Are Black Solar Panels Better Than Blue?

Are Black Solar Panels Better Than Blue

When it comes to investing in solar panels, it’s important to consider factors like upfront cost as well as their long-term benefits and efficiencies. This is where the dispute between black and blue panels comes in. Are black solar panels better than blue? Is it the other way around?

The short answer is that black solar panels are generally better due to superior efficiency and durability. However, blue solar panels also have their benefits, such as being more cost-effective and easier for homeowners to find. It’s not always this straightforward, though.

Hence, why this article will take a closer look at the pros and cons of black and blue solar panels to help you make the right choice. Below is a list of topics I’m going to cover:

What are black solar panels?

Black solar panels are also known as monocrystalline solar panels. They got their name from the fact that they’re made from a single silicon crystal.

In terms of efficiency, a study says that black solar panels typically have efficiencies between 15-24%.

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What are blue solar panels?

Blue solar panels are also called polycrystalline solar panels. Unlike their black counterparts, blue solar panels are made from multiple silicon crystals that are melted together. Their blue hue comes from the anti-reflective coating that helps them be more efficient.

Speaking of efficiency, the same study shows that polycrystalline panels are 10-18% efficient.

A comparison of monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels

Black solar panels are better than blue. Here’s why:

 Superior module efficiency

As already mentioned, have an energy efficiency range of 15-24%. That’s higher than the 10-18% range of dark blue panels.

In the real world, though, our observations show that monocrystalline (black) panels typically achieve efficiencies of 17-20% while polycrystalline (blue) achieve 15-17%.

This superior efficiency comes from their single-crystal structure that allows for increased electron mobility and less energy loss.

Superior durability

The black solar panels’ monocrystalline structure also reduces the effects of degradation, resulting in better performance throughout its life.

That being said, both black and blue solar panels are designed to have a standard lifespan of 25 years. The difference is that black panels have a degradation rate of only 0.8% per year. This means that you still get 90% of their original efficiency after 20 years, and high 80s after 25.

Polycrystalline, or blue modules, degrade slightly faster than that. After 25 years, you can expect their efficiencies to be only slightly above 80% relative to their original efficiencies.

Recommended: How long do solar panels last?

They require less space

The superior efficiency of black solar panels means that they require less space to generate the same amount of energy.

For example, let’s say you want to install a 6 kW solar system for your home.

  • If you had black solar panels with 400-watt power ratings, you would only need 15 panels.
  • But, if you had blue solar panels with only 250-watt power ratings, you would need 24 panels. Thus, requiring more space.

In actuality, this makes black solar panels better for homes with limited roof space but high energy demands.

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Is there a reason to choose blue solar panels instead? Yes!

Blue solar panels are often overlooked in favor of black panels, but they can still be a solid option. Here are some advantages when you opt for blue over black:

If you prefer blue in terms of aesthetics

If your roof aesthetic is leaning towards blue rather than black, then blue solar panels are for you. They are a reliable and cost-effective choice, with a sleek aesthetic that complements various building designs.

 If you’re on a budget but still want quality

Consider choosing polycrystalline solar panels if you want a cost-effective way to save money while reducing your home’s carbon footprint.

While they are less efficient and less durable, the difference isn’t all that big relative to their cheaper price.


Why are some solar panels blue and some black?

Solar panels come in blue or black colors due to their manufacturing processes. Monocrystalline cells are black because they’re made from a single silicon crystal. Polycrystalline is blue because they’re made from multiple crystals melted together and has an anti-reflective coating.

Does the color of the solar panel matter?

Yes, the color of your solar panel can matter but the difference isn’t as significant as you might expect. Black solar panels are more efficient and more durable. Blue solar panels are cheaper but with slightly less efficiency and durability.

How efficient are black solar panels?

The efficiency of black solar panels is different depending on the model and manufacturer. Typically, though, you can expect it to be anywhere from 15-24%.


In conclusion, black solar panels are considered superior in terms of performance as they can convert a higher percentage of sunlight into electricity. Although, these advantages also come with extra costs.

On the other hand, blue solar panels are a good option for those of you who are on a budget. While they may have slightly lower efficiencies, the difference isn’t that significant relative to how much they cost.

If you’re still having trouble with which type of solar panel you want for your home, you can always consult a professional. Or, better yet, consult multiple. We can help you do that at no cost with our network of pre-vetted installers. If you need it, we’ll get you 3 FREE quotes right away.