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Old 26-08-2017, 00:09   #31
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The OP asked for opinions, just because you don't agree doesn't make them "snarky."

Maybe your "buddy" should have purchased quality flex panels from a reputable company offering a five year performane guarantee instead of the cheap ones off ebay? Mine seem to be working fine.
Have you read the guarantee? Don't know what brand you have but just read Solbians 5 year guarantee and it would surprise me if they ever pay out anything!
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Old 26-08-2017, 00:29   #32
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Have you read the guarantee? Don't know what brand you have but just read Solbians 5 year guarantee and it would surprise me if they ever pay out anything!
As the Solbian importer for North America, I can say that they have been 100% committed to taking care of any warranty issues. Sometimes even when the installations had mistakes. I wish all manufacturers were as easy to work with as they have been.

That said, they do cost a lot more than glass panels. It's definitely a matter of "horses for courses"...you could have glass panels on the davits, Solbian on the Bimini, and Solbian deck or Solara panels (super durable) on the decks...
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Old 26-08-2017, 00:30   #33
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Have you read the guarantee? Don't know what brand you have but just read Solbians 5 year guarantee and it would surprise me if they ever pay out anything!
Performance drops off some each year on all solar panels including rigid. With flex panels, the owner is able to easily remove the panels via zips and velcro during the off-season and store them below deck to greatly extend the performance and life expectancy of the panels. Unlike rigid panels which remain exposed to the marine environment and sun. For seven months each year when our boat isn't in use or is at the dock plugged into shore power, our panels are stored below and out of the sun.

Our Solbians will only have experienced four years of use when most rigid panels will have had 10 years use and exposer to then sun and maine environment.
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Old 26-08-2017, 00:45   #34
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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That is a very nice installation! Looks smooth. Well done!

-----

TO ALL READING THIS: (yes, that is a shout out)

This thread has shown some good photos of different Solar Panel Installations.

If you have not done so already, please add your photos and a description of your Solar Panel Installation to the following sticky or ongoing thread:


Illustrated Guide to Solar Installations on Boats

Thanks!
Done.
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Old 26-08-2017, 01:16   #35
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

More than one solar panel manufacturer has stated recently, that their flexible solar panels are not intended to be mounted on flexible surfaces due to premature deterioration of their panel's sub strata construction.
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Old 26-08-2017, 01:22   #36
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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More than one solar panel manufacturer has stated recently, that their flexible solar panels are not intended to be mounted on flexible surfaces due to premature deterioration of their panel's sub strata construction.
Then why did the Solbian factory sales manager recommend installing our Solbian flex panels on our bimini and do the install themselves at the factory in Italy?

Photo of our bimini at the Solbian factory facility provided by Solbian prior to shipment for approval. I think they did an excellent job.
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Old 26-08-2017, 01:39   #37
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Drilling holes through the tubing will seriously weaken the tubing necessitating the use of heavier more expensive tubing to compensate. If there is any flex in the tubing with holes drilled in it, it will crack at the holes due to the fact that most flex will occur at the weakest point versus spread evenly over the entire span. If you ever replace the panel you will most likely have holes in the wrong places and need to drill more holes. Clamps definaitly.
honestly and respectfully said by a mech eng, you are filled up of technical misconceptions.

Sure, Tour Eiffel is enough to witness you wrong.

But, :-) l am sure you would still it all in wrong place.

Sorry
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Old 26-08-2017, 02:17   #38
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Then why did the Solbian factory sales manager recommend installing our Solbian flex panels on our bimini and do the install themselves at the factory in Italy?

Photo of our bimini at the Solbian factory facility provided by Solbian prior to shipment for approval. I think they did an excellent job.
I certainly don't know. Perhaps they wished to reduce inventory and make money?
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Old 26-08-2017, 03:19   #39
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

To the OP. I am very happy with what some here would call the jungle gym look. Each to their own and I don't feel the need pass negative judgement on others decisions.

BUT, one advantage of the nylon clamps that I do not believe has been mentioned so far is that they help eliminate the dissimilar metals problem you face with aluminium solar frames attaching to stainless steel tubing. I recently removed some four year old panels from the stern tower on out boat and I was unpleasantly surprised by the degree of corrosion after so few years.

I'll be using the nylon clamps when I put my other pair of panels on the bimini frame.

And I think I will be perfectly happy with the appearance. :^)
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Old 26-08-2017, 04:00   #40
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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I certainly don't know. Perhaps they wished to reduce inventory and make money?
I'd say that 75% of the Solbian solar panels in North America are installed on canvas. Or course the canvas should not be flopping around; it needs to be a sturdy well made bimini or dodger.
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Old 26-08-2017, 05:54   #41
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Have you read the guarantee? Don't know what brand you have but just read Solbians 5 year guarantee and it would surprise me if they ever pay out anything!
I'm not impressed with a five year guarantee. I'm pretty sure the Kyoceras I bought in 2010 came with a 15 year guarantee (and they still work like new). I didn't even bother to check what the guarantee was on the two Kyocera panels I just bought.
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Old 26-08-2017, 07:17   #42
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

Well, I think I'll get the nylon clamps, just in case. Moving the panels around, adding and deleting panels and ending up with multiple holes in my tubing made the best argument.
Flex panels.....they were a little pricey for me and my bimini cover is starting to show some wear. I did buy a Sailrite sewing machine recently so we're learning and the dodger would be a perfect place for the flex panels. The Cape Dory doesn't have a monster cockpit like the newer boats so there's not a ton of space for solar.
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Old 26-08-2017, 07:27   #43
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

Yes, prices have come down enough that many people choose to replace their panels every few years rather than mount framed units.

If really mounted properly, and spending the premium for the likes of Solbian they may even get a decade, and many owners turn their boat over more frequently than that.
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Old 26-08-2017, 07:33   #44
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

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Yes, prices have come down enough that many people choose to replace their panels every few years rather than mount framed units.

If really mounted properly, and spending the premium for the likes of Solbian they may even get a decade, and many owners turn their boat over more frequently than that.
"We took the Solbian flexible solar panels off the bimini because even though I'd paid a fortune for them, contrary to the press, they never did work well."
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Old 26-08-2017, 07:44   #45
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Re: Mounting solar panels on bimini

Are you saying good semi-flex just don't exist then?
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