This article was brought to you by Energy Matter’s partner, REC Solar.
With the lifespan of a solar panel being anywhere between 10 and 25 years, and now with millions of Aussie homes installing them, the number of old solar panels going into landfill is about to dramatically increase.
It’s time to switch to responsible solar.
You know you are choosing a green panel when choosing REC, with its almost zero lead modules and low-carbon manufacturing process across the entire value chain.
What happens to solar panels at the end of their lifespan?
The majority of solar panels contain lead and when a panel is disposed of incorrectly and sent to landfill, it poses an environmental risk. State governments are already taking steps to ensure there are recycling programs in place to guarantee solar panels are recycled correctly, but more needs to be done.
Now more than ever, solar panel owners need to consider what materials are used to create the panels they choose. A simple action for consumers is to invest in long-lasting panels that contain almost zero lead.
Introducing the REC Alpha Pure Series
The Alpha Pure Series by REC uses lead-free solar technology. The series has eliminated lead from all panel components, including cell connections, cross connectors and junction box soldering, while providing customers with a higher power density of up to 219 watts per square metre.
The REC Alpha Pure Series marks an important advancement in sustainability. This panel meets the European RoHS regulation2, which is mandatory for all kinds of electrical products, but not for photovoltaic panels. This innovation is a testament to REC’s continued commitment to clean solar energy while saving on natural resources, reducing waste and eliminating hazardous components.
This means that the Alpha Pure Series is significantly less harmful to the environment and is easier to dispose of at the end of its working life with less impact to the ecosystem – creating a greener approach from start to finish of a solar panel’s lifespan.
For more information on the REC Alpha Pure Series please visit: https://www.recgroup.com/en/alpha
RECs commitment to sustainability
REC’s commitment to sustainability and climate change is not just limited to eliminating lead, in fact, we have been pioneering low-energy manufacturing processes in our entire value chain that has been setting industry standards for the lowest carbon-footprint products. REC’s solar panels are both sustainably designed and manufactured and we are proud to be pioneers of innovation.
One innovation in this has been the off-cut, or kerf, recycling of solar grade silicon in Norway, positioning REC as the industry leader. These processes not only reduce waste but are recycled to build the next generation of panels.
REC Kerf solar grade silicon recycling benchmark.
REC’s E2M process flowchart
Image sourced from REC Group’s CSR Report 2020
Recycling REC panels
Since the REC recycling program launched in 2014 we have achieved a recycle rating of 100%. Old panels are retrieved and the components are harvested for raw materials including aluminium, silver and copper.
Our focus on sustainable innovation and quality embraces not only technology but also the entire value chain, from sourcing and production through to disposal of solar panels at the end of their service life, giving our customers a solar panel that is truly green both inside and outside.