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Life cycle management and recycling of PV systems

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By Dr. Parikhit Sinha, is a Senior Scientist in the Global Sustainability group at First Solar and a member of the International Energy Agency PVPS Task 12; Sukhwant Raju, is the Global Director of Recycling Operations and Services at First Solar; Karen Drozdiak, is the Sustainability Communications and Analysis Manager at First Solar; Andreas Wade, is the Global Sustainability Director at First Solar and the Deputy Operating Agent of the International Energy Agency’s PVPS Task 12

In 2015, estimated annual global volumes of electronic waste (e-waste) reached a record 43.8 million metric tons and global e-waste generation is expected to increase up to 50 million metric tons by 2018. Even though solar PV panels significantly differ from typical consumer electronic products, global regulators view PV panels increasingly in the context of e-waste regulations. Solar PV currently accounts for less than 1% of total annual e-waste volumes.

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Photovoltaics International Archive
Welcome to the 38th edition of Photovoltaics International. There is every sign that 2018 is going to be a huge year for the industry as manufacturers continue investing in new tools and technologies. We will doubtless see many of the innovations whose evolution has been documented in these pages becoming increasingly mainstream. Sticking with bifacial solar, Fraunhofer ISE takes a wide-ranging look at a number of challenges surrounding the technology’s leap to widespread deployment. The Institute for Solar Energy Research Hamelin (ISFH) and Meyer Burger Technology AG present a novel bifacial module architecture. The University of New South Wales, Trina Solar and BT Imaging give a suggestion for predicting the variation in multicrystalline cell performance by measuring the bulk lifetime of ingots. We also have a look at PV recycling and lifecycle management from First Solar, PI Berlin’s assessment of PID issues in thin-film solar and TongWei presents a roadmap for PERC cells with 22% efficiency.

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