Effective Innovations in Solar Panel Recycling and Manufacturing Coming to Market
EIT RawMaterials Innovation Hub Central & West-supported start-ups are making strides in bringing innovative, green tech solutions to market in the strategically important solar panel industry. The start-ups and spin-offs, based in France and Germany, are strengthening the entire solar panel value chain with breakthrough recycling and manufacturing technologies.
ROSI Solar – Return of Silicon
ROSI Solar, a young company from Grenoble, and an EIT RawMaterials partner, is constructing a new factory capable of recycling 3,000 tonnes of solar panels per year. The new plant will bring the ROSI Solar – Return of Silicon – unique photovoltaic (PV) recycling solution to industrial scale. It is among the first companies in Europe to offer an industrial solution to economically recover high-purity silicon, silver, and copper from end-of-life PV modules.
The low environmental impact of the ROSI Solar recycling process, and the reintegration of the high-quality recycled raw materials into the supply chain, contributes to reducing the overall carbon footprint of the industry. ROSI’s advanced technology was supported by the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator programme.
Another EIT RawMaterials-supported start-up, FLAXRES, is bringing its pilot solar panel recycling system to market. It has begun industrial-scale operations at a pilot plant in Dresden capable of recycling 10 tonnes of solar modules per day. The FLAXRES unique, green solution involves a process whereby the components of PV modules are separated layer by layer using high-intensity at low-energy light pulses. This proprietary technology has enabled the recovery of silicon, silver, and high-purity glass.
EIT RawMaterials has been proud to support FLAXRES with funding through the Booster programme.
Turning to the production side of the solar panel value chain, Highline Technology, a start-up receiving EIT RawMaterials Booster support and a spin-off of EIT RawMaterials partner Fraunhofer ISE, is also bringing its next-generation manufacturing technology to market. Its highly efficient solution, developed at Fraunhofer ISE, enables a reduction in the material consumption of silver during the manufacturing of solar panels. This increases efficiency and enables significant resource-saving, further strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the industry.