Recycling used solar panels
For a sustainable and circular economy
Used solar panels, we can do something with those! In recent years, solar panels have been installed on many homes in the Netherlands, combined with the construction of large solar energy parks. This is a great development towards a fossil-free society! Normally, a solar panel will last more than 20 years. However, we notice that many panels are discarded after only a few years. Together with Refurn, we focus on refurbishing and recycling solar panels.
Flash test establishes quality of used solar panels
Refurn specialises in checking and testing used solar panels for renewed deployment. They check every panel, clean it and carry out a special test. This test is a so-called flash test, that allows you to determine the quality of the panels at cell level. A discarded solar panel often turns out to be very suitable for reuse, because it still has a capacity of more than 90%, for example. Refurn is the only recycler in the Netherlands to be Cenelec certified for the reuse of solar panels.
From collection to installation
Every solar panel we collect is checked for its suitability for reuse. That’s easily 2,500 panels per year. We then deliver the suitable solar panels to Refurn. Refurn carries out repairs and cleans and inspects the panels. After inspection, Refurn draws up a report. This includes the age, condition and capacity of the panel. This report provides more information compared to new solar panels, which are usually tested on a random basis. This way, you know exactly what you are getting with each solar panel.
Solar panels with lower capacity also suitable
If a panel still has a capacity between 80 and 90%, it is very suitable for export and use abroad. For example, in countries where the cost of land is less, such as in Eastern Europe. Or where the sun shines more intensely and longer than in rainy Netherlands, such as in Southern Europe or Africa.
Refurn: social enterprise
Refurn is a social enterprise that offers people with poor job prospects opportunities to develop. Refurn also provides work-study programmes for Regional Training Centres and the Employee Insurance Agency. Read more
Stichting ZonNext: the orphanage for solar panels
We started Stichting ZonNext in conjunction with Sungivity. This is an online platform where we match discarded solar panels to a suitable applicant. For example, someone looking for used solar panels for his home or business. Or someone who wants to export the panels abroad. These used solar panels are a lot cheaper than new ones: the price mainly consists of the costs for cleaning, testing and transporting the panels. ZonNext also brings an applicant into contact with certified installation contractors for a reliable installation. Read more