Solar Panel Recycling | The Australian Plan


Key Points:

  • Reclaim PV Recycling sets up the first large-scale solar recycling plant in Adelaide.
  • By kick-starting a nationwide collection process, Reclaim PV Recycling aims to tackle Australia’s solar waste head-on.
  • Interested in solar now that it’s more sustainable than ever? Get 3 complimentary quotes.


Tackling Australia’s PV Recycling Issue

In a feat to reduce broken and end-of-life solar panels, Reclaim PV Recycling has set up Australia’s first large-scale solar recycling plant.

Taking on a long-term industrial lease, Reclaim PV Recycling aims to reduce the amount of solar waste going to landfill.

After years of research and logistical modelling, Australia is finally ready to take solar panel recycling to a new level.

As part of the model, industry operators are encouraged to nominate their businesses as a recycling depot. Participants will need the room to store up to at least three pallets of solar panels before Reclaim PV Recycling can collect and transport them to the Adelaide plant for recycling.

End Of Life Cycle Solar Panels

Solar panels have a relatively long-life cycle that is estimated to be between 15-35 years.

Although Australia’s solar uptake has been rapid, it has only really hit its all-time high in the last decade- which means that the need for solar recycling won’t really take off for another decade.

Partnering with solar manufacturers such as Q Cells, Suntech, Canadian Solar and Yingli, Reclaim PV Recycling has tested solar recycling processes on failed warranties and damaged products from these manufacturing giants.

Solar RecyclingRecycle

Using grant-funded research, Reclaim PV Recycling has fine-tuned its method of separating the solar panel materials that are bound together by ethyl vinyl acetate.

Using staged heat practices, Reclaim PV Recycling has uncovered how to peel away various components of the panels which are then recovered, sorted and sold to raw material companies for reuse.

Other elements that are recoverable from solar panels are:

  • Glass (75%)
  • Aluminium (8%)
  • Silicon (5%)
  • Copper (1%)
  • Small amounts of silver, tin & lead.

Solar As A Sustainable Source

Not only is solar a renewable resource, it’s now an extremely ethical and sustainable product.

If you are ready to do your part for our planet let’s get you connected to three complimentary solar quotes.

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Beginners Guide to Solar Power

If you’re considering solar for your property or just looking to maximise the savings for your solar system, download a FREE copy of our "Ultimate Guide to Solar Power in Australia - 2021 Edition".

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.

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