The solar industry benefits from other sustainable concepts in its supply chain. The team at PVpallet has zeroed in on a huge problem: the solar industry typically ships solar panels on single-use wood pallets. These pallets are usually discarded in U.S. landfills, creating an estimated 60 million pounds of wood waste in 2020 alone. As the solar industry continues to grow, the waste problem will grow along with it.
“Simply put, we believe the solar industry and our planet deserve better,” explains co-founder Philip Schwarz.
Enter the PVpallet, the solar industry’s first reusable, recyclable, collapsible pallet for solar modules. The company launched a fundraising campaign today on the crowdfunding platform StartEngine. Participants in the crowdfunding enjoy direct ownership in the solar shipping startup.
PVpallet is a purpose-built solar shipping solution to not only replace, but improve upon the status quo of single-use wood pallets and solve several issues at once, such as durability, partial load handling, stacking limits, ease of use and recyclability.
Made of post-consumer HDPE Type 2 plastics, PVpallets can be reused at least 20 times. They are designed to be returned at a 5:1 ratio for reuse. For every 5 truckloads of solar panels sent to a project site, only one truck needs to return with empty pallets. Once a PVpallet finishes its life cycle, it is returned to the manufacturing plant, sent through plastic grinders, and placed back into the injection mold hopper to be made into a new PVpallet.
Beyond providing a sustainable solution, PVpallet also improves efficiencies and reduces costs throughout the entire solar supply chain. Sliding locks and tabs support partial loads and the adjustable sidewalls accommodate for various module sizes while protecting loads in transit. PVpallets are also stackable up to four high, reducing warehouse storage by as much as 50%.
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