As PhD students, we found it difficult to access the research we needed, so we decided to create a new Open Access publisher that levels the playing field for scientists across the world. „Wenn niemand etwas dagegen tut, dann verwandelt sich alles in einen mausgrauen Matsch“ – so formulierte Boulding bereits 1971 seine Ansicht zu der Tatsache, dass der menschliche Abfall in höherem Ausmaß zur Entropie beiträgt, als der natürliche fortwährende Prozess des sich Vermischens, der ohnehin auf der Erde abläuft. However, the end-of-life phase has been generally excluded or neglected from these analyses, mainly because of the low amount of panels that reached the disposal yet and the lack of data about their end of life. Environmental benefits (i.e. Besides, this review believes the basics of PV panel installation, management and recycling process which could recommend upcoming guidance for the public policymakers. Before going into the details of environmental impacts, brief insights on the methods used for estimating environmental impacts, both in the conventional way as well as using LCA simulation tools, are given. A-Si has low toxicity and cost but also low durability and it is less, efficient compared with the other thin-film technologies [41]. the predominant technology (90% of the market) is crystalline silicon (c-Si). A Review of Recycling Processes for Photovoltaic Modules The installations of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules are growing extremely fast. A Review of Recycling Processes for Photovoltaic Modules. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative. 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). We share our knowledge and peer-reveiwed research papers with libraries, scientific and engineering societies, and also work with corporate R&D departments and government entities. Given heavy metals present in PV modules, e.g. How? Solar modules have a lifespan of up to 25, interest in investigating the aspects of EoL so far. The summary of this process is shown in Figure 6. Improved reliability, operation, and performance can be achieved through monitoring. These countries treat PV waste under a general regulatory framework for hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste or WEEE. In this study, we used a Monte Carlo uncertainty model to identify the potential economic benefits of closed‐loop recycling of EoL PV modules when recycled silicon is integrated into different stages of the PV supply chain. IEA-PVPS collects information from official governmental bodies and reliable industry sources. 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. were discussed and possible issues were addressed. The process is based on a sequence of physical (mechanical and thermal) treatments followed by acid leaching and electrolysis. The process starts with the removal of the frames, and the backsheet foil before the thermal process begins. film photovoltaic modules. Lessons can be learned from the experience of the EU in creating its regulatory framework to help other countries develop locally appropriate approaches. Also, for recycling CdTe modules, ANTEC Solar GmbH designed a pilot plant with a similar technology to the First Solar process. The non-inclusion of PV residues in waste legislation in some countries is due to different reasons. They can play a significant role in reducing the use of fossil energy sources. Originally created by PV CYCLE in 2007 and commercially available in Europe, the process of recycling mono or multicrystalline silicon modules begins with the separation of the aluminum frame and the junction boxes and then a mechanical process is used for the extraction of the remaining materials of the module (a process similar to recycling of glass or electronic waste). PV modules are largely recyclable. The results show that recovery of materials from solar modules results in lower environmental impacts compared to other EoL scenarios, considering our assumptions. The aluminum back surface field (Al-BSF) [30] is the current industry standard technology but the passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) [31] is gaining importance in the world market and is expected to replace the Al-BSF technology in the future [3]. Much PV waste currently ends up in landfill. In 2014 the Environment Ministry of Japan, through NEDO, together with private companies, began working on new technologies to pry the PV modules apart. Countries with the most ambitious PV targets Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.74390 and are being tested and for generation 3 (new materials [22]) the recycling, based modules do not have enough valuable materials to be. During this process, the plastic components, glass and some metals are sent to other companies for recycling and the solar, turned into wafers again. Life Cycle Assessment of Current Photovoltaic Module Recycling IEA PVPS T12-13:2018 The data quality of the recycling of c-Si PV modules is classified as fair since only limited information is available. The first step is, to crush and separate the materials mechanically, ment to recover the semiconductor metals. At the end of 2050 China is still forecast to have accumulated the greatest amount 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) (. Hence it is vital that consumers, industry and PV producers take responsibility for the EoL of these modules. Contact our London head office or media team here. Currently, Europe is the only, modules, including c-Si and thin-film technologies as well as an overview of the global, legislation. The process begins with the removal of the cables, junction box and frame from the PV module. The first substantial PV installations happened in the early 1990s and since early 2000s solar PV electricity distribution has grown extremely fast [1]. Several life-cycle assessment (LCA) studies that focused on PV recycling were identified. The ecodesign methodology couples the life cycle assessment method with a PVGCS design model, which is then embedded in an external optimization loop based on a multi-objective genetic algorithm, i.e., a NSGA-II variant. Maltha is a laminated-glass recycler in Belgium that services the PV CYCLE Association. 