Glass: By weight, about 80% of a crystalline-type module is glass, which encapsulates the thin layers of semiconductor materials and protects them from exposure to the weather. The glass can be recycled.
Metals & plastics: About 10% of a PV module’s total weight comes from metals such as aluminum and copper. Plastics, used for connections and in frames or laminates, compose a smaller percentage. Ferrous and nonferrous metals are recyclable.
Semiconductors: Several forms of silicon (monocrystalline, multicrystalline, and amorphous) are most commonly used as semiconductors, converting sunlight to electricity. Other materials that compose polycrystalline thin films include copper indium diselenide and cadmium telluride. They constitute between 1% and 2% of the module, by weight. Certain semiconductor materials can be recycled.