Solar panel life and recycling

Solar Panel

ITEHIL has portable solar panels that can bring sustainable electricity for activities such as outdoor camping and RV travel. I believe some people must be curious, how long is the lifespan of solar panels? And can solar panels be recycled? Next, let’s find out more about it with ITEHIL.

If you have worked in the solar panel industry, or are engaged in an industry related to solar panels, you will have a clear understanding of the benefits that solar energy brings to the world. Compared to other forms of energy production, clean renewable energy boosts local economies, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and requires little maintenance over the life of the investment.

For an industry that prides itself on sustainability, it is important to focus on recycling when solar panels reach their life limit and can no longer be used, so that landfills are not filled with panels. At this time, what you may be thinking about is how long can solar panels last? According to research, the service life of glass solar panels is about 30 years.


Over the life of a photovoltaic panel, power capacity may decrease by up to 20%. Efficiency drops by up to 10% between the first 10 and 12 years and by 20% by 25 years. This is confirmed by many solar panel manufacturers. Nonetheless, experience shows that, in practice, efficiency drops by only 6 to 8 percent after 25 years. Therefore, solar panels may last much longer than officially stated. High-quality photovoltaic panels can even last up to 30 to 40 years and can still be used afterwards with only a small loss in efficiency.


So can solar panels be recycled? The answer is yes. Silicon solar photovoltaic modules are mainly made of glass, aluminum alloys, plastics, cells, etc. These materials can be decomposed, but these materials need to be separated in advance. Here are the main steps to successfully recycle silicon solar modules:

Disassembled aluminum frame (100% reusable)

Separating glass along conveyor belt (95% reusable)

High temperature heat treatment (this allows evaporation of small plastic components, making them easier to separate)

Etch away the silicon wafer and smelt it into a reusable slab (85% reusable)


Therefore, solar panels have a long lifespan and can be recycled. But solar panel recycling infrastructure needs to be set up to manage the large number of PV modules that will be processed. If you want to know more about solar panels, please follow ITEHIL.


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