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Old 17-06-2015, 20:11   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
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Protecting Flexible Solar Panels

I have two Solarplex 120W flexible panels (SR120) that are 18 months old. Chinese with Sunpower cells but the top coat is apparently PET (see below for a review I have found).

They are starting to show signs of deterioration - cloudy, discoloured surface, possible delamination.

I was thinking of giving them a good clean and then applying some polish, hoping to delay further deterioration. Comments please?

Solarplex panel construction
In recent times (since about March 2013), we have seen the emergence from China of
a range of semi flexible polymer based panels. Of course in this case we are dealing
with lower labour costs in the manufacture, but there are significant differences in the
construction method as well. In this case, the cells are encapsulated between two very
thin layers of EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate). Then a back and top sheet are laminated in
place. Importantly, the top sheet is a PET (same as the plastic used in a drink bottle).
We believe that the PET will not have the same UV stability as the Solbian product
and the panel will have a life of about 4 to 5 years with full sun exposure. A gradual
fading of the top surface would reduce the amount of sunlight available to the cells
and the power of the panel would start to fall away. Also, the PET does tend to get a
bit soft in very high heat, which lowers the cell stability within the panel. This can
lead to micro breakages of the cells and an associated drop in power.
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Old 17-06-2015, 20:38   #2
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Boat: Beneteau 373
Posts: 147
Re: Protecting Flexible Solar Panels

I had the same thing happen, cloudy discolouration. However, seemed to only lose a small amount of output. A 70 knt gust fixed them forever.

Had them attached to my bimini and were ripped out. I now have a new model and have connected with Velcro all round and laced also.

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panels, rot, solar, solar panels

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