Around 1.3 million homes in the UK are using solar panels to provide power in their everyday lives, and this is expected to grow. While solar PV panels last around 25 years, there will come a time when you will need to replace the system. But how do you dispose of solar panels already in use?
Solar panels are highly recyclable, meaning that even at the end of their life, your solar panels are still environmentally friendly!
In this blog, we take a deeper dive into the disposal of solar panels so that when it comes to replacing your solar system, you will know exactly what needs to be done.
How are solar panels recyclable?
Solar panels are almost completely constructed from recyclable materials such as aluminium, glass, and silicon.
In the UK, we have an established solar panel recycling infrastructure, meaning that it is easy to do and, if stuck to, in some years’ time, we could have a generation of solar panels made from the recycled materials of solar panels currently in use.
What is the process of the disposal of solar panels?
The process of recycling a solar panel requires specialised machinery, which can make it slightly arduous, but the benefit of recycling each component outweighs the complicated recycling process.
First, each aluminium frame is removed and sent to be reused. Every inch of this material is recyclable, so there is no waste from this process.
The remaining solar panel is put on a conveyor belt, on which the glass is separated. It is estimated that around 95% of the glass is sent to be reused.
At this point, the process gets a little more technical, as the solar panels undergo thermal processing at around 500° to evaporate small plastic components, which will make it easier for the cells to be separated.
Finally, the silicon wafers are taken from any remaining material and smelted into slabs, ready to be used in new solar panels.
How to dispose of solar panels for recycling
In the UK, we still follow EU regulations for solar panels (despite Brexit). This means that the company that installed your solar system is legally obliged to take your old solar panels from you or fund a Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS).
Manufacturing and importing solar panel companies in the UK must also be part of a Producer Compliance Scheme (PCS), which ensures that solar panels and their materials are disposed of correctly and recycled as much as possible. We have a government-approved collective PV CYLE, who provide fully compliant PCS and DTS services.
When it comes to disposing of your solar panels, jump on the phone with us, and we can work with you to provide a disposal service that complies with all necessary regulations and ensures the materials are recycled so your actions continue to help the environment.
What to do if your solar installation company has gone out of business
Despite the boom in solar panels and solar companies in recent years, the company you used for solar panel installation may be no longer trading. If this is the case, how do you dispose of your solar panels?
Solar panels are all taken to Designated Collection Facilities before they go to recycling plants.
Should you not be able to contact the company that installed your solar panels, you can use a service like PV CYCLE to collect your solar panels and take them to one of these collection facilities.
If you are unsure about upgrading your solar system and disposing of your current solar panels, get in touch with our experts. We will be able to discuss your options and give you peace of mind.
How much does solar panel disposal cost?
The disposal of solar panels will cost you nothing! You just need to make a phone call, and the collection service should be provided for free.
Speak to our team about solar panel disposal
The team at Solar Service Solutions are experts in solar panel systems and solar panel disposal, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at 0808 503 8484.
Don’t forget, we also provide solar panel maintenance, cleaning and repair services, so if you aren’t quite at the point of replacing your system, we can help keep your system working to the best of its ability, keeping it going for as long as possible.
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