SolarWorld Group Expands Module Recycling to U.S.

SolarWorld Industries America, subsidiary of Germany-based SolarWorld Group, expanded its solar module recycling program to include the U.S. market by offering customers the opportunity to return used and end-of-life solar modules. The company uses the experience gained in Germany, where recycling skills have been developed over the recent years.

SolarWorld Industries America in Camarillo will accept any crystalline solar module, regardless of the manufacturer, cell shape or size, for recycling. Newly developed technologies enable the company to recycle materials that have so far not been economically usable. The process is particularly effective with older modules that used thicker cells, consisting of two or even three times as much silicon compared to today’s state-of-the-art products. “The contribution to the environment is extraordinary,” says Raju Yenamandra, Sales Manager America. “Although SolarWorld AG gives a 25-year power warranty, many customers in the U.S. raised the question, prior to installing a solar system, how they will dispose of used solar modules.” With recycling, the SolarWorld Group brings the value chain full circle — from silicon and wafer production, through the manufacture of solar cells and modules to recycling. In the recycling process, the frame is first separated from the module, the cells are removed from the laminate and treated in an etching process resulting in clean wafers, enabling them to be used in the production of new cells and modules.
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