WASTE ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT (WEEE): A CLOSER LOOK AT PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS

Kusch, S.; Alsheyab, M. A. T.
Abstract:
End-of-life solar photovoltaic (PV) panels represent a waste stream that will show high and rapid increase from 2020 onwards. Annual quantities could rise by a factor of 25 or higher in the period 2020 to 2050, turning waste PV panels into a material stream that will account for a significant share of waste electrical and electronic equipment occurrence. Assessing the types of modules on the market displays a high and further growing variety of PV panels, showing differences in design, basic technology and used components, which poses specific challenges with view to recycling. A compilation of the composition of main PV panel types reveals that standard recycling procedures can be applied to those components that account for the major share of the panel mass (glass, aluminum, polymers, electronics). However, PV panels also contain precious materials such as indium, gallium, tellurium, silver, but they account for very low percentages of the total panel mass. Precious materials warrant increased efforts to implement advanced PV recycling processes that aim at recuperation of low concentrated constituents. At the same time, in particular when managing thin-film PV panels, hazardous components (cadmium, heavy metals) require specific attention.
SGEM Research areas:
Year:
2017
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Keywords:
e-waste; solar energy; solar panels; photovoltaic modules; end-of-life management
Volume:
17
SGEM Book title:
17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017
Book number:
41
SGEM Series:
International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference-SGEM
Pages:
317-324
Publisher address:
51 Alexander Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
Bulgarian Acad Sci; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Slovak Acad Sci; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; World Acad Sci; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Ac
Period:
29 June - 5 July, 2017
ISBN:
978-619-7408-06-5
ISSN:
1314-2704
Conference:
17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, 29 June - 5 July, 2017
DOI:
10.5593/sgem2017/41/S18.041
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