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Old 30-08-2008, 08:24   #1
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Foldable Solar Panel

Hi, I am a new member in this forum.

I am looking for a foldable solar panel for our sailing boat (26 Feet).
Can someone recommend some sites/give advice/recommend manufacturers?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 30-08-2008, 08:31   #2
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Sounds like a good idea. Saw a flexible one on top of a dodger last week. I'm trying to chase it down.
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Old 30-08-2008, 08:41   #3
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I did some research last week as I am also looking for foldable solar panels, here is a product I consider may be worth to check, also if you search at ebay you will find offerings for flexible (foldable) solar panels, hope this helps:

PowerFilm Inc. - The worlds most lightweight and flexible solar panels
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Old 30-08-2008, 08:46   #4
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Thumbs down Avoid Sunlinq

I would highly recommend you avoid the Sunlinq 25w foldable panels.

There used to be another brand of 'flexible' panels that were removed from the US market (I believe it was removed for liability issues, something about overheating) on edit, remembered the name of the ones I was looking at... 'flexcharge'. I searched for some time for a pair, but settled on a pair of Sunlinq 25w panels.

I had them on top of my Bimini where they fit nicely. The problem was that I noticed very little (a few hundred ma) increase in my charging. I tried several tests, connecting one at a time, making sure there was no shading, etc. Nothing I did got the output to more then 300ma.... as verified with a DMM. I even tried running them into a load (in case the low output was related to charging issues since the batteries internal resistance stays higher in a nearly charged battery... yada yada yada...) No joy.

I installed them prior to crossing to the Bahamas, and did not want to pay shipping to send them back. The seller (alt-energy.org) accepted them back after I returned. They did not fess up to having reports of problems with them, but did not act surprised that I had low output from them.

I noticed after my return that West marine had picked up Sunlinq and was selling them in their stores.

I would avoid these panels.
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Old 30-08-2008, 08:50   #5
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I did some research last week as I am also looking for foldable solar panels, here is a product I consider may be worth to check, also if you search at ebay you will find offerings for flexible (foldable) solar panels, hope this helps:

PowerFilm Inc. - The worlds most lightweight and flexible solar panels
I wonder why only non-US can invest since the company is based in Iowa????
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Old 30-08-2008, 10:21   #6
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I wonder why only non-US can invest since the company is based in Iowa????
Maybe because they don't want to get sued?...which of course is a very common occurrence in the States.
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Old 30-08-2008, 12:56   #7
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Infonote,

We have and use (and LIKE A LOT!) some Unisolar flexible panels. I don't think you can get them any more in the USA?? You can see photos of them on our web pages. They are flexible as in you can roll them up and and drape them over a curve, but you can NOT fold them. You might find one on EBay??

I see another company is now making a flexible but the cost has gone WAY up. If you are looking for folding ones, you might get a couple of ridged frames ones and hinge them together.

Greg
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Old 30-08-2008, 18:53   #8
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The problem to check out with flexable panels is delamination.The earlier flexible panels suffered from this.Have they solved this problem?
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Old 30-08-2008, 18:55   #9
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The problem to check out with flexable panels is delamination.The earlier flexible panels suffered from this.Have they solved this problem?
Don't know about the other brands, but the Sunlinq panels did not work right out of the box.....
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Old 01-09-2008, 15:20   #10
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We tried a flexible panel a few years back, but it got discolored and only put out about 25% of its original output after a year. OTOH, our rigid panels are working fine after 15 years.
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Old 01-09-2008, 15:34   #11
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Hamilton Ferris carries a line of flexible solar panels. Haven't used it myself but these guys have a great reputation for quality equipment and support.

Alternate Energy Power Products, wind generators and solar panels

Carl
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