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Old 20-09-2017, 19:46   #1
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Best new flex panels on the market?

Before everyone tells me to search the old threads, I did. Lots of how do I do this or that and this broke etc. Been reading reviews online, but you never know if a company is behind the review? I have three 8 D battery bank and a separate starter. I just installed a new high output Balmar Alt. New sepentine pully kit. Duo charge unit etc. Brand new Magnum pure sine wave hybrid inverter. System is working great. Last piece are the solar panels. I can fit three definitely maybe four 100 watt flex panels on my bimini. Bring it on, please people who have actual experience with their purchases. Who makes the best panels at the moment?
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Old 20-09-2017, 20:18   #2
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Kenomac has been quite pleased with his on their bimini. Solbian IIRC.
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Old 20-09-2017, 20:46   #3
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Solbian are the gold standard... licensed SunPower cells and great support from Ocean Planet

DISCLAIMER: We sell a wide range of marine gear including solar panels and controllers from many manufacturers
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Old 20-09-2017, 22:19   #4
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Very pleased with the performance of our 450w of flex Solbian panels with five separate Genasun controllers. Shading issues are eliminated by placing the boom off to the side at 45 degrees when at anchor. They charge our bank to 100% without using the generator on sunny days.

We received a substantial discount off the US price here in Italy on a promotion. Some modifications will soon be made to the bimini attachment to prevent lifting in high winds.

Here's a link to the most recent CF discussion. Warning: Some people dislike change, new stuff and things they can't afford.

Mounting solar panels on bimini
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Old 21-09-2017, 09:03   #5
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

I would not buy the HQST flexible panels found on Amazon. Mine worked fine for 6 months and now have turned white and are peeling. They have a 5 year warrantee so we will see.
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Old 21-09-2017, 10:23   #6
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

We installed 2 "GreeSonic" 100 watt panels from Amazon this spring.

100% positive review on these panels.

Northern Great Lakes area.

They have a low-glare high-efficiency top cover with very good ratings for durability.

High efficiency SunPower cells. Renogy MPPT controller.

The panels are flexible, but do have a fairly stiff aluminum sheet backing. No problems with the gentle bend required for mounting on a light mahogany frame on top of the bimini. The whole setup is very unobtrusive -- most visitors don't notice that we have a solar system.

These panels have since May met ALL of our electrical needs for summer cruising. The boat is on a mooring at home and when we do stop at a marina we don't bother to plug in. We do have a high-output alternator setup but have not needed to run the engine for charging. When cruising in good weather, on a sunny day the batteries (420 AH Trojans) are brought to full charge by lunchtime. On a good day we have seen a measured 180 watts gross output with about 170 watts going into the batteries.

Hinterhoeller Niagara 35 Major Electrical Loads: All LED lighting, Isotherm Refrigeration, Computer, VHF, Stereo, Holding Tank Aeration, Espar Forced Air Diesel Heater.

In the past I have been very skeptical about the practicality of solar and hated the look, weight, and windage of the older aluminum framed panels. We always relied on the Volvo diesel for charging. Now I am a complete convert and can't say enough good things about these panels and controller.
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Old 21-09-2017, 12:47   #7
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Kenomac has been quite pleased with his on their bimini. Solbian IIRC.
What kind of backing did you use?
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Old 21-09-2017, 15:38   #8
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Had all mine replaced by Solbian Twice!!, Fading issues and bad connection boxes on top, very expensive, would rather use cheap Chinese panels and chuck them out after 3 years
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Old 21-09-2017, 15:41   #9
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Having said that, Flexible panels are the way to go, would not go back to fixed heavy weight glass panels on a boat or motor home,
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Old 21-09-2017, 15:51   #10
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

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Old 21-09-2017, 16:22   #11
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Guess every Boat is different regarding mounting opportunities but my Bimini mounted flex panels faded after 2 seasons. My "heavy " rail mounted traditional panels look and perform outstanding!
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Old 21-09-2017, 19:32   #12
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

We purchased a couple of https://www.amazon.com/KINGSOLAR-Mon...anels+120+watt
two years ago and are happy with them.
The connectors are at the end of the panel on the bottom.
They're mounted across an arch on the stern.
A little bit of the PET coating (whatever that is) is flaking off, but it doesn't affect the performance at all.
Besides those two, we also have a couple of 100 watt Aurinco panels which we like very much, but they've closed shop.
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Old 21-09-2017, 19:39   #13
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailm8 View Post
I would not buy the HQST flexible panels found on Amazon. Mine worked fine for 6 months and now have turned white and are peeling. They have a 5 year warrantee so we will see.
Did you remember to remove the clear shipping plastic that they use to protect the surface in shipping just like your new cellphone was packaged. ?
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Old 22-09-2017, 02:14   #14
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Best new flex panels on the market?

Intereting thread as we too are looking at flexible. Two questions:

- how are these actually attached to the bimini? Are they sewn in, zipped, etc. What options are available.
- are there any heat or burning issues to the underlying bimini material (sunbrella) from the panels?

Thanks
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Old 22-09-2017, 05:20   #15
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Re: Best new flex panels on the market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
Intereting thread as we too are looking at flexible. Two questions:

- how are these actually attached to the bimini? Are they sewn in, zipped, etc. What options are available.
- are there any heat or burning issues to the underlying bimini material (sunbrella) from the panels?

Thanks
Zipped and Velcro. Either works well alone, but ours have both.
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