Solar Panel Deconstruct

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Solar Panel Deconstruct

Postby Blue Peter » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:20 pm

G'day all
I have a question. What elements from the Periodic Table are in a typical solar panel?
What amount and where is each of these elements sourced from?

Lets do a solar Panel Deconstruct, so we can see what materials go into a typical solar panel.
Thanks, Blue Peter...................
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Re: Solar Panel Deconstruct

Postby Chaff_Cutter » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:50 pm

Hi Blue,

Best guess, I think that most of the contents of a panel is sand in the form of silicon.
More silicon for the glass front panel.
There'd be some lead and tin for the solder.
Aluminium (or aluminum for our U.S. viewers) for the frame.
As for proportions, well that'd vary with the panel and its age I'd imagine.

Scotty
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Re: Solar Panel Deconstruct

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:58 pm

There is also Copper in the wire and various plastics (Carbon, Hydrogen, Chlorine, Oxygen etc) in the connection box, plus small percentages of the Silicon doping elements, various elements are used for that, depending on the particular type of panel. Possibly some Zinc if any bits are galvanised, and stainless steel- Iron, Chromium, Nickel, Manganese, Carbon etc
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Re: Solar Panel Deconstruct

Postby Smurf1976 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:48 pm

The plastic backing is hydrogen, carbon and minor amounts of other things as a general rule for most plastics.

The ultimate source, that is the raw material, for making most plastics is natural gas (specifically the ethane component of gas) although in some cases the raw material is propane (LPG) or oil-based liquids (diesel being one plus various others).

Main components of a panel - silicon (sand), glass (sand), aluminium, plastic, small amounts of other metals including copper.
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Re: Solar Panel Deconstruct

Postby Blue Peter » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:42 am

Thanks to all, for giving this some thought.
I have a book called "Twinke Deconstruct" it is about the ingredients in a biscuit called twinke, the parent company went bankrupt. It turns out biscuits have more in common with a oil refinery than a wheat field and this got me thinking.
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Re: Solar Panel Deconstruct

Postby Dricus » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:48 pm

Very interesting topic :)

The bus wires also contain a small amount of silver for better conductivity, so probably a mix of tin (Sn), silver (Ag), and copper (Cu).
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