PV panel generated from re-use material incorporating a release encapsulant

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

The cumulative installed photovoltaic (PV-panel) capacity in the Netherlands has reached 14 GWp by 2021. With a further rapid increase of PV power an annual volume of PV waste of more than 200.000 tons/year is forecasted by 2045, making clear that adequate solutions for PV-panel end-of-life management are needed.

The aim of this project is to develop methods to prepare PV panels for re-use at end-of-life, turning waste into a useful product again. This will be approached by rebuilding of new PV panels based on components recovered from end-of-life PV panels.

Korte omschrijving
In a practical approach Endurance and TNO will be involved in rebuilding new PV panels from disassembled PV panel components by introducing a so called release encapsulant. This material enables easy disassembly of PV modules at end-of-life. Different generations of encapsulant materials will be developed and evaluated considering integration into PV panels, fast release functionality and the quality requirements important to application in PV panels: power output and durability. The release encapsulant also enables exchange of solar cells before end-of-life if higher efficiency cells become available. Exasun will focus on this subject. Exasun and TNO will evaluate the environmental benefits of the release encapsulant and material re-use potential for PV panel production by means of life cycle assessment studies (LCA).

1. Different candidate materials serving the purpose of adequate PV panel encapsulation easy and fast panel disassembly at end-of-life. 2. A process for disassembly of a PV panel and rebuilding a new one with the harvested parts. 3. Data on environmental impact, and circularity for PV panels built with the release encapsulant.