Unusual Solar - Renewable and Reused Materials

Mostly, solar panels are made up of nonrenewable, artificially derived components. Virgin plastic, carbon fiber, petrochemical resins. However, can you make a solar panel from renewable and re-purposed materials? We did some tests to find out.

It turns out that the properties that make the plastic good for dog food packaging is very good for the mid-layer in our proprietary SSP panel. And it looks cool.

It turns out that the properties that make the plastic good for dog food packaging is very good for the mid-layer in our proprietary SSP panel. And it looks cool.

Even Cheezies - a Canadian classic

Even Cheezies - a Canadian classic

Flax reinforcing fiber and biologically derived epoxy

Flax reinforcing fiber and biologically derived epoxy

Yes, even woodgrain.

Yes, even woodgrain.

Raw, Saskatchewan grown flax fiber

Raw, Saskatchewan grown flax fiber

Compressed and laminated

Compressed and laminated

Certainly, more testing is required to determine the permeability and performance of these materials, but there’s a lot of potential to reduce the embodied energy and environmental footprint of the ingredients to go into solar panels.

Preliminary calculations show that using these materials can reduce the embodied energy (a measure of the overall effort and environmental ingredients that goes into a manufactured product) can be reduced significantly – possibly 25%.

Rick Retzlaff