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Waste - Based on Thin-Film and Silicon Photovoltaics - Very Welcome as Secondary Raw Materials
W. Palitzsch, G. Schwichtenberg, A. Killenberg, I. Röver
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4DV.2.23
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
0,00 EUR
Document(s): poster


Recycling allows the materials in otherwise one-use products to go on to become something new and saves resources over sourcing new materials that´s why it is amazing. And the best way is, of course, a complete recovery of all components. In recent years, we have tried to develop a universal concept for as many solar module types as possible. It will be introduced a technology that allows us to recycle both thinfilm PV and silicon-based module types. An important role is played by light and water. Used correctly, complete disassembly of old solar modules into their individual components is now possible. Contrary to conventional technologies, like shredder, we do not break the glass - when entire modules come back. Using technologies from the field of optical nanotechnology it has been possible to fully open the sandwich structure, without damaging the glass. We obtained a very high level quality of glass, usable demonstrably for float glass production. The same can be said for the recycling of silicon modules. Our water jet technology allows complete splitting of existing components. Both methods in combination allow recycling for almost all PV module types with the respective preservation of the glasses. The appropriate chemical treatment has been developed for all separated components so that semiconductor layers, rear contacts, front contacts - regardless of whether ITO, silver or molybdenum - can be used. But until the time has come for photovoltaic modules to find their way into recycling after they have reached the end of their life, the production waste from manufacturing must also be processed and, if possible, returned. For a multitude of new developments in the field of cells and modules, this is a primary task that needs to be worked on.