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Could the Key to Better Solar Panels be to Make Them Colorful?

The CSEM team holding up its white solar panel. (Photo courtesy CSEM)

I’ll be honest. I really enjoy writing about innovations in the actual physical infrastructure of renewable energy. Whether it’s a new style of wind turbine or an interesting solar panel design, there’s a certain “Oh wow, that’s actually really cool” factor that grabs me every time.  

CSEM’s white and colored solar panel is no exception.

With better integration into buildings as its mission, the panels can be installed with minimal impact to space and aesthetic. The white color of the panels is particularly important, as it allows the panels to run cooler and with better efficiency. The various colors available allow for greater versatility in visual design.

With the white panels, there is a common misconception that its reflective nature makes it a bad choice for panel design, though CSEM has solved that issue with its panels.

“It combines a solar cell technology able to convert infrared solar light into electricity and a selective scattering filter, which scatters the whole visible spectrum while transmitting infrared light,” CSEM explains. “Any solar technology based on crystalline silicon can now be used to manufacture white—and colored—modules.”

The ability to change the panel’s color is also important from a design standpoint. CSEM is providing a blank slate can be easily integrated into almost any building design, making going solar easier than ever.

"Our revolutionary technology lets us achieve what was supposed to be impossible: white and colored solar panels with no visible cells or connections,” CSEM said. “It can be applied on top of an existing module or integrated into a new module during assembly, on flat or curved surfaces. We can change the color of all existing panels or create customized looks from scratch. Solar panels can now disappear; they become virtually hidden energy sources."

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