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. This study shows that effective abatement options are available to the, The cumulative global photovoltaic (PV) waste reached 250,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2016 and is expected to increase considerably in the future. NPV/size varies from −1.19 €/kg to −0.50 €/kg. 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-. Once materials can be recovered without impurities, then they will have a higher market value, which is one of the main obstacles to the growth of the PV recycling industry with the current technologies. This work assesses the environmental benefits of including the recycling strategies for PV modules at the earlier design stage of PV grid-connected systems (PVGCS) considering simultaneously techno-economic and environmental criteria. cadmium, aluminum and silicon can be recovered and reused in new products. The crystalline Si module share is 85-90% among the PV panel technologies. A typical crystalline silicon (c-Si) PV module contains approximately 75% of the total weight is from the module surface (glass), 10% polymer (encapsulant and backsheet foil), 8% aluminum (mostly the frame), 5% silicon (solar cells), 1% copper (interconnectors) and less than 0.1% silver (contact lines) and other metals (mostly tin and lead) [33]. The summary of these processes is shown in Figure 8. Summary of SolarWorld recycling process for Si modules [44]. Studies show that the impurity levels are an important issue during the recycling processes. So far, recycling processes of c-Si modules are unprofitable but are likely to be, mandated in more jurisdictions. 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. Attention has been paid particularly to silver. Because of these issues, it is very important to focus on the recycling of PV modules for all the technologies. 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. This step of the process generates CdCl2 and TeCl4 that are condensed and precipitated afterwards [43]. Whereas, there is no doubt, that solar energy will play an important role in the future of world’s energy sector, the issue of solar PV waste is still obscure. Given heavy metals present in PV modules, e.g. To begin with, the role of solar PV systems in the new energy sector will be highlighted, considering the global scenario. In limited cases, such as in Japan or the US, general waste regulations may include panel testing for hazardous material content as well as prescription or prohibition of specific shipment, treatment, recycling and disposal pathways. Policy action is needed to address the challenges ahead, with enabling frameworks being adapted Consequently, methods for recycling solar modules are being developed worldwide to reduce the environmental impact of PV waste and to recover some of the value from old modules. 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. It is expected that by 2050 that figure will increase to 5.5-6 million tons. In later sections, the environmental impacts of PV systems are discussed, considering the life cycle stages in three broad categories: manufacturing, operational, and end of life. distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. There are different cell structures for crystalline silicon-based PV cells [32]. In all cases, real solar cells were used as opposed to the pure component. After that, for CIS only, recovered as well as the glass cullet [45]. The remaining glass is exposed to a, mixture of sulfuric acid and hydrogen peroxide aiming, to reach, After that process, the glass is separated again. Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use. The process begins with the removal of the cables, junction box and frame from, the PV module. The unprofitability of the current methods does not mean that the recycling of PV modules should be discarded. Second, different scenarios have been formulated by varying the mix of virgin and recycled PV modules. Once all the installed capacity starts reaching EoL (within 20–30 years) they will create a significant waste problem for Japan. Guidelines for inclusion of results into these tables are outlined, and new entries since January 2016 are reviewed. 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. The motivation, legislation and current processes. The summary of this process is shown in Figure 5. MODEL INSTITUTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURES FOR RECYCLING OF PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULES Sheldon J. Reaven, Paul D. Moskowitz and Vasilis Fthenakis January 1996 BIOMEDICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT GROUP ANALYTICAL SCIENCES DIVISION DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED SCIENCE FirstSolar [21] has an established recycling process for CdTe, but for other thin films there are still room for improvements. 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. After that, the aluminum metallisation is also, recovered and can be used for producing wastewater treatment chemicals as aluminum oxide, [47].

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