Our Solar Pods Meet All Three Rs of Sustainability: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Solpod Leads in Reducing Environmental Impact of Solar Panel Lifecycle

With the surge in Australian businesses and households choosing to save dollars and the environment through solar generation, there has been greater scrutiny on the environmental impact of the solar panel lifecycle.  Solpod offers our unique solar pods, that meet the opportunity to lessen the environmental impact of solar panel waste during their lifecycle.

As well as being sustainable through generating renewable electricity, solar panels are themselves recyclable.  The ABC’s Rosie King recently reported however that most solar panels are ending up in landfill, despite being recyclable: “Currently, almost all broken or expired solar panels go into landfill and experts have been warning for some time that more than 100,000 tonnes of modules will end up there by 2035.”

Lotus Energy opened one of Australia’s first solar panel recycling plants in Thomastown, in Melbourne. Renew Economy stated that Lotus Energy claims: “To recycle 100% of end-of-life solar PV modules and all associated materials recovered – inverters, cables, optimisers, mounting structures – using no chemicals.”

Solpod supports Lotus Energy’s initiative to deliver solar panel recycling.  However, recycling is the last resort option for minimising waste.  Solpod’s unique technology reduces waste and the need for recycling.

Solpod Meets All Three Rs of Waste Minimisation: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

The Three Rs of Waste Hierarchy provides a framework for minimising solar panel waste:

  1. REDUCE – Reduce the need to scrap solar panels, such as, through developing solutions which do not require the permanent removal of solar panels when replacing roof sheeting.
  2. REUSE – Develop solar solutions which enable solar panels to be efficiently reused at a new site so that the life of the solar panel is not cut short by the needs of the site or customer.
  3. RECYCLE – The last option, when options to reduce and reuse have been exhausted.

The waste hierarchy shows Reduce and Reuse are preferable to the final option of Recycle.   Solpod is the only solar mounting solution for roof or ground mount which delivers on the opportunity to Reduce waste and Reuse solar panels.

Reusable Solar Pods

Reuse is one step more efficient than recycling when considering the three R’s of waste:  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  A Solpod Roof installation is uniquely designed for reuse, able to withstand moves and changes to their location.

Solpod has developed large solar pods for commercial and industrial rooftops that can be easily relocated and re-deployed  This is of real value to building owners and tenants if they need to move or undertake works on their buildings for any reason.

A building may require a solar installation to be removed for the following reasons during the lifespan of the panels (25-30 years):

  • Business Relocation
  • Building Works / Renovation
  • Roof Works
  • Redevelopment of site

Choosing a Solpod installation for a commercial or industrial rooftop allows for the solar pods to be reused at a later time.

Reducing Solar Waste

Solpod’s innovation in developing modular, moveable solar pods delivers a more sustainable solar product in having its lifespan fully utilised, especially if there is any chance that the panels may need to be removed in the foreseeable future.  A standard rooftop solar installation is usually scrapped if the panels are removed during their lifespan of 25-30 years.

Removing fixed rooftop solar panels is costly and time consuming.  A standard solar installation is usually secured to a roof with thousands of individual screws and bolts that penetrate the roof.  If a building or roof needs major works during the lifespan of the panels, the panels are most likely discarded due to the damage sustained in removing them.

Choosing relocatable Solpods over a standard solar installation meets the first waste hierachy criteria of Reduce.  Where there is a likelihood the solar panels will be removed with their lifespan of 25-30 years, a Solpod installation reduces the potential for solar waste.  The integrity of a Solpod installation is maintained when removed during its lifespan, and it is able to be redeployed.  Solpod provides a more sustainable and a flexible solar solution for the commercial and industrial market.

The Solpod Difference

Solpods‘ are a grouping of 10 solar PV panels that are encased in protective pods.  The pods are prefabricated in a factory in Dandenong.  The solar pods are efficiently installed at site via cranes.  The solar pods do not require the same labour of a standard solar installation, which can take several weeks.  A 100kW Solpod installation can be completed in only one day.

See the following demonstration of Solpods being installed at Sydney Olympic Park:

To find out more about Solpod’s Australian Made modular solar pods or solar products on offer, please contact info@solpod.com.au or call +03 9089 0753.