From pv magazine India
Researchers from City University of Hong Kong have proposed blockchain-based solar passports as an effective solution to monetize solar PV plant assets in India. It says that such material passports could fill in the data gap during the entire life cycle of PV modules.
The framework would allow verification of the origin, quality, and quantity of materials used in PV panels, thereby boosting recycling investors’ confidence and facilitating the secondary market for PV assets. The researchers, Nallapaneni Manoj Kumar and Shauhrat S. Chopra, highlight the urgent need for integration of the proposed framework into existing or new policies and regulations in India.
The researchers project India’s PV waste potential at 1.95 megatons resulting from the grid-connected solar PV facilities installed in the nation before January 31, 2019. The researchers modeled material recovery under three recycling techniques, namely, the standard industrial procedure as the baseline scenario, the thermochemical demanufacturing procedure, and the delamination procedure.
In the baseline scenario, the PV waste is directly subjected to shredding without removing a PV panel’s rear-side junction box. The shredded PV panels are then processed using metallurgical and induction sorting methods to recover materials.
In contrast, in the thermal and chemical scenario, the end-of-life (EoL) PV panels are treated differently, where the junction boxes at the rear side of the PV module and cables are separated first. Thereafter, the remaining PV waste is subjected to thermal treatment followed by chemical treatment to recover materials.
Similarly, in the delamination scenario, the junction boxes and cables are manually removed from EoL PV panels. The glass component is then isolated from solar cells during the cutting step of the recycling process, and thermal approaches are applied to recover useful materials from the residual waste.
The analysis indicates that the front glass of the PV module, which constitutes approximately 59.51% of its weight, is the most prevalent component for material recovery. Specifically, for every 1 tonne of PV waste, 595 kg of glass can be recovered, with the potential to recover around 89.6% to 98% of the glass under different recycling scenarios.
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