Photovoltaic Recycling Processes

Garvin Heath, Cara Libby, Stephanie Shaw, Karsten Wambach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations


Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations must be properly dismantled and any waste treated and disposed of at the end of project life. However, because most of the world's nearly 400 GW of PV systems have been built in the past decade - each expected to operate for between 20 and 30 years - current PV module waste volumes do not yet justify widespread operation of PV recycling facilities. In anticipation of increasing demand however, several recycling companies are evaluating the PV waste market to assess waste-volume growth. Others are pursuing research- and pilot-stage PV module recycling activities. The latter are mostly commercial laminated glass and metal recyclers that process batches of PV modules on a periodic basis. This report describes a recent survey-based evaluation of existing commercial and pilot-scale recycling processes in Europe, and associated life cycle inventory data.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2018
Event7th IEEE World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC 2018 - Waikoloa Village, United States
Duration: 10 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


Conference7th IEEE World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, WCPEC 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikoloa Village

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-6A20-73722


  • companies
  • electronic waste
  • Europe
  • glass
  • metals
  • recycling
  • silicon


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