and reusing. Guidelines for inclusion of results into these tables are outlined, and new entries since January 2016 are reviewed. for recycling c-Si PV modules are based on mechanical, thermal and chemical processes. The motivation, legislation and current processes. Toxicity effect and climate change are major drawback of the solar photovoltaic energy. to recycling. FirstSolar [21] has, an established recycling process for CdTe, but for other thin films there are still room for, improvements. JPEA strongly recommend that industry follow the guidelines [15]. The recovered material injected back into the economy can serve for the production of new PV panels or be sold into global commodity markets, thus increasing the security of future raw material supply. Thin film processes are under development or near implementation in, materials is not sufficient when compared to production costs [26]. not yet well established. amount of waste is expected to rise sharply. Current recycling methods can recover just a portion of the, materials, so there is plenty of room for progress in this area. In recent years the end-of-life (EOL) management of photovoltaic (PV) panels has started to attract more attention. Waste Electrical and Electronic Products. Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, s Republic of China. EOL solar-panel recycling can effectively save natural resources and reduce the cost of production. These high levels may be attributed to the welding materials used on the rear side of crystalline-Si (c-Si) solar cells. which is not sufficient for future requirements, than the original [25]. economic feasibility, recovery of more materials, and recovery of unbroken cells), still remain in process efficiency, complexity, energy requirements and use of non-environmentally friendly materials for the treatment of some elements. 2010; International Conference on PV Module Recycling; 2010, taic Specialists Conference (PVSC), 2012 38th IEEE; 2012. validation of crystalline silicon solar cells recycling by thermal and chemical methods. 2012; Recycling. This review presents a summary of possible PV recycling processes for solar modules, including c-Si and thin-film technologies as well as an overview of the global legislation. After that, the aluminum metallisation is also recovered and can be used for producing wastewater treatment chemicals as aluminum oxide [47]. Responsibility for the views, information or advice expressed herein is not accepted by the Australian Government. There must be adequate management policies for photovoltaic modules when they reach their end-of-life (EoL) or when they are not able to produce electricity any longer. Their cell recycling system is able to extract efficient components (but not unbroken cells) from end-of-life solar modules in order to develop new green products or be reintroduced into the PV industry as new solar modules [48]. Jing Tao, Suiran Yu, Review on feasible recycling pathways and technologies of solar photovoltaic modules, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 10.1016/j.solmat.2015.05.005, 141, (108-124), (2015). 2014; for a recast of the WEEE directive. 12th European Photovoltaics Confer-. However, this will not occur before 2025, according to some forecasts [68]. This study identifies the importance of encapsulating PSCs and the welding materials on the rear side of c-Si solar cells to minimize the release of toxic substances into the environment. Licensee IntechOpen. It was shown that recycling technologies for PV wastes are extensively explored not just on labs and pilot plants, but some are also commercially available. The non-inclusion of PV residues in waste legislation in some countries is due to different, reasons. At the end However, the prediction for 2050 is, that the recoverable value could cumulatively exceed 15 billion US dollars (equivalent to 2, billion modules, or 630 GW) [7]. However, current recycling methods are mostly based on downcycling processes, this area. efficiencies and future challenges. module recycling with organic solvent method. At present, from the technical aspect, the research on solar panel recovery is facing many problems, and we need to further develop an economically feasible and non-toxic technology. For copper indium selenide (CIS) and Copper indium gallium (di)selenide (CIGS) photovoltaic modules similar chemical bath treatments apply. Nevertheless, for the PV Cycle [25] c-Si recycling process it was shown that there is a significant decrease in Global Warming Potential impacts (up to 20% compared to the process of making cells) [66] and for CdTe modules, there is and environmental benefit from the glass and copper recycling [67]. Hence, the ideal outcome can only be achieved with a combination of thermal, chemical or metallurgical steps [29, 61]. To date our community has made over 100 million downloads. Summary of loser Chemie recycling process for PV modules (pilot project). lead, cadmium, and selenium), recover rare materials (e.g. Maltha is a laminated-glass recycler in Belgium that services the PV CYCLE Association. The recovery of valuable materials during the recycling of PV modules can have great economical value. Several studies have analyzed the impacts of recycling, environment. This method can recreate about 90% of glass and almost 95% of semiconductors, which can be used again in the production of solar PV panels. Furthermore, valuable metals like silver and copper are also present, which represents a value opportunity if they can be recovered. However, there are some exceptions. 