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Can Your Solar Panels Be Recycled?

August 12, 2022

Solar panels installed on entire roof

Solar installation perfectly covering the rooftop.

Solar energy is one of the biggest renewable sources you can market for in the United States. Most Americans can see the benefits that comes with installing your very own residential solar panels at your property. Benefits mostly come in finances, taxes, and environment which can be a huge help and beneficial to your family. Solar panels can be purchased from solar retailers or smaller panels for small usage from retail stores. With such a big growth in the production of solar panels, most homeowners will end up making the switch eventually, the benefits are too good to pass up on a renewable energy source like solar. 

Solar energy is produced by taking sunlight that naturally hits the surface of this planet and using it to excite electrons inside a silicon-based cell that creates an electrical current. That solar energy is then dispersed to the power outlets of your home as well as the lighting and anything else that uses electricity on your property. Solar panels, like most electronic devices, have lots of parts that are recyclable, and some solar panels systems can get big and create a lot of waste when the life of the panel ends, which can take around 25-40 years. 

Solar Panel Materials

Solar panels need high quality materials to make sure they are durable and work efficiently with your home and power grid. In order to be able to build an industry solar panel, solar manufacturers have used five main materials in their panels to provide a solid energy system that will last years on your property. The materials are usually a metal like aluminum to help with the structure and rigidity of the panels, silicon makes up the solar energy cells, glass sheet to protect the silicon, 12v wires that run from under the system, and bus wire to connect the solar cells together. These materials are what are used in most solar panels, but materials depend on who produced the solar panels. If you have any questions about the materials on the panels you are shopping for, contact the solar retailer and they will be happy to provide that information to you. 

Solar Frame

Solar panels frames must be very sturdy because to is going to being high end materials and must do so in extreme weather conditions. Some areas in the United States have intense winds and homeowners in those locations must be able to have solar panels on their home that do not go on flying away. The frames are made of metal, most of them aluminum, which helps with structure and durability. 

Silicon Solar Cell

The main material to be able to produce solar energy is the silicon solar cell. There are different types of cells. There are single silicon cells that are large silicon cells and are the most optimal to produce solar energy. The other solar cell is made from multiple silicon cells that are mended together; these produce less energy than a single silicon solar cell. The cells absorb sunlight and convert it through a photovoltaic process. 

Glass Sheet

The glass sheet is important because it protects the silicon from heat and weather, without the glass, the silicon would become brittle fairly soon. It is a thick glass to help from debris in the air from breaking it, the glass sheet is also fully insulated to prevent humidity from building inside where the silicon lies. The increase in temperature lowers the efficiency of the solar panels so providing a way to keep the silicon cold and dry is the best way to keep the panels lasting longer. 

12v Wire

The 12v wire that solar energy panels have are meant to transfer the solar energy being produced into the inverter.  

Bus Wire

Bus wires are used to connect silicon solar cells together so they can be synchronized with energy production. They must carry that current out of the solar panels. These wires are covered with a layer with soldering to make it easy to solder them together. 

Solar Panels Are Recyclable

A solar panel is made up of plenty of silicon solar cells that help the system produce electrical power using sunlight. The panels are part of a larger energy system that combines multiple panels that will help hit a target utility bill. What that means is that the size of the solar panel energy system is dependent on how much energy you are trying to offset using your own renewable energy The technology and materials solar panels have will change overtime to best utilize the technology. The great thing about these materials is that most of the materials solar panels are made of are recyclable which means solar panels are considered recyclable. That is an important thing because of how massive the solar panel systems are. After the solar panels have reached their age limit and stop working, we will be able to get those materials and create new solar panels out of them. Electronic waste is turning into a big issue on our planet, and it is good to know that solar panels will not be part of the issue. They are helping by providing clean energy for all to use while helping you save money every month. 

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Solgen Power is a solar energy equipment company that sells and installs solar for homeowners. Solgen Power has been recognized by INC. 5000 as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Solgen Power has grown nationwide and continues to provide excellent customer service to homeowners.

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