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Old 15-10-2013, 13:34   #46
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

Got my 2 100w flexpanels from Shine Solar today. Look pretty decent for the price. The junction mount could have been done a little cleaner, but looks like it will last. I should have asked for bigger corner gourmets. The price is right - we'll see if they make it past the 90-day or 90 feet warranty.
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Old 16-10-2013, 16:34   #47
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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Got my 2 100w flexpanels from Shine Solar today. Look pretty decent for the price. The junction mount could have been done a little cleaner, but looks like it will last. I should have asked for bigger corner gourmets. The price is right - we'll see if they make it past the 90-day or 90 feet warranty.
I am one person who will be looking forward to your future report on these. Particularily on how they perform on hookup.

From the sales blurb and some of your earlier comments, the suggestion is that these panels are based on Sun Power cells. Now you have them in your hands, are you able to confirm this?

Lee
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Old 16-10-2013, 19:47   #48
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I can confirm that both Solbian and Solara are available with 22.5% efficient SunPower cells
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Old 17-10-2013, 16:31   #49
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

Can't confirm they have the high efficiency cells on them. By the dimensions of the 100 watt panel it appears to have the high efficiency cells. I'll see what it puts out when I get them installed and get some decent high sun. I paid US$491 for two 100watt panels including shipping. That's a fraction of the price for a single 90/100watt Solbian - so not sure of the direct comparison.
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Old 29-10-2013, 12:29   #50
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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This is how the grommets look on my Shenzen made panels after 3 weeks on my terrace, they were not installed on a boat or in a salty environment.
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Old 29-10-2013, 13:39   #51
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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This is how the grommets look on my Shenzen made panels after 3 weeks on my terrace, they were not installed on a boat or in a salty environment.
The price we pay for 'cheap' goods. ;-)

We also lost the jobs. ;-))

b.
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Old 29-10-2013, 18:05   #52
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

yep..
I could change to SS grommets for 5 bucks, though.

The panel works great so far - its now installed on my dinghy cover - and it doesn't have to look great there so the rust doesn't matter - kind of a anti theft thing - the uglier the safer...
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Old 29-10-2013, 18:27   #53
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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I can confirm that both Solbian and Solara are available with 22.5% efficient SunPower cells
One easy way to weed out the impostors, Sunpower's cells use an all back contact setup (they hold a patent on it) so there are no wires running across the front of the cells as there are with just about every other manufacturer. AFAIK Sunpower is still the only commercially available product with all back contacts. Lots of people trying to get around that patent, so subject to change at any moment (and I may be behind the times and it has already changed).
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Old 30-10-2013, 06:46   #54
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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One easy way to weed out the impostors, Sunpower's cells use an all back contact setup (they hold a patent on it) so there are no wires running across the front of the cells as there are with just about every other manufacturer. AFAIK Sunpower is still the only commercially available product with all back contacts. Lots of people trying to get around that patent, so subject to change at any moment (and I may be behind the times and it has already changed).
So do these look like real Sunpower cells to you? They are supposed to be German built cells.
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Old 30-10-2013, 06:53   #55
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

Here's my 2 x 100 watt Shine Solar flexpanels mounted on the Bimini. They are putting out about 50% of spec. That's about the same as my hard panels with the Sun as low as it is here (37*N). They are held down with lashings to sewn on loops in the corners and short velcro on the forward edge. We'll see next week how they hold up offshore.
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Old 30-10-2013, 07:48   #56
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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So do these look like real Sunpower cells to you? They are supposed to be German built cells.
They certainly look like back contact cells, which is a hard and expensive way to build a fake. But then Rolex, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton can all be found in convincing fakes. Then only real way to tell is from output, you can't fake cell efficiency.

Even at 37N at this time of year, if you can point the cells directly at the sun between about 1030 and 1330 (1130 and 1430 if on DST) you should get very close to 1000W/m2 on a clear, cloudless day and at least 90% of rated output. Most of the tracking plants I'm working on at the moment (coincidentally between 32 and 38N) are seeing 950+ W/m2 during midday. If you don't have a way to actually measure the light that's pretty much the best you can do. Alternatively, there are a couple of phone apps available (depending on your flavor) that will calculate theoretical output based on time, position, temperature (all of which most phones know) and the angle at which you tell it the panels are mounted. Again, assumes a clear, cloudless sky.

(Note to self - since all these phones have an inclinometer and a light meter for the camera could you build an app to actually measure solar irradiance from the phone?)
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Old 30-10-2013, 07:59   #57
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

I don't have time now to unmount these and point them at the sun. Its overcast today anyway. I'll be in the Carib in a few weeks and know more. As I mentioned, they are putting out the same relative amount as my flat hard panels, so I think they are close to spec.
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Old 30-10-2013, 13:33   #58
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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Here's my 2 x 100 watt Shine Solar flexpanels mounted on the Bimini. They are putting out about 50% of spec. That's about the same as my hard panels with the Sun as low as it is here (37*N). They are held down with lashings to sewn on loops in the corners and short velcro on the forward edge. We'll see next week how they hold up offshore.
A nice looking setup! FWIW, the cells look very much like my Solbians.

When I had the zippers for my panel sewed onto the bimini, the guy doing the work suggested putting a sacrificial strip of cloth along the edges to protect the sunbrella from the panel edge. It's not particularly sharp, but he thought it could wear over time. Given the price of replacing the canvas, I thought it was very cheap insurance.
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Old 30-10-2013, 13:48   #59
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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A nice looking setup! FWIW, the cells look very much like my Solbians.

When I had the zippers for my panel sewed onto the bimini, the guy doing the work suggested putting a sacrificial strip of cloth along the edges to protect the sunbrella from the panel edge. It's not particularly sharp, but he thought it could wear over time. Given the price of replacing the canvas, I thought it was very cheap insurance.
That makes sense. Mine is on Stamoid, a little tougher but still susceptible. I sanded the corners of the panel bases, as they were pretty sharp.

Is the coating on the Solbian panels strong enough to take walking on? I would not even try walking on the panels I have.
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Old 30-10-2013, 13:55   #60
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Re: Flexible Solar Panel mounted directly on Sunbrella

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That makes sense. Mine is on Stamoid, a little tougher but still susceptible. I sanded the corners of the panel bases, as they were pretty sharp.

Is the coating on the Solbian panels strong enough to take walking on? I would not even try walking on the panels I have.
Not at all. I'm not sure what the coating material is, but I wouldn't want to put the panels in any situation where they were getting abraided, let alone walked on.
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