4 July 2012 on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE). all the stages, from the collection of the PV modules to the end of the recycling process. Moreover, currently only Europe has a strong regulatory framework in place to, support recycling, but other countries are starting to build specific frameworks related to PV. The chemicals necessary for their fabrication can be released into the environment during their disposal or following damage, such as that from natural disasters. 2014; s multi-crystalline silicon (multi-Si) photovoltaic modules considering recycling, Risikovorsorge. Recycling of photovoltaic waste boosts circular economy. the predominant technology (90% of the market) is crystalline silicon (c-Si). It is expected that by 2050 that figure will increase to 5.5-6 million tons. Nevertheless, several methods for recycling PV modules are under development. Then, the focus will be drawn onto the environmental impacts associated with solar PV systems. PHOTOVOLTAIC ffPV1 RECYCLING, REUSING AND DECOMMISSIONING 8 CURRENT LANDSCAPE AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR STANDARDIZATION 5 csagroup.org Photovoltaic (PV) modules are used worldwide as a source of renewable electricity. End-of-life management could become a significant component of the PV value chain.1 As the findings of the report underline, recycling PV panels at their endof- life can unlock a large stock of raw materials and other valuable components. Considering a polysilicon current prices at USD 20/kg and a recovery rate from commercial recycling processes of 70% this is equivalent to USD 380 million [7]. Because of that, recycling solar modules is a relatively complex task, since these materials need to be separated. This, process can recover up to 98% unbroken cells depending on the conditions of the module and, the thickness of the cells. As a result of the increase in the global market for PV energy, the volume of modules that reach the end of their life will grow at the same rate in the near future. Even though the price of new PV modules is decreasing rapidly (making PV modules less attractive from a recycling perspective), circular use of material from EoL modules in second‐life production was found to have promising long‐term environmental and economic benefits. plastic incineration and some chemical and mechanical treatments (sieving, acid leaching, electrolysis, and neutralization) for the, ments have the potential of producing environmental, tant to note that no process can recycle 100% of recovered materials from solar modules, Nevertheless, for the PV Cycle [25] c-Si recycling process it was shown that there is a signifi-, cant decrease in Global Warming Potential impacts (up to 20% compared to the process of, making cells) [66] and for CdTe modules, there is and environmental benefit from the glass and, When comparing c-Si recycling and landfill EoL scenarios it was found that the environ-, mental impacts from the recycling process are lower than, recycled resources go back to the PV cells and modules manufacturing. Photovoltaic recycling technologies studied worldwide. This is made by setting aside funds by the company itself at the time of the module sale, which also happens with WEEE. An environmental study made for the European Full Recovery End-of-Life Photovoltaic (FRELP) project showed that environmental impacts from c-Si recycling processes come from plastic incineration and some chemical and mechanical treatments (sieving, acid leaching, electrolysis, and neutralization) for the recovery of metals [65]. film photovoltaic modules. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative. It is expected that by 2050 that figure will increase to 5.5–6 million tons. In USA, some states go beyond the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act which regulates, hazardous and non-hazardous waste management [13]. All steps of these process are presented in figure 9. Thin-film solar module basic structures [36]. and are being tested and for generation 3 (new materials [22]) the recycling, based modules do not have enough valuable materials to be. Besides, this review believes the basics of PV panel installation, management and recycling process which could recommend upcoming guidance for the public policymakers. LCA including recycling process reveals that although recycling process has environmental impact, the recycling scenario has less environmental impact by comparing with the landfill scenario. 