Recycling Improves the Big Picture of Solar Power Energy Efficiency
When we think about solar panels, we focus on the significant savings, durability, and environmental benefits. To understand the bigger picture, we should also consider solar power energy efficiency and how it relates to recycling.
Over the lifespan of an average solar panel, almost 100x more energy will be created in operation than is used in the production of the panel. This means that solar panels aren’t just carbon neutral, they also create a positive carbon offset.
Solar panels last around 25 – 30 years in most cases. After this time, they must be replaced, and the discarded components need to re-enter the supply chain. Today, recycling is limited, even though almost every piece of material in a panel can technically be reused. The recycling industry is catching up, but it will take time before all solar panels can be reprocessed.
New research has found a more effective method to recycle thin-film solar cells. These cells are becoming more popular, so it’s good news for the wider industry. With better recycling, the overall solar power energy efficiency ratio will significantly improve.
What’s the Latest News on Solar Panel Recycling?
Thin-film solar cells represent only 10% of the solar market today. This figure will grow because thin-film cells are more versatile than the traditional alternatives. They have excellent performance in demanding conditions, particularly when the cells need to be bent around an irregular structure. Thin-film is a potential solution for the widespread use of solar shingles and roofing panels.
Researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden recently discovered a new method of recovering metals from thin-film solar cells. The method is called leaching, and it is capable of recovering 100% of the silver used in thin-film cells, along with up to 85% of the indium. The process is performed at room temperature and there’s no need to introduce heat. This means less energy in the recycling process, which improves the overall solar power energy efficiency when looking at the bigger picture.
Developments like this will enhance the solar panel recycling industry. We could eventually reach a point where all of the materials from old solar panels are extracted and recycled for use in the solar manufacturing industry, or other industries.
Getting the Best New York Solar Installation with Environmental Benefits
As the recycling industry continues to develop, you can have confidence knowing that your New York solar installation will bring environmental benefits.
One in every five New York homes uses a form of fuel oil for heating. Fuel oil is also used to generate electricity for the grid. New York is hoping to generate 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
You can already go renewable at home with solar power in New York. Solar panels on your roof can power your home during the day. You can also install a battery backup system to store electricity that can be used in the evenings.
You could also add electric heating and cooling to your home, which is more affordable and efficient. There’s even a Federal tax credit available if you install a heat pump and water heater at your home. This will be available until 2032. Combined with tax credits and incentives for solar power, making your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly is more affordable than ever.
Start with an Estimate for Solar Power in New York
You can get a free estimate for solar power in New York. The team at New York Power Solutions is ready to get started on your energy savings evaluation. We’ll provide you with a complete cost/benefit analysis, so you can see how an investment in solar will pay off over time.
Solar power energy efficiency continues to increase. There has never been a more economically or practically viable time to make the switch to clean energy.