Dying solar panels: how to recycle them

A way has been discovered by a team of scientists to reuse the silicon present in solar panels. For a variety of reasons, in fact, this material cannot be reused in the creation of new solar modules but the discovery of this research has identified a very useful solution.

Solar power

A team of scientists from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU) he found a way to recover the silicon present in exhausted solar panels. The latter, in fact, can be reconverted and transformed into thermoelectric material as, unlike other metals, the silicon of disused panels is no longer reusable for the creation of new solar cells and, consequently, is destined to end up in landfills.

The discovery of this research proves to be very interesting, especially in light of the recent energy crisis that is added to the scarcity of rare but indispensable metals for the energy transition.

Dying solar panels: how to reuse them

Solar panels

The silicon used in most solar cells cannot be reused for new panels as they accumulate impurity which make it impossible to reuse. Despite this, it is precisely this defect that makes it possible to reuse this material in the context of thermoelectricwhich uses some impure components to improve its performance.

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (NTU) started from shattering of solar panels through ball grinding technology. Later they added to the obtained material phosphorus powder and mallardsor, hot worked with spark plasma sintering (SPS). This technique made it possible to obtain a new material which collects heat and converts it into electricity.

Among the future objectives of the scientists there is certainly the use of this technology on a large scale: if it were possible to obtain the conversion into electricity of waste heat (such as that generated during industrial processes), another important milestone would be reached in ‘area of ​​renewables.

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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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