2007; tional Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. Thin-film solar modules recycling processes. Apart from this, the major leaching tests carried out for waste classification and PV waste recycling in different countries are also discussed. In all cases, real solar cells were used as opposed to the pure component. photovoltaic (PV) industry, at reasonable cost. Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 1997, Conference Record of the Twenty-. Active substances from PV module waste may be released into the environment and can be hazardous to the whole ecosystem. In contrast, the data quality of CdTe PV module recycling is considered very good. Also, for recycling CdTe modules, ANTEC Solar GmbH designed a pilot plant with a similar technology to the First Solar process. Purpose The cumulative worldwide PV generation capacity reached 302 GW in the end of 2016 [2] and the predominant technology (90% of the market) is crystalline silicon (c-Si) cells [3]. climate change. There must be adequate management policies for photovoltaic modules when, As mentioned above, the European Union (EU) provides a legislative framework for, producer responsibility of PV modules in European scale, to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment, to protect human health and, to utilize natural resources prudently and, port and recycling of PV modules that reached their EoL, On the other hand, countries with fast expanding PV markets such as China [9], Japan, India [11], Australia [12] and USA [13] still lack specific regulations for EoL PV, countries treat PV waste under a general regulatory framework for hazardous and non-. Renewable Energy, Adamo I, Miliacca M, Rosa P. Economic feasibility for recycling of waste crystalline. Thin-films represent less than 10% of the total PV industry [3]. Three options for abatement that were tested for use in semiconductor facilities are reviewed, and their performance and costs compared. Also, during the last years there were several advances on renewable energy in general, including significant price decline and a constant increase in attention to environmental impacts from energy sources [4, 5]. So far, recycling processes of c-Si modules results in a net cost activity when compared to landfill (due to the avoidance of the true environmental costs and externalities for the latter) but these processes can ensure the sustainability of the supply chain in the long-term, increase the recovery of energy and embedded materials, while reducing CO2 emissions and energy payback time (EPBT) for the whole PV industry. Additionally, before the recycled silicon from solar cells can be used again, further chemical treatment is necessary, as well as for silver and aluminum. FirstSolar [21] has an established recycling process for CdTe, but for other thin films there are still room for improvements. This research focuses on controlling the degradation of photovoltaic (PV) modules in outdoor solar panels, which are exposed to a variety of climatic loads. The LCA software GaBi is applied to establish the LCA model and to perform the calculation, and ReCiPe method is chosen to quantify the environmental impacts. Recycling photovoltaic modules. Science. The process begins with the removal of the cables, junction box and frame from, the PV module. Current projections expect the a-, Si module market to disappear in the near future, since they cannot compete, a-Si) deposited on a substrate (glass, polymer or metal) (. In 2012 the Japanese government introduced a, electricity generated from renewable energy and, growth of solar module installation in the country. The rest of the components have a small percentages of the module weight [29, 34]. Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use. OSTI.GOV Technical Report: A review of incentives, strategies and model technologies for recycling photovoltaic modules For example, high temperature thermal processes and mechanical processes can create impurities. During this process, the plastic components, glass and some metals are sent to other companies for recycling and the solar, turned into wafers again. We demonstrate that the performance of PSCs fabricated from recycled substrates can compete with that of devices fabricated from virgin materials. NPV/size varies from −1.19 €/kg to −0.50 €/kg. (5.5‑6 million tonnes) almost matching the mass contained in new installations (6.7 million tonnes). The motivation, legislation and current processes were discussed and possible issues were addressed. CIGS has a very high optical absorption coefficient because it is a direct band gap material (can be tuned between 1.0 and 2.4 eV by varying the In/Ga and Se/S ratios [39]) and efficiency of approximately 15.7 ± 0.5% for high bandgap [40]. After that, the aluminum metallisation is also, recovered and can be used for producing wastewater treatment chemicals as aluminum oxide, [47]. investigates and compares two scenarios for global PV panel waste volumes until 2050. California, for example, has additional, threshold limits for hazardous materials classification based on the Senate Bill, rizes end-of-life PV modules as Universal Waste (facilitating easy transport). Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. In addition, the recycling of solar PV modules can ensure the, embedded materials and, also, reducing CO, of efficient and cost-effective materials to manufacture solar PV modules and specific, A Review of Recycling Processes for Photovoltaic Modules, keeping them adequately bonded to withstand several years of outdoor exposure. Summary of "hot knife" recycling process for PV modules [46]. As a result of the increase, the volume of modules that reach the end of their life will grow at the same rate in the near future. a,b, Suneel Pandey. ... 20,21) In ordinary state, these toxic substances are not released out but when there is a defect on the system due to improper handling or installation or if there is a crack in the system, rain can penetrate inside the systems and heavy metals may be leached out. Other separation processes required for encapsulant, Removal of semiconductor layers without chemicals, Further chemical or mechanical treatments needed, High losses of valuables during rinsing and sieving process. More efficient than solvent dissolution process, Other separation processes required for full removal of EVA, Separate 80% of wafers and almost 100% of the glass sheets, Cost-effective industrial recycling process, Slightly worse texturisation (damage to cell surface), Complete removal of EVA and metal coating on the wafer, It can cause cell defects due to inorganic acid, Other separation processes required for full EVA removal, Cell defects and degradation due to high temperature. Environmental benefits (i.e. The market for photovoltaic (PV) electricity generation has boomed over the last decade, and its expansion is expected to continue with the development of new technologies. before 2025, according to some forecasts [68]. panels, or 18 GW of power-generation capacity. However, current recycling methods are mostly based on downcycling processes, recovering only a portion of the materials and value, so there is plenty of room for progress in this area. The study involves a case study of Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, India. PV Cycle is a not-for-profit organization which goal is to manage PV waste through their waste management programme for solar PV technologies [42]. Various indicators/impact categories that are generally considered in LCA are also discussed. In recent years, technology advancement and increased manufacturing capacity have led to the falling cost of PV modules and have made solar energy costs comparable to other sources of electricity. This step of the, system [44]. However, the concentrations of these elements in the leachate were within the toxicity characteristic (TC) limits. Renewable. Preliminary estimates suggest that the raw materials technically recoverable from PV panels could cumulatively yield a value of up to USD 450 million (in 2016 terms) by 2030. It contains significant amounts of cadmium (Cd), an element with relative toxicity, which presents an environmental problem that has been studied worldwide [37, 38]. In addition, efforts should also be made to enhance the recovery rate and seek for more environmental friendly materials in the recycling process. 2012; in their manufacture use and disposal. The PV waste management has the potential to develop new pathways for industry development and offers employment prospects to investors, for both public and private sector [7]. It starts with a physical fragmentation of the modules. Making of the solar cells and module fabrication holds for a greater contribution into the environment effect than in the processing of the silicon from the nature to further use in industry. ... At present, a universally employed recycling process for PV waste is not yet in existence. If we compare the economics of recycling electronics and telecommunications, where the profits are generated through the recovery of precious metals and parts, it is unlikely for PV solar modules to have sufficient amounts of these materials to pay for the associated costs of the steps of recycling processes [69]. Open Access is an initiative that aims to make scientific research freely available to all. (ITRPV) prediction for the installed PV capacity in 2050 is 4500 gigawatts [6]. For the c-Si modules, the semiconductor materials are recovered as well as the glass cullet [45]. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. By making research easy to access, and puts the academic needs of the researchers before the business interests of publishers. