Why are solar panels blue?
Curious why rooftop solar panels appear blue? Take a guess. In case you think it’s because either they only come in blue or maybe, there is a slight chance that everyone’s favorite is blue. Either of the reasons is not correct. Solar panels are blue for a very different reason.
Blue solar panels are made of polycrystalline silicon. The name of these panels comes from the fact that they include many (poly) silicon crystals. The silicon is made from raw silicon that goes through a melting process and then is poured into a square hollow chamber, also known as a mold. After cooling, it crystallizes into imperfectly aligned silicon. The nature of this individual crystal produces the blue color characteristics of polycrystalline panels. This is the obvious reason behind the rooftop solar panels appearing blue. As silicon is used in manufacturing, it has a high capacity for absorbing sunlight. Apart from being eco-friendly, they make sure they reduce the loss of energy. As the sun is the ultimate source of energy. It’s better to put the energy to much better use.
The above-mentioned reason only partially explains why solar panels are blue. The use of anti-reflective coatings is also responsible for the blue color. A solar cell works by absorbing the sunlight and using that energy to move
electrons. The more it absorbs light the better efficient it gets. It is impossible to absorb 100% of light for a solar cell. To increase the absorption and reduce the reflection, anti-reflective coatings are used. The use of AR can cause the surface to appear to look slightly tinted. Because not all wavelengths of sunlight are affected equally by the coating. In the same way, the use of Anti-reflective coatings on a solar panel can affect the color of the panel.
Different types of AR coatings can be used for rooftop solar panels. Silicon nitride and titanium dioxide are two of them. Silicon nitride has a bluish cast.
There are always two sides of a coin. The same story goes with blue solar or polycrystalline solar panels. It has both advantages and disadvantages.
1) Blue rooftop solar panels are less expensive as compared to any other as the cost of manufacturing, installation and repairing are less.
2) The blue solar panels produce less waste during manufacture. Only a small amount of silicon ends up as wasted as the wafers are chopped in a square shape.
1) The exposure to sunlight causes the crystalline silicon oxide on the surface of the solar panel to form a layer of boron dioxide that results in low efficiency.
2) Blue solar panels absorb less sunlight thus producing less power. To obtain more power one needs to install more solar panels thus it requires more space.
The rooftop solar panel doesn’t just come in blue. They come in all sorts of colors that can match the aesthetic background of your house. The debate will always be between the black solar panel and the blue solar panel. Black solar panels are also known as Mono-crystalline solar cells. The silicon used to make black solar cells has a high level of purity as compared to the blue one. The process of aligning the silicon into a single crystal is known as the czochralski process. Black solar rooftop panels are much more efficient than blue. Around 90% of the solar today are blue.
Now you have the answer to why solar panels are blue. A country like India needs to go solar before it’s too late. The ever-increasing population and the need for energy in every sector need to be fulfilled. We cannot depend on exhaustible resources for long enough. SunAlpha Energy, the best solar panel company in Jaipur provides a wide range of options in terms of rooftop solar panels. As the world’s largest solar plant is also situated in Badhla, Rajasthan. It is widely spread on 14,000 acres. The solar park has a total capacity of 2245 MW. As the American singer Bonnie Rait once said “Solar power is the last energy resource that isn’t owned yet – nobody taxes the sun yet.”