Solar panels are traditionally black. The reasons is that those are the natural colors that silicon becomes during the manufacturing process. The saying 'Looks don't matter' hardly applies in the solar industry. As a rule, solar panels are built to be aesthetically pleasing. The best brands offer panels that are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and those that integrate well with most conventional rooftops. However, when mounted on rooftops, as is often the case, majority of solar panels in the market do not integrate very well with most rooftops. They announce their presence on rooftops in ways that could be ugly and distracting. For traditional black solar panels, shingled solar panels are the most aesthetically pleasing so far, next to IBC solar panels.
White and coloured solar panels are a new technology developed to fill this demand for solar panels that could be customized to match a building's color, making them appear as an integral part of the structure rather than an addition or conspicuous patches.
The first white solar panel was developed in 2009 by a Swiss company called CSEM. The company was able to develop a white solar panel by using a plastic layer that acts as a special filter that scatters light from the entire visible spectrum while absorbing just infrared light. This is the wavelength most silicon solar panels use to transform into electricity. This layer works with any crystalline silicon cell and can also be applied to any existing panel whether it’s flat or curved.
White solar panels have a few advantage over traditional black solar panels. First, they operate at lower temperatures. This can extend their lifespan. Second and most importantly, white solar panels are aesthetically pleasing and can be used to create a variety of different looks. Third, white solar panels can help to reduce energy costs in buildings by keeping inner spaces cooler.
The chief disadvantage is that they are less efficient. They are also more expensive and are often made by smaller, specialty manufacturers.
In recent years, white solar panels have become more popular and affordable. One company that has been successful in the white solar panel market is Bisol. Bisol is a Slovenian company that has been manufacturing solar panels for over 20 years. In 2020, Bisol released two new coloured solar panels based on the company's Spectrum product type. The two products are available in alabaster white and terracotta orange and are claimed to add aesthetic features to the architectural traits of buildings and roofs of various types and styles. It now also offers its panels in deep red.
Bisol's white solar panels have been well-received by the market. In 2021, Bisol won the Intersolar Award for its white solar panels. The Intersolar Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the solar industry. Bisol's success with white solar panels is a sign that the technology is gaining traction in the market. As white solar panels become more popular and affordable, they are likely to become a major player in the solar industry.
Potential applications of white solar panels:
The versatility of white solar panels extends beyond architectural applications. While they hold immense potential for seamlessly integrating into building designs, they can also find applications in consumer goods such as laptops, phones, and even vehicles. The flexibility of this technology allows it to be adapted to cover a range of colors, opening up opportunities for creative design integration.
The development of white solar panels represents a significant shift in the renewable energy landscape, where aesthetics and efficiency converge. These panels not only fulfill the desire for solar integration into modern architecture but also offer tangible benefits such as increased efficiency and reduced cooling costs. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more creative and innovative solutions that make solar power an integral and aesthetically pleasing part of our daily lives.