Guess which solar panel colors are red hot for rooftops

October 30, 2017 7:16 pm

What is the most important matter when adopting solar panels? Is it color or efficiency?

Well, they may be both of equal importance.

Dark solar panels are more efficient in attracting heat and most solar panels manufactured today are black and blue, which makes them unattractive for uses other than for conventional roofs.

This is where colored solar panels come in.

Many countries today are resorting to colored panels to give their homes more aesthetic value and Dubai is one of the pioneer countries in this area.

Read: Good news: Dubai to get solar power day and night

Dubai’s colored solar panels

Colored solar panels and photovoltaics will soon dress up buildings in Dubai, as the Emirate moves forward in adopting renewable for power generation.

“The solar panels from Emirates Insolaire offer high efficiency in generating energy from solar power, with each photovoltaic module capable of generating 170 to 190 watts per square meter for roof installation or 110 to 130 watts per square meter for façade installation,” according to media statements.

Rafic Hanbali, Managing Partner of Emirates Insolaire, was quoted saying: “Emirates Insolaire has ushered in a paradigm shift in solar applications with its energy-elegant dress on buildings and the company is in negotiations with authorities and companies to implement this.”

The statement said that the KromatixTM solar panels, pioneered by Emirates Solar, can supply between 20 per cent and 60 per cent of needed energy for a building. For certain industries with large roof and façades, this can go up to 100 per cent.

While Dubai is leading the region in solar power generation, other countries have also considered deploying such technologies.

Read: Intersolar: Sunny days for your business?

 Are esthetics worth the trouble?

According to You Gen, a platform dedicated to sustainability news, colored solar PV can slightly be less efficient than standard panels.

However, it said that this varied according to the color of the panel: the darker the color, the more efficient the panel will be.

“Green or grey colored panels are more efficient than those in shades of red. This is because they reflect less light overall and so are better at absorbing solar energy. Colored solar panels can produce 230W to 245W of energy; a standard panel of the same size can generate up to 265W. So if you do need colored solar panels the difference in efficiency isn’t too large, but you may want to maximise the use of your roof space,” it explained.

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Meanwhile, Green Matters, another platform dealing with renewable energy news, says that dark colors tend to absorb more heat than light colors.

However, Green Matters quotes Verena Neder, one of the researchers at AMOLF, an academic institute for fundamental physics, as saying that the default colors prevented people from installing them on their homes.

“Alternate colors could also adapt to our environment better: The black appearance of the [conventional] solar panels is not attractive for many people and a reason to not put solar panels on their rooftop. Making solar cells colored makes it possible to integrate them in an architectural design of houses and full cities, but also to merge them in the landscape,” it said.


Dana Halawi
By Dana Halawi
Senior Journalist
Dana Halawi has over seven years of experience in Journalism with articles published in multiple magazines and a newspaper in Lebanon. She specialized in Banking and Finance at the Lebanese American University and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs.