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Blue vs. Black Solar Panels: What Are the Differences?

Are you considering installing solar panels for your dwelling? Before you start your house solar energy project, you have a choice to make: if you purchase black solar panels or blue solar panels?

We think it's a safe assumption to say you have noticed many blue solar panels on rooftops. After all, blue panels have been the most popular kind of solar panel.

However, you've probably also noticed that some solar panels have a more sleek black look; these are becoming more prevalent in recent installations.

But which one is a better purchase? We'll have a detailed look at each kind of solar panel that will help you make an informed decision.

Different Kinds Of Solar Panels

It's not really a matter of color. In fact, it's the quality and the way of manufacturing black and blue solar panel cells, which make them look slightly different from one another.

Read on to learn how they're created and what gives each its distinctive appearance.

BLACK solar panels

black solar cells

The term 'black solar panels' almost always describes monocrystalline panels that appear black to the eye. They're created from one high-quality silicon crystal. This silicon has a greater level of purity than silicon crystals used in blue polycrystalline solar panels.

*While there is another sort of black unit-'thin-film solar panels' - their market share is little. Therefore, for this blog, we'll take black panels to completely mean monocrystalline panels.

How Black Solar Panels Are Made

Black solar panels utilize monocrystalline solar cells, which can be created through the Czochralski procedure. This procedure uses a silicon crystal seed that's placed in a vessel or vat of molten silicon. The silicon crystal seed is gradually drawn out and the molten silicon, making a solid crystal block. The silicon block is then finely cut into silicon wafers, used as solar cells for energy production.

Although blue and black panels are made almost the same way, light interacts with a single-crystal (monocrystalline) cell differently from a cell comprised of crystals (polycrystalline). This makes black solar panels to have a uniform look that seems black to the eye.

The whole process of creating a single-crystal black cell is relatively more complex than generating blue multi-crystalline cells. Also, a significant quantity of pure silicon is wasted in the production of black cells, as all of the four sides of silicon wafers are sliced off to find the shape of the cells directly.

BLUE solar panels

why are solar panels blue

Blue solar panels are referred to as polycrystalline solar panels. A polycrystalline cell is made from more than one raw silicon crystal.

How blue solar panels are made

The procedure of creating blue-colored panels is extremely much like that of creating black solar panels. However, the measure of drawing the silicon crystal seed (utilized to make black monocrystalline cells) is skipped in the case of blue cells.

The silicon crystals, melted and drained into the vat, are only allowed to cool to form polycrystalline silicon cells. This creates distinctive grains and advantages to the blue cells.

The way that the polycrystalline cells reflect light, along with the anti-reflective coating applied to them, gives these solar panels both their gloomy appearance and a tiny glimmer.

Advantages Of Black And Blue Solar Panels

Which solar panel is ideal for you? This decision is dependent upon a variety of factors, including your budget, your own distance, in addition to a few additional factors, all highlighted below.

The case for black solar panels

More energy efficient

The uniform positioning of silicon crystals in a monocrystalline solar panel makes them more energy efficient. You typically need fewer black solar panels than blue solar panels to create the exact same amount of power, making black solar panels the better choice for saving space.

Absorb more light

Black panels also absorb more light than blue panels. This implies that black panels are capable of absorbing more sunlight beams, thereby generating more solar energy. This results in more energy being produced for your home or business.

Better Performance In Hot Weather

Black monocrystalline solar panels function better in warmer weather. Along with solar cells, electricity generation falls as the temperature rises. But this output degradation is not as severe in black panels when compared with blue panels.

Space-saving design

Black solar panels are space-savers. Since monocrystalline solar cells have higher energy efficiency, you need fewer monocrystalline solar cells than polycrystalline solar cells to create the same amount of energy.

Bonus features

  • They last longer -- with many manufacturers offering a 25-year warranty.
  • Black solar panels tend to perform better in low-light problems.

The case for blue solar panels

More cost-effective

Polycrystalline cells were previously believed to be inferior to monocrystalline cells since they were slightly less effective. However, due to the cost-effective way of producing polycrystalline solar cells, they emerged as a dominant technology for the solar panels marketplace.

Less Expensive To Create and Fix

As blue solar panels are easier to produce, they're also less costly. Both their upfront and installation costs are relatively cheaper when compared with black solar panels. They are also used more commonly, so repairs are fast and effortless.

More Eco-friendly

The blue polycrystalline solar panel cells generate less waste in the production process than the monocrystalline cells.

In manufacturing monocrystalline cells, a considerable quantity of silicon ends up as waste as silicon wafers are cut off from all four sides. Since polycrystalline cells do not need any person forming, very little waste is generated.

If you're concerned about your environmental footprint, this is something you would like to think about.

Blue or Black panels: The Better One?

The differences between black and blue solar panels on the market today go far beyond their color and aesthetic appeal. In actuality, the color of a solar panel indicates the grade of silicon it is made from.

Here's a speedy summary that will assist you in picking the best one for your property!

  • Black/monocrystalline Solar panels
  • Carry a higher price tag for customers and builders
  • Characterized by sleek, black color and high-quality silicon
  • Formed through an energy-intensive manufacturing process which produces plenty of waste
  • Have a longer lifespan and occupy less space.

Blue/Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Whether you choose blue or black panels, going solar is a fantastic decision.

  • Characterized by more scattered appearance, visible crystals, and lower-quality silicon
  • Require slightly more room for generating the identical quantity of energy as black panels
  • less complicated manufacturing process with minimal waste generation
  • Cheaper

Regardless of which sort of solar panel you select, installing solar to power your house is a sustainable choice that has the following advantages in 2020:

  • Reduces harmful emissions
  • Get simple financing choices for solar panel installation.
  • Claim sales and property tax exemptions
  • Receive credits for excess power production

  • And most important of all, installing either kind of panel will significantly lower your monthly energy bills.

    About the Author David Roberts

    I'm a Mechanical Engineer who's obsessed with solar energy and sustainable living.

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