Europe's first waste photovoltaic panel recycling plant
Solar panels have a service life of 20 to 30 years. Along with the mass production of the global solar energy manufacturing industry in the past few years, a few years later, the world will set off a wave of “disposable tides” of photovoltaic panels, and even reach tens of millions of tons by 2050!
Veolia's first photovoltaic panel recycling plant in Europe is in operation, with a recycling rate of over 95% for PV module materials. Today, I will talk about this technology-rich recycling plant.
In Roosset, in the south of France, Veolia has partnered with the European PV module recycling organization PV Cycle and the Syndicat des Energies Renouvellables. The first solar panel recycling plant in Europe was officially put into operation. The plant will recycle 1,300 tons of solar panels in 2018 and set a target of recycling 4,000 tons in 2022.
Veolia's recycling plant is able to recover 95% of the material in crystalline silicon photovoltaic panels. Previously, aged or damaged solar panels were typically sent to glass recycling facilities to recover only glass and aluminum frames. The remaining material is sent to the cement furnace for incineration. In addition, the glass recycling plant can only recycle the special glass cup of the solar panel and mix it with other ordinary glass, resulting in waste.
Bernard Harambillet, CEO of Veolia Waste Management Solutions, said: “The Roosset plant is the first factory in France to recycle photovoltaic panels. It demonstrates France's excellence in innovation and waste disposal. In the future, these specialties Knowledge can be applied elsewhere."
Veolia's recycling plant specializes in the "crystal silicon" photovoltaic panels that are in the end. A typical crystalline silicon solar panel is made of 65-75% glass, 10-15% aluminum frame, 10% plastic, and 3-5% silicon. Veolia's recycling plant can dismantle, sort, process and recycle 95% of its materials.
In order to improve efficiency and safety, Veolia uses automatic robots to complete the disassembly and sorting of solar panels.
After the sorted materials are processed and packaged, they are sent to different industries for reuse. Among them, two-thirds of the glass is recycled and becomes cullet, which is sent to the glass manufacturing industry; the aluminum frame is sent to the aluminum refinery; the waste plastic can be used as a fuel in the cement plant; the recovered silicon can be used in the precious metal industry. It is reused; finally, the remaining cables and connectors are crushed and sold as copper beads.
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