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Recycling Photovoltaic Solar Cells

The American solar power industry self-regulates itself by recycling photovoltaic solar cells in order to maintain an image of staying green.

Some of the materials used in manufacturing solar panels are dangerous. Imagine the political ramifications if a single solar panel manufacturer caused environmental contamination of any sort; it would taint the green image a bit.

recycling solar cellsFirst Solar has a solar cell recycling program, where new cells can be made from old cells.

There are instructions on how to do this kind of project all over the web. But for those who don’t want to do this, throwing away the broken panel parts is not good for the environment.

The CdTe cells have materials so bad for the environment that the manufacturer will take them back at their own expense for recycling. Its a win-win situation for everyone.

One of the manufacturers incentives to recycle is that by taking in old solar panels, the market for homemade solar cells would drop, as the potential market to give the consumer base creative ideas would then be less, as their needs are taken care of.

The company that recycles also saves money not having to create new cells.

The cost of purchasing old/broken/used panels from the recycling consumer is less than the cost of manufacturing new cells.

Recycling solar panels is also much less than the cost of dump sight clean up decades or centuries down the road.

Recycling keeps both consumers and recyclers happy and anyone recycling their old solar panels is still a potential consumer of the products these cells go into.

That is the bright side to buying American made photovoltaic equipment.

According to an article in Solid State magazine and the Washington Post, a photovoltaic cell manufacturing company in China was caught dumping tetrachloride in a field adjacent to the factory.

Dumping, is not the kind of behavior that does the solar industrys image any good.

Recycling old, used and broken solar panels however, IS.

In the United States manufacturers are self-regulating to keep the solar power industrys green image intact. Recycling photovoltaic solar cells through manufacturers that are staying green is key to the immerging industrys continued support from public opinion.




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Posted in Solar Times by admin on October 4, 2008.

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