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Old 08-03-2018, 01:33   #1
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Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

I want to add an extra solar panel to my set up and have found a 100x flexible panel that is virtually the same size and shape as my current 2x 32w panels. Nice jump up in capacity but there is a minor niggle to resolve before I commit.

We tie our 2 panels on top of our bimini when in use with lines from the 6 mounting holes in these panels. This sounds mad but it is actually very secure and they have withstood 45kt winds. It also means we can adjust the position of the panels easily and take them down when not on board to tie them to the coachroof to trickle charge the house battery over winter.

The problem is the new panel only has 4 mounting hole, at each corner, with no holes in the mid point. So the question to the collective brain is:

What is the simplest, strongest method of adding a tie down point to a flexible solar panel WITHOUT making any holes in the panel?

I'm kind of thinking epoxying a loop of high strength line to the underside of the panel but am open to other suggestions that don't include making a hole in the panel.

Cheers

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Old 08-03-2018, 06:44   #2
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

They must be mounted on a fixed backing that never flexes, or they won't last more than 2-3 years.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:58   #3
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

Wide strips of velcro glued on. This is how mine are secured to the deck

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Old 08-03-2018, 08:05   #4
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

You might also try 3Ms vhb tape. Still holding my semi flexible panels after 5 years no problem.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:17   #5
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
They must be mounted on a fixed backing that never flexes, or they won't last more than 2-3 years.
Not true as my flexi panels are 5 years old and still producing perfectly fine. They are designed to roll up so do not need to be fixed to a solid backing.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:36   #6
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

I agree that the semi-flexible panels do not like to flex. They will curve to a certain extent but holding an irregular shape and flexing are two different things. I solved the issue with a welded frame of 1/2 inch aluminum channel. Experimentation has shown that 5200 combined with a rough surface on both sides of the bond is excellent for attachment. Glued to the back, the net result is negligible added weight and size but excellent rigidity and much reduced weight over conventional hard panels.

My flexibles are all designed to move about and be stowed when needed. Have several years of use with no serious degradation and no failures.

If there is sufficient margin around the panel I see no issue in drilling holes. I have added holes and enlarged holes to make more suitable attachment points on several different manufacturer's panels.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:45   #7
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

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You might also try 3Ms vhb tape. Still holding my semi flexible panels after 5 years no problem.
EDIT: I thinking dual lock not VHB.
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:49   #8
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

These are flexible panels not semi flex. They are designed to flex, in this particular case up to 30 and in my original panels they are designed to roll up.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:00   #9
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
EDIT: I thinking dual lock not VHB.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER


(Edit: You edited your post while I was adding mine, quoting your pre-edit.)
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:35   #10
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

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Not true as my flexi panels are 5 years old and still producing perfectly fine. They are designed to roll up so do not need to be fixed to a solid backing.
Very interesting, must not be the usual semi-flex sold these days.

Could you link to them please?
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:26   #11
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

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These are flexible panels not semi flex. They are designed to flex, in this particular case up to 30 and in my original panels they are designed to roll up.
I think you may get more useful answers if you post actual specifications. I think there is confusion.
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:51   #12
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

It is possible to get Semi flexible Polycrystalline Solar Panels made in Austria from Photonic Universe with up to 150W output which have 12 Holes pre drilled with Eyelets which can take Turnbuckle fastenings if required.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:32   #13
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

3M's industrial hook-n-loop fastening tapes, the ones that can withstand high temperatures, would do well. I've seen some generous patches of plain 2" wide velcro wind up taking a putty knife to be separated, the gear couldn't be torn off by hand.
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Old 11-03-2018, 12:37   #14
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

I am planning to use them in a solid frame - not stainless like this one, but something lighter, carbon or aluminum:

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Old 11-03-2018, 12:58   #15
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Re: Adding fixings to a flexible solar panel

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It is possible to get Semi flexible Polycrystalline Solar Panels made in Austria from Photonic Universe with up to 150W output which have 12 Holes pre drilled with Eyelets which can take Turnbuckle fastenings if required.
No, those are not what OP is talking about.

I have come across this type, very rare, much less efficient in watts per square area, but much more physically robust and actually flexible, not just in name only.

A link to the specs sheet or a vendor page would, be great.
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