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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    University of New South Wales

    Location

    Kensington, New South Wales

    ARENA Program

    Addressing Solar PV End-of-Life Issues and Lowering Solar PV Cost

  • Start Date

    September 2020

    Status

    Current

  • Project Partners
    Azure Mining Technology, GrapheneX, Visy Recycling Australia, Providences Assets, JinkoSolar, Trina Solar, Central South University, DuPont, Research and Development Center China, Silicon Corporation (ENFI Group)

Summary

This project will develop a highly efficient and low-cost recycling system to recover valuable metals and silicon from end-of-life photovoltaic panels.

Need

The rapid growth in photovoltaic solar panel installations has made end-of-life panel recycling an important topic – both as an environmental challenge and business opportunity. Current recycling technologies are impractical, attributed to low energy efficiency, high-cost and harmful chemicals. It is therefore necessary to develop a highly efficient and low-cost recycling system to recycle end-of-life PV panels.

Action

Inspired by metallurgy engineering, the project will develop a highly efficient low-cost closed-loop recycling system to recover valuable metals and silicon from end-of-life solar panels. The project will leverage interdisciplinary research expertise in metallurgy (pyro- and hydro-metallurgy), photovoltaics, waste treatment, and close collaboration with industry partners across the whole supply chain in Australia and overseas. It will be technically achieved by combining state-of-the-art research methods including extensive computer simulations for system design and scale-up, lab- and pilot-scale experiments for system demonstration, and life cycle, economic and policy analyses for overall system evaluation.

Outcome

The expected outcomes include a prototype of a photovoltaic panel recycling system and scalable computer models. Lifecycle and economic analyses, will provide a cost-effective, closed-loop and practical solution to recycling photovoltaic panels. It will open up and/or transform the photovoltaic recycling industry, ultimately allowing for a more competitive and sustainable photovoltaic industry in Australia and globally.

Additional impacts

The project will directly employ nine researchers and involve two PhD students.

Read more

 Promo Lab website

Last updated
02 October 2020
Last updated 02 October 2020

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