We are redesigning solar panels to make them modular and consequently circular.
PV is one of the most important renewable energy sources available today, as it delivers solid-state, low cost, and efficient clean energy. PV energy generation is growing at a rapid rate worldwide and so is the production of PV modules. Despite tremendous product development over the previous decades, PV modules are still immensely difficult to recycle and impossible to repair. Recycling efforts only recover glass and metal parts, while the most precious materials within the solar cells end up on landfills or are crushed and downcycled. The total amount of PV waste is expected to reach 78 million tonnes by 2050.
Recovering these precious materials from PV modules would significantly reduce the necessity for virgin raw material extractions, as well as the energy required to manufacture new PV modules - it would subsequently reduce the energy payback time by half. Biosphere Solar provides this solution with a PV module that can be dis/re-assembled.