Recycling of Solar Products

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Introduction of solar products to local markets has to provide approaches for recycling, especially concerning mass production.

Currently, there are only a few options to handle used solar products. Since solar products consist mainly of some electronics and the battery, the latter is the first component which has to be replaced after a few years.

Environmental Impacts and Consumer Awareness

No matter which material the battery contains, none of these should be placed in the environment.

This draws the attention to two important aspects:

  1. consumer awareness and
  2. recycling of material.

As studies[1][2][3] already proven, users mainly do not worry about environmental impacts. Thus, due to living circumstances exist only little awareness of environmental protection or climate change. Additionally, if people are not used to the usage of batteries, they are not informed about possible hazardous consequences. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the topic of creating awareness among people already during the introduction phase.


Furthermore, waste disposal for batteries and recycling facilities should be provided within the countries. Few recycling facilities already exist, but there remain a lot of difficulties, which have to be faced, such as untrained employees, unknown factories, inappropriate recycling measures (concerning recycling quality and worker's health).

This article informs about the measures of recycling concering PV batteries, including technical steps, metallurgical aspects and environmental considerations.

In this article specific considerations of recycling of PicoPV systems and already existing facilities are discussed.

Further Information


  1. International Finance Corporation – The World Bank. 2008. Lighting Africa Market Assessment Results Quantitative Assessment - Ethiopia
  2. Lighting Africa. 2008. Lighting Africa Market Assessment Results Quantitative Assessment - GHANA
  3. International Finance Cooperation - The World Bank. 2008. Kenya Qualitative Off-Grid Lighting Market Assessment