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Recyclable plastic pallets for solar modules enter test market

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 11th September

The first recyclable, reusable, adjustable, and collapsible pallet system designed specifically for shipping and protecting solar PV modules is ready for testing with key clients. PVpallet aims to replace traditional wood shipping pallets.

Credit: PVpallet

Luke Phelps, co-founder and general manager of PVpallet, emphasized the importance of understanding the “full picture” of a wood pallet’s life cycle: building costs, labor, transportation and handling fees, PV module breakage rates and disposal costs.

In 2020 alone, an estimated 198,000 trees were needed to build the 1,580,000 wood pallets that shipped solar PV modules. When wood pallets become unusable, often after a single-use, they are typically thrown away. As a result, the solar industry contributed to an estimated 60 million pounds of wood waste to US landfills in 2020 alone.

That number will only increase as the solar industry continues to see double-digit growth year over year.

“PVpallet aims to change that trajectory by driving real, impactful results,” said Philip Shwarz, co-founder and business development leader. “We want to revolutionize the solar industry and initiate an industry-wide shift in thinking—from a linear to a circular economy.”

PVpallets are made of discarded, recycled plastic. They are sturdy, fully collapsible, adjust to accommodate 80% to 90% of solar PV modules currently on the market and stack without putting weight on the solar modules themselves.

According to its projections, PVpallets will be reusable around 20 times and are virtually waste-free. At the end of their life cycle, they can be reground and recycled into new PVpallets. Full production of PVpallet is set for Q1 2022.

News item from PVpallet