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While they reach the end of their operating life, the materials used for the production of the solar panels can be re-used. The modules contain indeed materials which can be easily recycled like glass, aluminum as a wide variety of semi-conductors. The industrial recycling process already exists today especially for thin film and multi-crystalline silicon solar cells.


The recycling of the different panels materials is undoubtedly positive for the environment by reducing the wastes residual volume, but it helps also to reduce the energy amount required for the production of the panels main raw material: Silicon.

These recycling operations are outsourced to specialized companies whose mission is to recover the panels and finally select the silicon cells. The cells are primarily melted to separate the different compounds (lead, silver, silicon, residual glass ..). The product obtained is finally treated through a purification process which will enable to recover pure Silicon, available at that steps for another life cycle as silicon cell. The brand new panels so get will keep their 25 years life guaranteed period.


For a multi-crystalline Silicon panel, the current recycling ratio concerning the different materials is indicated here below:

  Kg/m2 Weight % Recycling
ratio (%)
Glass 10.0 74.16 90
Aluminium frame 1.39 10.3 100
Photovoltaic cell 0.47 3.48 90
VA (vinyl acetate),
Tedlar (PolyVinylFluoride)
1.37 10.15 -
Ribbons 0.10 0.75 95
Glue and polymers,... 0.16 1.16 -

Our partner Q-Cells is member of the PV Cycle Association (International association for the promotion of photovoltaic panels recycling).

On December 19th 2008, Q-Cells signed with other major suppliers a voluntary agreement with the European community, which set as a common target a collection of at least 65 % of the panels installed on the market and a recycling ratio of 85 % minimum for them.


M3P Solar - 115 Impasse des Iris - 26240 Beausemblant | Creation: e-partenaire | Email: | Partner: Q.CELLS