Proof of concept study shows path to easier recycling of solar modules

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The use of femtosecond lasers to form glass-to-glass welds for solar modules would make the panels easier to recycle, according to a proof-of-concept study conducted by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

The welds would eliminate the need for plastic polymer sheets that are now laminated into solar modules but make recycling more difficult. At the end of their useful lifespan, the modules made with the laser welds can be shattered. The glass and metal wires running through the solar cells can be easily recycled and the silicon …

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