Black Sheets and Frames
There is a difference between a traditional dark-colored monocrystalline panel and these all-black models that we are talking about. Regular monocrystalline panels still have a white sheet and frame, while all-black panels have black sheets and frame. Below you can see the difference. The picture on the left shows traditional monocrystalline panels up close. The photo on the right shows a whole array panels with black sheets.
Although the black sheets and frame gives these black panels a sleeker look, this does slightly decrease efficiency. All-black panels not only heat up more quickly, but also allow for less light trapping. Both factors decrease efficiency. On panels with white sheets, unused light is reflected then trapped to be used by the solar cell. This increases the cell’s current and makes cells with white sheet slightly more efficient. However, overall, all black panels are only 0.5% less efficient, so it is not a huge difference.
The Role of Aesthetics
So, as it turns out, the major difference between all black panels and traditional, white-framed ones is simply the aesthetic. Many customers are concerned about how the solar array will look on their house, and for that reason they decide on the all-black panels. So, if you want a sleeker aesthetic from your array, the choice seems to be all-black array, as long as you are okay with sacrificing a little efficiency. However, if you want the most efficient and best deal for your investment, then traditional, white-framed panels are the way to go. All our most popular manufacturers sell both all-black and traditional models!