Are you planning to install solar panels in your home? Before starting the project, you need to make a decision: should you buy blue or black solar panels?
You must have seen a lot of blue solar panels on the rooftops. Blue panels, after all, have long been the most popular type of PV panel.
But you may have also noticed that some solar panels have a more elegant black appearance; this type is more and more common in recent installations.
But what is the best option? We will take a detailed look at each type of solar panel to help you make a more informed decision.
Different types of solar panels.
It’s not really a question of color. It is actually the quality and manufacturing method of the blue and black solar panel cells that makes them slightly different from each other.
What are BLACK solar panels?
The term “black solar panels” almost always refers to monocrystalline panels that appear black to the eye. They are made from a single crystal of high quality silicon. This silicon has a higher level of purity than the silicon crystals used in blue polycrystalline solar panels.
How are black solar panels made
Black solar panels use monocrystalline solar cells, made by czochralski process. This process uses a silicon crystal seed which is placed in a bowl or tub of molten silicon. The silicon crystal seed is slowly extracted, along with the molten silicon, forming a solid crystalline silicon block. The silicon block is finely cut into silicon wafers, which are used as solar cells for power generation.
Although the black and blue panels are produced in much the same way, light interacts with a single crystal cell differently than a cell made up of many crystals (polycrystalline). This gives black solar panels a uniform appearance that looks black to the eye.
The whole process of manufacturing a black monocrystalline cell is comparatively more complicated than producing blue multi-crystal solar cells. In addition, a significant amount of pure silicon is wasted in the production of black solar cells because all four sides of the silicon wafers are cut into the correct shape of the cells.
What are BLUE solar panels?
The term “blue solar panels” is used to refer to polycrystalline solar panels. Unlike a monocrystalline silicon cell, a polycrystalline cell is created from more than one raw silicon crystal.
How are blue solar panels made
The process of manufacturing blue panels is very similar to that of producing black solar panels. However, the manufacturing step of the silicon crystal seed (used to form black monocrystalline solar cells) is skipped in the case of blue solar cells.
The molten silicon crystals poured into the tank are simply allowed to cool to form polysilicon cells. This forms distinctive grains and edges on the blue solar cells.
The way polycrystalline cells reflect light, combined with the anti-reflective coating applied to them, gives these solar panels both their blue look and a bit of shine.
Benefits of blue and black solar panels.
Which solar panel is right for you? This decision depends on a number of factors including your budget, space, and a few other things, let’s talk about it.
Benefits of black solar panels
- More efficient in the use of energy. The uniform alignment of silicon crystals in a single crystal panel makes these panels more energy efficient. Generally, fewer black solar panels are required than polycrystalline solar panels to generate the same amount of energy, which makes black solar panels the most effective. best option to save space.
- Absorb more light. In addition to energy efficiency, black panels also absorb more light than blue ones. This means that the black panels are able to absorb more solar rays, thus generating more solar energy. This leads to producing more energy for your home or business.
- Better performance in hot weather. Black monocrystalline solar panels work best in warmer climates. As with all solar cells, the production of electricity decreases as the temperature increases. However, this production degradation is less severe on black panels than on blue ones.
- Space-saving design. Black solar panels are space savers. Since monocrystalline solar cells are more energy efficient, fewer monocrystalline solar cells are required than polycrystalline solar cells to generate the same amount of energy.
- Longer life. Many manufacturers offer a 25 year warranty.
- They work best in low light conditions.
Benefits of blue solar panels
- More profitable. Polycrystalline cells were previously thought to be inferior to monocrystalline cells because they were slightly less efficient. However, due to the cost effective method of producing polycrystalline solar cells, they have become a dominant technology for the residential solar panel market.
- More economical to manufacture and repair. Because blue solar panels are easier to produce, they are also less expensive. Its initial and installation costs are significantly cheaper compared to black solar panels. They are also more commonly used, so repairs are quick and easy.
- More ecological. Solar panel polycrystalline blue cells produce less waste in the manufacturing process than monocrystalline cells.
In the manufacture of monocrystalline cells, a significant amount of silicon ends up as waste because the silicon wafers are cut on all four sides. Since polycrystalline cells do not require any individual form, very little waste is produced.
If you are concerned about your ecological footprint, this may be something you may want to consider.
Blue or black panels: which is better for your home?
The differences between blue and black solar panels on the market today go far beyond their color and aesthetic appeal. In fact, the color of a solar panel indicates the quality of the silicon it is made of.
A brief summary to help you choose the most suitable for your home:
Black / monocrystalline solar panels. It is characterized by its smooth black appearance and high quality silicon.
They take up less space and have a longer lifespan
Formed through an energy-intensive production process that generates a lot of waste.
Higher price for installers and consumers.
Blue / polycrystalline solar panels. Characterized by visible crystals, a more dispersed appearance and lower grade silicon.
It takes a little more space to produce the same amount of power as the black panels.
Less complicated production process with minimal waste generation.
Choose black or blue panels, installing solar panels is always a good decision.