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Development of a Modular Cradle to Cradle Process-Chain for c-Si-PV Panel Recycling
J. Glatthaar, E. Kamdje, J.B. Barnikel, M. Dax, V. Schaub, H.G. Stevens, B. Jehle, U. Ricklefs, E.A. Stadlbauer, H. Weigand
Encapsulation, Recycling, Silicon Solar Cell(s), PV Modules
Performance, Reliability and Sustainability of Photovoltaic Modules and Balance of System Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 33rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 5EO.1.6
1528 - 1532
ISBN: 3-936338-47-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20172017-5EO.1.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


End-of-life photovoltaic modules are part of the electric and electronic equipment addressed by the WEEE-directive. Thus, defined recycling rates need to be fulfilled for this particular waste stream. As opposed to largely destructive recovery technologies available on the market this project aims at developing a comprehensive c- Si-PV-panel recycling concept capable of conserving technological intelligence inherent to end-of-life PV modules. The approach is characterized by a tailor-made repair/recycling process for the individual modules based on a reliable failure analysis. Therefore, visual inspections of the end-of-life modules are complemented by electroluminescence measurements and the determination of current-voltage characteristics. The most appropriate recycling procedure is assigned to each module. Ideally refurbishment can be achieved by eliminating panel defects in single repair steps (e.g. exchange of broken glass or wafers or defect connection boxes), which restore full function. Photovoltaic modules with irreparable damages are successively dismantled into components. All intact parts are recovered for the assembly of 2nd life PV modules. Broken and destroyed parts are fed into industrial raw material repair/recycling process chains. This cascaded recycling approach is expected to be more environmentally beneficial compared to existing raw material recycling in terms of energy demand and resource consumption.