Colorful solar panels are now available to snazz up your roof

Washington DC - Imagine a climate solution that would light up rooftops and turn an overlooked option for decorating into a green energy source!

Four is better than one when it comes to color options!
Four is better than one when it comes to color options!  © Adapted from ACS Nano 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.2c05840

Researchers with the American Chemical Society designed a new type of solar panels that move away from that boring dark blue design and head for the rainbow, as seen by

The team sprayed a special kind of tiny glass balls onto the surface of their panels, which are available in colors like green, purple, and blue. Ideally, the team thinks the funky appearance will help make people happier about tricking out their rooftop with solar PV, boosting urban renewable energy.

The new panels take a tiny hit to how much power they can produce, but if that means customizing rooftops with a range of colors, it might be worth the small sacrifice. After all, we're only talking a decrease from around 22.6% of the sun's energy to about 21.5%.

No disrespect to the classic dark blue, which can sometimes look like an iridescent black – that dark coloring helps the panels absorb as much sunlight as possible. But choice is always great when it comes to adding new gadgets to your home, and we're here for rooftops full of rainbows.

Besides, it's this kind of innovation that keeps the sustainable energy ball rolling, along with kooky ideas like slapping solar cells into windows, or getting panels out on the water with floatovoltaics.

There are even more colors on the way, with the team focusing on brighter hues.

If color options are what it takes to get people more excited about adding solar panels to their roofs, then let that rainbow glow, baby!

Cover photo: Adapted from ACS Nano 2022, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.2c05840

More on Environment and Climate: