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Innovative Solutions for Extended Life of PV Modules

Millions of photovoltaic modules are going to reach the end of their proposed lifespan in close or midterm future, but many are still functional. You are challenged to come up with innovative solutions to evaluate the functionality of these modules and propose concepts for a second life- or re-use. Join forces with SOLARIMO to improve the efficiency and lifetime of PV modules and build a more circular energy industry.

#PVModuleReuse #PhotovoltaicLifecycle #CircularEconomy

  • ‚úÖ Challenge completed
  • ūüŹĀ Winner
    Congratulations to KatexPower & SolarDoc for taking first place!
  • ūüŹÜ  Rewards
    EUR 3,000 prize pool + customer testing + potential distribution partnership and investments
  • ūüĆé Scope

    Global with focus on the regulations of the German market within solution development

  • ‚Ěď Q&A Call
  • ūüĆĪ Innovate 2030 All SDGs

    This challenge is part of the Innovate 2030 program

Opportunity Areas
Knowledge Base

Here you can read more about the challenge.

Photovoltaic modules are a major component of the energy transition and are gaining traction especially since the mid-2000s. The regulatory framework in Germany assumes the modules' functionality for about 20 years ‚Äď and sets the subsidy period accordingly.  

Institutional investors & operators therefore often plan to just replace those modules after 20-25 years, as space is limited, and new modules promise increased efficiency per square meter, leading to higher turn-over and returns in combination with subsidy schemes. Often they even do so without evaluating the old modules functionality as there is no economical process or incentive in place to do so.

But this leaves us with one major issue: Even though the efficiency of older PV modules has decreased and it can vary widely, on average they still have significant remaining efficiency. In many cases this means older, but functional PV modules are just disposed of posing a major problem for sustainable development.


SOLARIMO is calling for your help to devise smart and innovative solutions that enable the re-use of as many PV modules as possible in the future.

The challenge we face is complex and needs to be tackled in different dimensions:

  1. Functionality review: How can we efficiently and economically evaluate the remaining functionality of PV modules and identify those suitable for second-life reuse?
  2. Second-life Business Case: What is the business model behind it? Where are target markets (regions), who is a customer, who is a supplier, who is a partner, and what is the offer?
  3. Second Life Process Chain: How can we manage the disassembly, separation, storage and transportation of PV modules for second-life reuse? What would the process chain look like?

 You can tackle each of this opportunity areas, whereas holistic approaches are the most promising ones.

Important: The overall design of your approach must be presented as a "product" with clear incentives and added value for the possible institutional operators of the old modules.

More inspiring input around the three most promising opportunity areas can be found in the tab ‚ÄúOpportunity areas‚ÄĚ. More background knowledge can be found in the tab ‚ÄúKnowledge Base‚ÄĚ.

Goals & Outcome

At the end of the Challenge the best teams should have at least a plan for the technical and commercial development of the necessary technology and processes behind their solution.

The optimal outcome is identifying a (future) partner who shares SOLARIMO's vision to reuse as many PV modules as possible in a meaningful way. SOLARIMO is willing to serve as a test customer for the product, but depending on the results, they are open to further partnering options like distribution partnership, investments, etc.

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