Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-04-2011, 15:30   #1
Registered User
 
Ocean Roads's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cape Coral-Fort Myers Beach, FL
Boat: Westsail 28
Posts: 277
Images: 9
Flexible Solar Panel Recommendations?

Looking for some flexible solar panel recommendations anyone.

Looked at a few at the boat show">Miami Boat Show in February, as expected most cost more and put out less then their rigid counterparts.

I have room on the stern and stern 1/4 rails for normal panels, but would rather keep that area clean, so when the new dogger gets stitched I would like to put some on the top and sides of the dodger.

Whatcha think folks?
__________________

__________________
We, the unwilling, led by the unknowning, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing. Semper Paratus!
Ocean Roads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 15:33   #2
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

I built a frame above my bimini's frame, but I did have the room to raise it........i2f
__________________

__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 15:42   #3
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,781
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

on my ericson i have 5 flexible panels from unisolr s weather cloths...lol..i am trying to make a bimini for my formosa for the solar panels-i have one flexible unisolar--actually is semi-flexible-- and 2 rigid ones to use as bimini cover...
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 15:43   #4
Commercial Member
 
Mark Johnson's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Bern NC
Boat: Searunner 34 Trimaran
Posts: 1,565
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Unless you mean some brand new technology... Besides being twice the size per Amp, the flexible panels are heavy, and only last 1/3rd as long. I wouldn't just lay them on the bimini, as it would sag. A better bet would to have a canvass shop that does tops & enclosures, put two SS bows, like the ones on the bimini, but a couple of inches above. Then mount two large conventional "single crystal" panels on them. One may be shaded much of the time, but the other one will not. In this application, besides the by-pass diodes in the panel, it would pay to put a low V loss Schotky blocking diode, as well as a fuse, in the panel's + wires.

We get all of our power from solar, 95% of the time. IT'S GREAT!!!

Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	378.JPG
Views:	301
Size:	60.3 KB
ID:	26656  
__________________
Mark Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 15:57   #5
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,781
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

my flexivbles have lasted more than 6 years without losing anything-- check your connexions before saying lose anything-- they do not deteriorate-- the connexions do..LOL..... i know-- have em..LOL and i wont trade for anything.

by the way--if you TRULY believe the solar panels are losing/deteriorating, please send them to me-- i will use and use and use..LOL. i received a 3 amp solar panel someone sed was deteriorated--ROFLMFAO!!!!!!! i am getting 3+ amps out of it even with my poorly effected connection work..... send em to me!!!! i will relieve ye of any "deteriorated" panels!!!!!!

as for making them bimini roofing--just place an X shaped support beneath as part of the frame-- voila!!!! magic... but if ye REALLLLY need to rid yerself of them, i will more than gladly take them off your hands......heavy?? no not even.. they are not as heavy as the rigid ones i have found..LOL
zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 16:22   #6
Commercial Member
 
Mark Johnson's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Bern NC
Boat: Searunner 34 Trimaran
Posts: 1,565
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my flexivbles have lasted more than 6 years without losing anything-- check your connexions before saying lose anything-- they do not deteriorate-- the connexions do..LOL..... i know-- have em..LOL and i wont trade for anything.

by the way--if you TRULY believe the solar panels are losing/deteriorating, please send them to me-- i will use and use and use..LOL. i received a 3 amp solar panel someone sed was deteriorated--ROFLMFAO!!!!!!! i am getting 3+ amps out of it even with my poorly effected connection work..... send em to me!!!! i will relieve ye of any "deteriorated" panels!!!!!!

as for making them bimini roofing--just place an X shaped support beneath as part of the frame-- voila!!!! magic... but if ye REALLLLY need to rid yerself of them, i will more than gladly take them off your hands......heavy?? no not even.. they are not as heavy as the rigid ones i have found..LOL
Having put solar on my boats since the early 70s, I consider 6 or 7 years a really short lifespan. I have seen dozens of these flexible panels out cruising, in boatyards, or on the shelf in consignment shops, that are all yellowed out from UVs. They may still work, but not well after 10 years.

The conventional glass covered panels should last 25 years or more, and the last half of their life, is at a higher % of their new output..

I would certainly think that glass panels weigh more than flexible ones. I was just suggesting that to lay a 2' X 3' flexable panel on ones bimini, with no other support, would make the bimini sag. The rack idea I suggested would cost far less (for the same amps), be more storm proof, and last two to three times as long.

My panel "on a rack", as well as the ones on Starboard side rails, has been through 150 MPH winds in Hurricane Ivan!

The ideal place for flexible panels, IMO, is where it is perfectly suited, and another option is not. Then the shorter lifespan is of no consequence. They DO have their place, but on a bimini, IF one has room and is willing to go to the hassle of a custom made rack, That is the way I'd go.

