All-Black Solar Panels – Who Offers Them?

All-black solar panels have taken the industry by storm as more and more people switch to solar.

Government statistics show over 1,580,113 installations across the UK as of May 2024. Many new installations are partially or wholly black, and it’s not just about aesthetics.

So why are all-black solar panels becoming more commonplace?

This guide explores everything you need to know about all-black solar panels, including who offers them and their pros and cons to help you decide whether they’re the right choice for your home.

Quick Takeaways:

  • All-black solar panels are monocrystalline and feature only one silicon crystal in each solar cell.
  • They feature various advantages, including higher efficiency, longer lifespan, better aesthetic appeal, heat resistance, and more space-saving.
  • Cons of all-black solar panels include high costs and difficulties in manufacturing.
  • You can access some of the best all-black solar panels through Heatable, which offers the all-black, bi-facial Fusion 2 panels.

What Makes Solar Panels Black?

Solar panels get their colour from the number of silicon crystals on their cells. Traditionally, solar panels are shiny blue because they’re polycrystalline.

Polycrystalline panels feature multiple silicon crystals melted together in each of their cells.

In contrast, black solar panels are monocrystalline and feature only one silicon crystal in each cell.

Manufacturers usually intensify the colours of solar panels during the manufacturing process by adding an anti-reflective coating that enables more sunlight absorption.

It removes the grey undertones from the panels and gives monocrystalline panels a darker shade of black and polycrystalline panels a brighter shade of blue.

What are the Pros of All-Black Solar Panels?

All-black solar panels have advantages over polycrystalline, thin film models and other solar panels. These include:

More Energy Efficiency

The most crucial advantage of all-black solar panels is their higher energy efficiency, which is measured by how much sunlight the panels convert into electricity.

The monocrystalline cells in all-black solar panels feature high-grade, pure silicon and have an energy efficiency of around 24%, better than the 15% to 20% efficiency of polycrystalline panels.

All-black solar panels perform better in overcast, cloudy, or shaded weather conditions since they’re more efficient at capturing diffuse light.

As such, they can provide a higher energy output than polycrystalline panels in similar situations and offer more significant savings on energy costs.

Longer Lifespan

The monocrystalline cell structure of all-black solar panels is less susceptible to breakdowns, giving them a longer lifespan than traditional blue panels.

With all-black solar panels, you can expect a lifespan of around 30 to 40 years or longer, while polycrystalline panels usually average around 20 to 25 years.

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal

Visual appeal can be a weighty consideration for most home and business owners considering switching to solar.

Previously, many people believed the blue polycrystalline panels were unattractive and may have led to lower uptake. All-black solar panels are more stylish and visually attractive.

They look modern and sleek and can blend seamlessly with surrounding roof tiles, especially on dark-coloured roofs.

Their uniform black colour can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a building. They can provide a sense of symmetry and continuity to solar arrays, allowing them to look cleaner even with dust and dirt buildup.

Greater Heat Resistance

All-black solar panels are more resistant to heat than polycrystalline solar panels. Heat resistance has become increasingly important due to higher temperatures caused by climate change.

The amount of solar power solar cells generate decreases as the temperature rises.

However, compared to other panel types, all-black solar panels experience less attenuation of solar output thanks to increased resistance to temperature changes.

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Space Saving

All-black solar panels are better for saving space since they produce more power per square foot than polycrystalline panels.

Therefore, you can install fewer monocrystalline panels and get sufficient energy than if you were installing blue panels.

This can be beneficial if you have limited roof space for solar panels since they take up less space.

What are the Cons of All-Black Solar Panels?

Monocrystalline solar panels also feature some disadvantages you need to consider. These include:

High Upfront Costs

All-black solar panels usually cost more than other kinds of solar panels. They’re generally around 25% to 50% more expensive than polycrystalline panels.

However, the lower price of blue panels comes at the cost of inferior efficiency, and you’ll need sufficient roof space to install more of them for the same amount of electricity.

The high efficiency of all-black solar panels can help recoup some of the initial costs, and you’ll need to install fewer of them to get the same amount of power.

Difficult to Manufacture

Each solar cell in all-black panels is made from a single silicon crystal shaped into octagons to maximise the number of solar cells in the panel.

Manufacturing monocrystalline panels is more rigorous and precise than making polycrystalline panels and requires more time and energy.

Who Offers the Best All-Black Solar Panels?

All-black solar panels are a newer product, and combined with the rigorous manufacturing process required, they can be less accessible than blue solar panels. As a result, fewer installers in the UK may offer them as an option.

Thankfully, you can access some of the best all-black solar panels through Heatable, the exclusive seller and installer of Fusion 2 panels across the UK.

The Fusion 2 are all-black, transparent cell, bi-facial solar panels that can generate energy on both sides.

They can capture and convert more of the sun’s rays into clean electricity. They also feature N-type cell technology that increases energy harvesting in lower-light conditions, making them the ideal choice for the UK’s gloomy weather conditions. Other advantages of the all-black Fusion 2 panels include:

  • High efficiencies of up to 23.9%
  • Seamless, sleek designs
  • Double-glazed design for complete protection, reliability, and durability
  • Enphase microinverters generate more energy than old-school string inverters and are safer for your home
  • Ability to monitor the performance of each solar panel through a user-friendly application
  • A 25-year product and performance warranty backed by insurance for more peace of mind

Final Thoughts

All-black solar panels are currently among the best available in the UK.

Although expensive, they feature more advantages than other panels, including higher efficiency, longer lifespan, better aesthetic appeal, heat resistance, and more space-saving.

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