Recycled solar battery from discarded solar module
The Korea Institute of Energy Research announced on Aug. 19 that recycling a discarded solar panel has succeeded in making a highly efficient solar battery, and the commercial recycling technology was recently transferred to solar switchgear manufacturer HST.
Currently, the life of solar power generating units is limited to three decades or less, with the number of such units increasing rapidly. This means that the amount of waste solar cells will skyrocket in the near future.
A solar panel consists of recyclable elements such as glass, aluminum, silicon and copper. With the right technology, more than 80 percent of it can be recycled. The recycling technology developed by the institute consists of the automated dismantling of frames and junction boxes, ultra-pure glass separation, the recovery of valuable metals and the reprocessing of solar modules.
The key process in this technique is the separation of the glass-sealant interface. The glass in the solar panel can be almost completely recycled through this process. In addition, the technology consumes much less energy than existing ones and is able to prevent the mixing of separate components and materials.
The institute made a six-inch ingot and wafer by refining the silicon it extracted from the discarded plate. Subsequently, a solar battery with an efficiency of 20.05 percent was successfully manufactured as part of general solar battery production processes.