Can my solar panel be recycled?

Are you looking for experts in home solar systems in Morris County, NJ? At Green House Solar, we’ve been proudly delivering green energy solutions to our community for over a decade, and when it comes to residential solar technology we are here to help you understand your options and decide what works best for your home.

Solar panels are popular for many reasons: solar energy is completely clean and truly renewable energy, solar panels reduce electricity bills, they’re low maintenance, and even on cloudy days they generate clean energy for your home. Solar panels on average last around 25-30 years and many people want to know if their solar panels can be recycled when it’s time for them to be replaced. 

In addition to providing completely clean and renewable energy, nearly every part of a solar panel can be recycled and reused. But as mentioned above, solar panels have a very long life and most homes will enjoy their solar panels for as long as 30 years. Both silicon based and thin-film based panels are made up of several basic components – glass, plastic, aluminum, silicon, metals – and the recycling process is slightly different for each type.

Once silicon based solar panels are disassembled, 95% of the glass and 100% of the metal are reused. The materials are processed at an extremely high temperature during which the plastic evaporates and is then reused as a heat source. In the end, 85% of the silicon can be reused.

After thin-film panels are collected, they’re shredded into pieces as small as four to five millimeters in order to remove the lamination. Then the parts made of metals are separated out and processed, while the glass is cleaned. Once a thin-film panel is completely broken down, 90% of the class can be reused and 95% of the other materials is reused.

Because solar panels are relatively new, there is room for improvement in the recycling process and new recycling methods are currently being tested. The good news is that, as mentioned above, solar panels last on average around 30 years, meaning you won’t have to send them to the recycling center for a long time. 

Contact us for all your home solar needs 

If you’ve been considering residential solar panels, give our team of experts a call and start discussing your options. We’ve been serving the Morris County NJ community for more than a decade and we’re passionate about making clean, renewable energy available to everyone. We’re standing by and ready to speak with you about your home solar needs, so contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.