ITRI has partnered with Taiwanese solar panel and cell manufacturer United Renewable Energy (URE) and San Fang Chemical Industry Co Ltd. to develop a solar module that is simple to fully disassemble at the end of its useful life and is 100% recyclable.
The module meets IEC international standards and received its first certification granted by TÜV Rheinland for high safety and reliability, the companies say. The module can be fully recycled, and the recovered materials – such as silicon and glass – can be reused, saving the decommissioned PV modules from being broken up or degraded.
ITRI’s R&D team estimates that the recycle value of retired PV modules could significantly rise, from roughly $18 million to $74 million per gigawatt, creating a new circular economy model for the solar industry.
The redesign of the module started with a new encapsulant and took into consideration the product life cycle of the backplane, cells and bracket of a PV module, the companies add.
The module has already been tested in Keelung Island, Penghu, and southern France. In addition to passing IEC 61215 and IEC 61730 tests and receiving TÜV Rheinland’s certification, the technology is expected to obtain Taiwan’s Voluntary Product Certification in the first quarter of 2023.