Recycle Solar Panels at Kurrajong Recycling with this World First Technology
A new and exciting partnership initiative is under way at Kurrajong Recycling which aims to change the way solar panels are disposed of and recycled in Australia.
Solar Renew is a commercial partnership between Kurrajong and solar providers The Solar Professionals, to recycle Solar PV panels at Kurrajong’s Wagga Wagga recycling site.
The Solar Professionals, in partnership with a collective known as Circular Solar Solutions Pty Ltd (a collaboration between Deakin University, APEX Greenhouses, Anderson Services, and cross industry consultants, a NSW EPA funded project), have developed a semi-automated Solar PV panel recycling plant, which it is piloting with Kurrajong Recycling.
The system works by delaminating the panels into the main components of glass, aluminium, copper, silicon, silver, and a polymer, with the process enabling each of the separated materials to be returned or sold into various commodity markets.
Glass from the panels are earmarked for the likes of agricultural and domestic glasshouses, and the system is also being investigated by the USA National Research Energy Lab as it trials the manufacturing of new solar panels.
The pilot plant was commissioned at Kurrajong’s recycling site between April and July this year, and technicians are currently being trained in the use of the equipment, opening up several employment opportunities as a result.
Kurrajong Chief Executive Ray Carroll said the pilot was a hugely exciting initiative that Kurrajong was thrilled to be part of.
The commercial arrangement between Kurrajong and The Solar Professionals meant not only was Kurrajong able to extend the varied employment opportunities for recycling staff, about half of whom are living with disability, but it would benefit financially from a scheme that would have positive benefits on the environment, and for the community.
“We are continually looking for ways to build what we can offer our clients and customers, so this initiative was a great way to investigate something that will help create employment, income, and environmental benefits across the board. We are thrilled to be involved and excited to see what this partnership will bring in the future.”
The Solar Professionals Managing Director, Mr Daniel Kimber said he is excited to be partnering with Kurrajong to operate what is believed to be a “first of its kind” automated recycling plant in Australia that could separate the panel into its raw materials . Daniel continuing saying Circular Solar Solutions is looking forward to further develop the technology from the lessons learnt from operating the pilot plant in Wagga under Solar Renew which will be valuable in developing Generation 2 of the Plant.