JinkoSolar develops innovative recycling process for solar panels

By JinkoSolar

JinkoSolar has developed a process via which 92% of the materials which make up a solar panel can be recycled, including cells, front glass, back sheet, aluminium frame, copper wire, encapsulation material and junction box.

Unlike conventional recycling methods which mix  materials together, making them difficult to separate, the company’s solution separates the glass and silicon wafer through thermal and mechanical processes and takes advantage of the different melting points of encapsulation material like thermoset EVA/POE when the module is heated for disassembly. Once the encapsulation material has decomposed, the module can be easily dismantled, with elements like glass and ribbon able to be separated whole from the panel as opposed to as pellets. This process not only maintains the purity of the materials, but also allows for silver to be extracted from intact solar wafers, meaning that JinkoSolar panels will no longer be discarded into landfill at their end of life.

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