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Reclaim PV Recycling
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Reclaim PV FAQs

 
Here you'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Last updated 7 September 2021

FAQs

Who is Reclaim PV?

Reclaim PV Recycling is an Australian owned and operated solar panel recycling company that aims to ensure 100% recycling of materials and that no material is dumped in landfill through innovative and cost-effective collection and recycling services. This company has been built from the ground up through innovation and government engagement, together with extensive experience in the Photovoltaic (PV) industry. We are passionate about PV recycling and partnering with industry and government to build a network that Australians can use to recycle solar panels responsibly now and into the future.


What is the Reclaim PV recycling process?

Reclaim PV’s robust and efficient recycling process utilises three main techniques. The first process is manual and this ensures that the Aluminium frame is removed as well as the plastic Junction box and cables. The second process is Pyrolysis - a well-known thermal deconstruction technique - to break down and pull apart PV panels into their remaining component parts by passing them through a high-temperature furnace. Upon completion of the thermal extraction process, the recovered components are sorted. Glass and metal buss bars are placed into collection bins for delivery to materials companies. 

The third process is a chemical process to recover Silver and Aluminium from the solar cells. With the combination of these three processes, we ensure that all recoverable materials are available for re-use. 

How much is recycled?

Reclaim PV aims to ensure 100% recycling of materials and that no material is dumped in landfill.

Why is Reclaim PV a responsible option?

At Reclaim PV, we guarantee that 100% of solar panels will be recycled and the materials we extract will be re-used. No materials will end up in landfill and all processing takes place in Australia. Reclaim PV is committed to the health and safety of those who operate within our organisation and with our partners. By partnering with us to recycle your solar panels, you can be assured that you are disposing of panels in an environmentally friendly and responsible way.

We are passionate about PV recycling and partnering with industry and government to build a network that Australians can use to recycle solar panels responsibly now and into the future. Reclaim PV has completed research and development (R&D) through Flinders University and privately to develop our current separation methods. We continue to invest in R&D to achieve better outcomes. This includes looking into extraction of the PV Cells and how we can integrate them back into industry as well as gaining further value from the carbons and plastics recovered from our current process.

What is Reclaim PV doing to make recycling PV modules a viable option in Australia?

Australia’s rooftop solar installations are highest in the world (on a per capita basis), with approximately 70 million (22.3GW) installed so far and research suggesting that there will be more than 1 million panels requiring replacement annually by 2031.
 
With no industry wide approach to managing the replacement and recycling of faulty, non-performing and end of life panels, Reclaim PV offers users, installers and manufacturers of solar panels an end-to-end solution to recover these installed modules as they are decommissioned to avoid landfill and to support resource recovery and manufacturing.
 
-APVI data at June 2021

Can you take the panels off my roof?

Yes we can. Please contact us to arrange a quote.

How long will it take to collect my panels?

It will usually take about a week from your initial enquiry to have your panels collected. Should you requirethem collected by a shorter deadline please let our team know and we will work with you to see if this is possible.

What does it cost to recycle?

For any collection in Australia, the recycling fee is generally $10 ex GST per panel, noting the unit cost could come down for larger or frequent quantities. Freight is charged as an extra and is calculated on a case-by-case basis depending on location and quantity of panels. We are in the process of establishing our drop off network and we look forward to being able to announce drop off locations around Australia soon.

Why is there a cost to recycle PV modules?

Our service is comparable with the charges associated with Landfill, except that we have the added cost of transport to collect EoL PV related products from around Australia. Our “gate fees” may be slightly higher as Reclaim PV is part of an emerging response to PV waste management and, as with all new goods and services, these costs are initially higher and will reduce as  PV recycling becomes more mainstream and volumes increase.Our goal is to continue to reduce costs to make PV recycling a positive option for the PV industry and the consumers that support it.

I’ve heard some businesses take modules for free?

They might be. Generally, companies offering to take modules for free are stripping off what they easily can to make a quick buck and sending the rest to landfill. The resulting stockpiles of discarded modules can only be dealt with by putting into landfill. It is not financially sustainable for Reclaim PV to take these modules after they have been stripped and we will not downstream partner with any business that takes this reactive approach.

Do you have somewhere I can drop off the panels?

We are in the process of establishing drop off locations around Australia and hope to be able to provide a location near you soon.

What types of panels do you recycle?

Poly and monocrystalline panels. At this stage, we are unable to recycle thermal solar panels from hot water systems. Customers with thermal solar strips or panels will need to contact their local council for disposal options. 

What is the expected life of a solar panel?

15 years is considered normal in Australia due to a combination of early failure and technological upgrades such as home storage. 

Does Reclaim provide used panels for sale or donation?

We presently are not providing used panels for sale or donation as we are focused primarily on recycling. We do envisage this being an opportunity in the future and we have already taken steps to commence testing to set up for export from Australia.  

Are there any requirements for collection?

It is assumed that there will be “hardstand” (a hard stable surface such as smooth asphalt, concrete or other road-like surface) underneath the pallets so they can be moved easily on a pallet jack. If more than 4 pallets are being transported, we will need access for a Pantech (10T) or Semi to your site. Please advise if there may be any access issues at your site, so we can work to resolve these prior to the driver arriving to collect your panels.

How do I need to Palletise my panels?

All Panels need to be stored on an appropriate sized pallet for transport: 1700mm x 1120mm for residential panels (up to 1680mm long and 1100mm wide). Once they are stacked (with biggest pallets on the bottom and smaller on the top) they’ll need to be wrapped in pallet wrap to ensure any glass breakage during transport is contained. If you have commercial panels please contact us for a quote.

What do I do with my rails?

You can include these in the shipment at no cost. Just make sure they are wrapped inside your palletised freight (within the 1700 mm x 1120 mm footprint) and that total pallet height does not exceed 1500mm.

Can you recycle my inverter / batteries?

If you live in a Metro area, we can arrange for someone to collect your inverter or batteries, although this may incur an additional logistics charge, including a Dangerous Goods charge for some battery types. If you live further afield, we are usually able to offer this service but it may not be available in all rural and remote locations. To enquire further contact us. 

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