Black Solar Panels: Everything You Need to Know
Are you considering black solar panels for a better aesthetic? If the configurations of your solar system require panel placement on your front roof, you may want to opt for this type of solar panel.
Today, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about black solar panels, including features, benefits and more.
What are Black Solar Panels?
As the name suggests, black solar panels are panels that are all black from top to bottom.
Many residential solar customers aren’t fans of the traditional blue solar panels (see more below). This prompted solar manufacturers to begin making black panels.
Black solar panels have black frames, black backsheets and black monocrystalline solar cells — offering a much better curb appeal when you install them on the front roof of your home. Black solar panels are also called “all-black panels” or “black-on-black panels.”
Traditional Solar Panels
Traditional solar panels have silver frames, white backsheets and blue or black polycrystalline solar cells.
On traditional panels, you’ll notice that each solar panel has a silver border on all sides with 60 or 72 dark-colored, square solar cells with the white backsheet visible between them.
On traditional solar panels, the solar cells have corners cut off. The white backsheet shows up as dozens of white diamond shapes between each solar cell.
Traditional solar panels may not be as aesthetically pleasing than black panels, but if your back roof faces south, your solar panel system isn’t visible from the front of your home. You won’t have to worry about what your installation looks like.
Next, we’ll cover other notable differences between blue and black solar panels.
Blue vs. Black Solar Panels: Key Differences
Two types of panels used in residential and commercial solar installations: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. The terms ‘monocrystalline’ and ‘polycrystalline’ refer to the solar cells that make up the panels. Black solar panels are made up of monocrystalline solar cells, and blue solar panels are made up of polycrystalline solar cells.
To make a monocrystalline solar cell, the manufacturer puts a silicone seed crystal into a vat of melted silicon.
As the seed crystal is slowly drawn out of the vat, the molten silicon forms a crystalline structure around it. This cylindrical block of silicon crystal is called an ingot. Then, the ingot is sliced into wafer-thin solar cells. These cells start out round, but to save space within the rectangular solar panel frame, they are cut down into the shape of a square with rounded corners.
Polycrystalline solar cells are made by melting silicon crystals together and letting them cool in a rectangular block. The block is cut into very thin slices, which become the solar cells.
Efficiency and Power Output
Aside from aesthetics, another benefit of black solar panels is their efficiency. When comparing a black versus blue solar panel, black monocrystalline solar cells produce higher power output for a solar panel of the same size.
To learn more about solar panel efficiency, check out our article here.
The biggest downside of black solar panels is that they cost more per watt, though the difference is marginal. However, this can add up, especially if your solar panel system is extensive.
Depending on your preference and needs, the extra cost may be worth it. If your energy needs call for higher efficiency, and if your solar system is front-facing, you’ll likely want to go for black solar panels in the end.
Black Solar Panel Manufacturers
Here’s a list of popular manufacturers that make black solar panels.
SunSpark solar panels are durable, high-efficiency black panels with an attractive look and a small footprint. They are also assembled, distributed and serviced in the USA.
Mission Solar makes solar panels have a sleek black-on-black look with good efficiency. They are assembled, designed and engineered in the USA, so if you want to support American-made products, these are a great option.
The Phono black solar panels have a beautiful aesthetic at a competitive price point.
Znshine makes black solar panels with a larger footprint that work well on larger roof areas or ground mounts.
Hanwha Qcells has a variety of black solar panels available in different sizes and efficiencies.
The Bottom Line on Black Solar Panels
Black solar panels are an excellent option for homes, and they’re growing in availability and popularity. However, looks typically aren’t the number one priority for solar panels. You must balance aesthetics, efficiency and cost per watt to find the perfect solution for your unique situation.
The good news is that you don’t have to figure this out alone! Reach out to the experts at GoGreenSolar to get the best advice on which solar panels are right for you and your home. Or, browse our current selection of solar panels and see what we offer in our solar panel kits.
Photo credit: solaria.com