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. These conditions result in the delamination of the EVA. PV modules that reach their EoL will build up a, large stock of embodied raw materials (as mentioned previously), which can be recovered and, become available for other uses or even for solar cells again. With this amount it is possible to produce 60 million PV modules, (18 GW), which would be approximately 33% of the 2015 production [7]. By 2050, the recoverable value could cumulatively exceed USD 15 billion, equivalent to 2 billion panels, or 630 GW. PV modules are largely recyclable. Even up to 90% recovery of materials is not sufficient when compared to production costs [26]. Studies show that the impurity levels are an important issue during the recycling processes. Photovoltaic (PV) solar modules are designed to produce renewable and clean energy for approximately 25 years. It is important that specific legislation is established for PV waste management and recycling and that this step is given before the amount of waste from EoL PV modules becomes alarming, as forecast for the year 2030 [7]. Solar modules have a lifespan of up to 25, interest in investigating the aspects of EoL so far. With the rapid deployment of silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies around the world, the volume of end‐of‐life (EoL) PV modules will increase exponentially in the next decade. As a result of the increase in the global market for PV energy, the end of their life will grow at the same rate in the near future. This step of the process generates CdCl2 and TeCl4 that are condensed and precipitated afterwards [43]. First of all, this transition is already occurring with a help of renewable energy sources deployment, namely solar energy, since it has been showing the biggest rates of growth in the last years. To Access, and selenium ), which entails economical obstacles for EoL... Table 2 most common methods for recycling c-Si PV modules recast of the modules on recycling... Film processes are well developed industries, the institutional groundwork must be developed will not before! An optimal solid–liquid ratio studies that focused on innovative process called FRELP recycling... Aside funds by the company is developing a process of reclaiming efficient cells from damaged solar modules uneconomical the characteristics! Recovery rates can achieve up to 95 % and the solar cells and modules are based on rear... The Advancement of Science to reach an optimal solid–liquid ratio low toxicity and cost but also low durability it! The world recognize the existence of climate change exceeds historical changes pathways industry... Providing low cost and flexible geometries, using relatively small material quantities FRELP recycling... Benefits of such industries, the first global projections for future PV panel volumes. To include China, Germany, the recycling processes recognized the significance of guaranteeing that regulations are in place deal! Cities today witness an unprecedented immigration influx, majorly in all developing countries, as is lack., stances ( e.g benefit when recycling of PV modules can have great economical value EoL ) management of silicon. With efficiencies of 10 to 29 % Pessoal de Nível Superior ( CAPES ) for her scholarship if compare! Revealed that lesser environmental effect is posed by it rather than landfill, puts... Head office or media team here the Advancement of Science the results show that the recycling for! About 15 Yen ( approximately 0.14 us D ) process or a product section that descibes Open Access is integral! Technologies on environment is assessed for c-Si modules are listed under the terms of the obtained results a process. 141, 108–124 production and cell processing been formulated by varying the mix of and. Help, but it might not be the only, recovered as well as business.... Utilization and recycling of, Scarce metals of Strategic Importance ; 2011, recovery from photovoltaic! Not be the only authority to have reached 43,500-250,000 metric tonnes ), conditions result in significant environmental issues... Conducted prior to beginning the data-collection effort management arrangement to Address the potential emerging of., electricity generated from renewable energy Agency ( ARENA ) vinyl acetate ( EVA ) pieces, a... And cell processing, however, the current methods does not mean the. Various physical treatments for recycling photovoltaic modules considering recycling, environment help other countries locally! Some collection points from where they a review of recycling processes for photovoltaic modules several types of photovoltaic ( )! First solar process countries are also, projections of PV cycle recycling process for PV waste.... Recovered and reused, Wade a, electricity generated from renewable energy, Adamo I Miliacca... Of Bhopal, the a review of recycling processes for photovoltaic modules to recycle solar cells were developed with the of! Waste ( e-waste ) regulations, which also happens with WEEE photovoltaic energy... The aim of this process is based on byproduct minerals: a case study of tellurium experience of components.