M.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	218.JPG
Views:	219
Size:	49.6 KB
ID:	26663  
__________________
Mark Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 16:30   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: SWFL
Boat: Mariner Ketch 40' "Slainte"
Posts: 58
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Ocean Roads We just mounted 2 135's above our davit's and found a place in Cape Coral, Fl for the aluminum post to cross the davit's and it's as strong as an ox and cost wise I'm thinking better output for my $$$ just my .02
__________________
Slainte40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-04-2011, 17:04   #8
Registered User
 
capnorv's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bainbridge Island Washington on the Salish Sea
Boat: Hardin 45 Voyager Alice B., Gig Harbor 10, Orca 7 1/2 sloop, 16' sea kayak
Posts: 364
Images: 1
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

oceanroads, were you a Coastie? I've had a 2.4 a/12v unisolar since 1988, still working. I also have the same technology in 78 22w/1.9v panels since 1974, still in spec. My one complaint would be the footprint/output. semper paratus
__________________
capnorv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 03:26   #9
Registered User
 
Ocean Roads's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cape Coral-Fort Myers Beach, FL
Boat: Westsail 28
Posts: 277
Images: 9
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

I been a Coastie for 8 years now, one weekend a month, two weeks a year.
__________________
We, the unwilling, led by the unknowning, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing. Semper Paratus!
Ocean Roads is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 03:34   #10
Registered User
 
Eleven's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southampton UK
Boat: Jaguar 22 mono called Arfur.
Posts: 1,220
Images: 3
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Horses for courses. The flexies do accept being walked on, sat on, and having things dropped on them. I had them on the saloon roof where the G-childers treated them as paving slabs, tho I tried to avoid stepping on them it depended on the sea state at the time. Very reliable systems and easier to install. Do note that output drops as temperature gets above hand hot. Having the back of a solid array open to the air will help. On a roof installation water trapped behind any panel will grow green stuff. make the gap big enough so it doesn't trap water (ie self drying).
__________________
Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
Eleven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 04:08   #11
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,619
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

The flexible amorphous panels do have a shorter life than the rigid alternatives. The cells themselves degrade and they slowly produce less power. The better manufactures sell them with slightly pessimistic ratings so they still meet there specs when 2-3 years old. When new they should do better than specified.
There life is usually quoted as 10 to 15 years at which stage they will still be producing some power, but well below the expected amount.
Still not a bad life for some marine electronics.
I am very surprised people are reporting full output from 30 year old flexible panels.

I have also seen a lot die before there time, corrosion around the cable entry is the most common problem..
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 04:49   #12
Registered User
 
careka's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Egersund,Norway
Boat: Lagoon380 Comfort#637
Posts: 704
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to careka
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I am very surprised people are reporting full output from 30 year old flexible panels.

I have also seen a lot die before there time, corrosion around the cable entry is the most common problem..
There is a diff, Northern Europa, and Florida sun.
The good thing for us up north is that the Flexsi once, give good amps even when the sun is not shining,
A good cloudy day they still give amps to the batts.

They just need dayligth.
__________________
careka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 08:28   #13
Registered User
 
capnorv's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bainbridge Island Washington on the Salish Sea
Boat: Hardin 45 Voyager Alice B., Gig Harbor 10, Orca 7 1/2 sloop, 16' sea kayak
Posts: 364
Images: 1
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The flexible amorphous panels do have a shorter life than the rigid alternatives. The cells themselves degrade and they slowly produce less power. The better manufactures sell them with slightly pessimistic ratings so they still meet there specs when 2-3 years old. When new they should do better than specified.
There life is usually quoted as 10 to 15 years at which stage they will still be producing some power, but well below the expected amount.
Still not a bad life for some marine electronics.
I am very surprised people are reporting full output from 30 year old flexible panels.

I have also seen a lot die before there time, corrosion around the cable entry is the most common problem..
The 37 year old panels I am touting are land based, not marine, and I have rewired them, twice, but the panels, as stated, are still at rated output. I checked them individually less than 2 years ago, when I last rewired them.
__________________
capnorv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 08:59   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,834
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I have also seen a lot die before there time, corrosion around the cable entry is the most common problem..
That happened to one of mine.
I just cut off the first section of panel, soldered to the foil, hot glued seams and wire outlet to waterproof, and Voila!, works great!
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-04-2011, 09:37   #15
Registered User
 
Eleven's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Southampton UK
Boat: Jaguar 22 mono called Arfur.
Posts: 1,220
Images: 3
Re: Flexible solar panel recommendations???

The comment about rigid celss being dependant on direct sunlight explains alot. My flexis worked right up 'till sunset and during cloudy weather. Some loss but still useful amps.
__________________

__________________
Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
Eleven is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
solar

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Solar Panel Technology: Solar/Desalination sww914 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 14-04-2011 10:36
For Sale: Flexible Solar Panel senormechanico Classifieds Archive 6 03-03-2011 08:09
Twenty Watt Flexible Panel Mount dcneuro Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 0 12-07-2010 18:16



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.