Are Black and Blue the Only Options for Colored Solar Panels

Are black and blue the only options for colored solar panels from Ridge Valley Exteriors. Most solar panels on rooftops come in two colors: black and blue. There are only two options for color solar panels, so if either of them doesn’t fit with your aesthetic or your HOA has rules regarding roof colors, you may be less likely to install solar power. Tesla’s initial Solar Roof tile designs might make you want to wait and see if other colors become available.

However, it is for specific reasons that solar panels aren’t widely available in different colors. A broader range of colors could soon become available to people interested in investing in home solar. Still, some challenges need to be understood and available in the future.

Are-Black-and-Blue-the-Only-Options-for-Colored-Solar-Panels

Do Solar Panels Come in Different Colors?

There are a variety of colors available for residential solar panels.

The long answer is that solar panels can’t be ordered in different colors to match your home. They’re pricier and produce less power when they’re colored. Smaller, specialty manufacturers often have them as a result. Solar panel manufacturers currently use dyes or coatings to make solar panels other than blue and black, which reduces their efficiency.

Also, solar installers are less inclined to buy these panels. Solar panels are used to lower energy costs, so most customers don’t want fancy panels that cost more and work less well just because they’re different colors.

Therefore, making colored solar panels available for a single customer would be impossible for a solar energy company. In addition, buying in bulk from their preferred solar manufacturer saves the company money by purchasing one or two types of solar panels.

Why are Most of the Solar Panels Black and Blue?

Manufacturers do not choose the color of solar panels just for aesthetic reasons. During the manufacturing process, silicon becomes black and blue, which is the natural color of solar cells. Commercially available solar panels fall into two categories: monocrystalline and polycrystalline.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels are Black

A monocrystalline solar cell consists of a single crystal of silicon. Black is more light absorbing than blue, making them significantly more efficient. Usually, newer solar panel installations use black monocrystalline panels due to their higher efficiency as costs drop.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels are Blue

Solar panels that appear blue are made of polycrystalline silicon, in which each cell contains several silicon crystals and their interaction with sunlight results in a blue appearance. Multi-crystal solar cells are less efficient at generating electricity due to their slower conduction due to their multiple crystals. Older installations are more likely to have blue panels because polycrystalline technology used to be cheaper.

Can Solar Panels Be Different Colors?

As we mentioned earlier, solar panels can certainly be colored using dyes and coatings. This reduces panel efficiency, however. Solar panels created with this method have a lower efficiency of up to 45% than blue or black solar panels. Solar PV systems are expensive upfront, which can slow down your return on investment.

New technology is being explored to create better-colored panels with a broader range of colors for a wide range of environments, colors, and aesthetics. Dutch researchers, for instance, developed a soft-print lithography technique that enables panels to reflect specific colors.

Does the Tesla Solar Roof Offer Colored Solar Panels?

Tesla announced in 2017 that they would release four different styles of Solar Roof—essentially photovoltaic panels that resemble regular roof tiles. Smooth glass, textured glass, and Tuscan were among the options advertised. As a result, homeowners guessed that Tesla would soon be offering solar panels in several colors and styles to match their roof types.

Can You Get Colored Solar Panels?

If you want to install colored solar panels on your roof, you can do so. While black and blue solar panels are significantly cheaper and more efficient than the current commercially available technology, you’ll need a specialized installer to order and install them.

In 25 years, colored panels will likely lose their vibrance due to dyes and coatings that don’t hold up well to tough conditions. As such, this aesthetic improvement doesn’t justify the lost efficiency and higher cost to the average homeowner

Due to how silicon is created during the manufacturing process, most solar panels are black or blue due to the lower efficiency issues and high costs of the current-colored solar panels. Furthermore, manufacturers, installers, and most customers are focusing on efficiency. It would be necessary to find an installer who would create a PV system based on those lower-efficiency panels and still produce the most power.

For more information, contact Ridge Valley Exteriors in Kennesaw, GA, Raleigh, NC, and Tampa, and Marco Island, FL at 844-741-7663.

However, it is for specific reasons that solar panels aren’t widely available in different colors. A broader range of colors could soon become available to people interested in investing in home solar. Still, some challenges need to be understood and available in the future.

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