James Elston

James Elston

Published July 11, 2024

The short answer to this question is yes, black solar panels are worth it.

They are an increasingly popular choice due to their energy efficiency and sleek design. This article will explore whether they are a wise investment for your home or business by examining their efficiency, durability, cost, aesthetics, and environmental impact.

Black Vs Blue Solar Panels: What’s The Difference?

Black solar panels are completely black in appearance (including their frame) and have a sleek, structured look. Their aesthetic appeal means they are predominantly used by homeowners or businesses who want their property to look modern and their renewable energy solution to be as unnoticeable as possible. 

Unlike blue solar panels, which are made from polycrystalline silicon solar cells, black panels are made from monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Because of the way it absorbs light, monocrystalline silicon appears black to the human eye. It is composed of a single crystal structure. It is made by melting pure silicon, letting it cool gradually, and then slicing the resulting cylindrical silicon ingot into thin wafers to create solar cells with a uniform appearance. 

Pros And Cons: Are Black Solar Panels Worth It?

Now we’ve covered the core characteristics of monocrystalline panels, this list of pros and cons can help you make an informed decision about this significant investment.

Pros

  • Higher energy efficiency (15-20% energy efficiency rating)
  • Lower energy bills
  • Durable (has a lifespan of 30-40 years)
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Suitable for all climates, but especially ideal for colder climates, as monocrystalline solar panels don’t need as much light as blue panels or thin-film panels to produce a sufficient amount of energy. 
  • Eco-friendly
  • You won’t need as many panels as a traditional solar panel system.
  • Space saving (excellent for smaller properties)
  • Adds financial value to your property.
  • Minimal maintenance is required.

Cons

The only drawback of black solar panels is that they are more expensive than traditional ones. The manufacturing process of monocrystalline solar panels is far more complicated than that of blue polycrystalline panels.

Energy Efficiency And Durability Of Black Solar Panels

Let’s look at black solar panels’ efficiency and durability to highlight why they may be a great investment for your home or business.

Energy efficiency and heat absorption

Solar panel energy efficiency refers to how much energy (electricity) the solar cells can produce from the sunlight they absorb.

Black monocrystalline solar panels have an energy efficiency of around 15-20%, which is much higher than traditional thin-film (7-18%) or blue polycrystalline panels (13-16%). This is mainly due to their colouring. 

Black is the most absorbent colour, meaning it absorbs all light wavelengths. As a result, these panels can produce more electricity over any given period and in colder climates compared to other solar panels.

Durability

While black monocrystalline panels are more costly, their lifespan is also significantly longer. Compared to a regular solar panel system, their lifespan is estimated to be well over 25 years.

The exceptional durability of monocrystalline cells is due to their uniform crystal structure. This provides enhanced resistance to natural damage that occurs over time, ensuring a longer lifespan.

Cost Considerations

Black solar panels cost more than traditional ones (thin-film or blue panels). However, they are highly energy efficient and will lower your electricity bills in the long run. 

Below, we will provide the estimated costs of monocrystalline panels compared to thin-film or blue solar panels.

Note: The size of your home or business will influence how many solar panels you need.

Estimated costs of different types of solar panel

Solar Panel Type Cost (per square metre)
Black (monocrystalline)Average: £370 – £450250 W panel: £300 – £450450 W panel: £210 – £360
Blue (polycrystalline)Average: £300 – £350
Thin-film (amorphous silicon)Average: £60 – £150 

Maintenance costs

There are a few factors to consider regarding the maintenance of your solar panels. 

Maintenance Requirements For Black Solar PanelsDetails Estimated Cost
Replacing your inverterYou will likely need to replace your inverter once every 10 years. Due to the lifespan of monocrystalline panels, you will have to do this three to four times during their lifespan.£500 – £1,000
CleaningDue to the climate in the UK, most built-up dirt on your solar panels will be washed away with the rain. However, they will still need to be cleaned by a professional on occasion.£100
Maintenance or servicingBlack monocrystalline panels are very durable, so maintenance is not regularly needed. However, if an issue arises, repair costs will vary depending on the damage.£80 – £1,500 

Financial Appeal Of Black Solar Panels

While you might prefer the look of black panels over traditional ones, monocrystalline panels will also increase the value of your property, making them an incredible investment. They add a myriad of benefits to your property, including:

  • Energy saving: Saving money on electricity bills will appeal to you and future buyers of your property. Additionally, having more energy independence is a massive benefit as it limits your reliability on external supplies.
  • Return on investment: Although the upfront costs can be substantial, the payback period of these panels makes them worth it. Property owners with black solar panel systems can save money on energy bills, benefit from tax rebates/incentives, and enjoy years of reliable, eco-friendly electricity and energy.

Environmental Impact Of Black Solar Panels

Below, we have given you a brief explanation of the sustainability and recyclability of black solar panels.

Sustainability

  • Lower embodied energy: Black solar panels have a short total energy payback time (the time it takes for the panels to generate the amount of energy used to produce them), significantly enhancing their environmental benefits.
  • Energy and space efficiency: Black monocrystalline solar panels are more energy efficient than traditional polycrystalline panels. Because of this, they require fewer panels to produce the same amount of energy.
  • Durability and longevity: The durability and longevity of these panels mean fewer replacements and less need for frequent manufacturing of new panels. This plays a significant role in reducing the environmental impact of production and disposal.
  • Higher use rates due to their aesthetics: The modern look of black solar panels enhances the visual appeal of buildings, making solar installations more attractive to homeowners and businesses. This leads to excellent use rates and environmental benefits as more people switch to renewable energy systems.

Recyclability

Black solar panels have an impressive recyclability rate. The materials used to make them (monocrystalline silicon, glass, and aluminium) can all be efficiently recovered and repurposed.

Recycling solar panels offers three benefits:

  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Reduction of waste
  • Significant energy savings, which leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Get Your Solar Installation Quote Today!

If you’re considering installing black solar panels on your property, our professional engineers and specialists at Eco Happy are here to provide reliable and affordable installation services. Fill in our quick form to request a free quote today. We will get back to you shortly after.

You can also explore our extensive solar panel archive to find all the information you need.

FAQs

Are all solar panels water-resistant?

Solar panels are more than water-resistant – they are entirely waterproof. Most companies supply warranties/cover for water damage, as solar panels are technically never supposed to be damaged by water.

Do black solar panels get hot?

The black panels make them warmer than the outside air temperature because darker hues absorb more heat than other colours. Black solar panels can overheat more easily than blue panels (or traditional solar panels).

Final Thoughts

Although black solar panels are expensive, they offer a combination of energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal, lower electricity bills, and eco-friendliness. They are an excellent option for homeowners and businesses who want to invest in renewable energy solutions while enhancing their property’s appearance.

James Elston

James Elston

Boiler Expert


James Elston is the top boiler replacement and heating expert at Eco Happy. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focusing on Gas Safe boiler installations and offering home-heating and energy-saving solutions to homeowners across the UK. From sourcing the most energy-efficient combi boiler to providing specialist heating advice, James ensures that Eco Happy maintains the highest standards and best customer service.

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