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Old 04-07-2014, 10:03   #1
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RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Does anyone have experience with the performance and reliability of these Renogy flex panels. The price is good and the specs look good. Comments from actual users would be appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:58   #2
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

I am also interested in the Renogy panels and would appreciate information from anybody who has used the flexible panels (or the rigid ones for that matter). I wrote the company to ask if they made the panels themselves (or subcontracted them) and where they were made. They replied "We make the solar panels by ourself," but did not indicate where they were made.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:03   #3
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

I have 4 of the rigid 100 watt panels. They perform as advertised and seem to be well constructed. At first I bought two, but figured a way to get four on my boat. The first two are on their 3rd season and still look/perform like brand new.

I would have probably bought the flex panels if they were available at the time.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2014, 11:12   #4
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

I have bought one of the 100 watt flexible panels to check it out but haven't installed it yet. I did put a multimeter on it and had good voltage.

The panel construction quality looked very good (connectors, wires, cells, backing). It's 1/8" thick and weights 3.2lbs. I paid $199 delivered.

It is quite flexible - but not as flexible as the Solbian panels. It will easily bend for the curve of my bimini which is where I plan to put it.

All wiring is on top. The back is smooth white plastic. There are six small brass grommets around the edges. There's a minimum of 5/8" of white plastic border for velcro or more grommets.

Like virtually all solar panels, I expect they are made in Asia. But I like that a substantial US company is willing to put their name on it.

Since I don't know Renogy, I decided to risk the $199. I'll report back when I've had some usage.


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Old 06-07-2014, 11:49   #5
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Have been looking at the kit they market. Like the thought of flexible panels, so might wait for a little. Glad to read positive experiences with Renogy. Not too many negatives to be found.
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Old 06-07-2014, 16:18   #6
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Unfortunately there is not a lot of hard independent data on the Chinese semi-flexible panels yet. At the sub $200 price point I am tempted to buy one or two for experimentation since there are few, if any, in-depth long-term reviews. One thing that concerns me about any semi flexible panel is that they are plastic coated. As most car and boat owners (think headlights and dodger windows) have experienced, plastics under prolonged direct UV exposure tend to yellow, craze, haze, chalk, turn gummy, and/or turn brittle over time regardless of the initial quality. This wouldn't be the case with a glass panel. In the end, if you go semi-flexible you are jumping in somewhat as an "early adopter" and just have to accept the potential ups and downs that go with that.

That said, I expect the marine solar market to flip almost completely over to semi-flexible panels in the next five years. The weight and bulk savings are just too great to ignore especially as it's becoming more and more common to see arrays in excess of 300 watts. I started out thinking I'd go with 2 x190 watt rigid panels but the the weight with mounting hardware would have been over 75lbs and the cost of building a support frame above the bimini would have been over $500 by the time I built something sturdy enough and that looked aesthetically pleasing. That framing cost really changes the value proposition of the rigid panel unless you already have an arch or a hard top.
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Old 06-07-2014, 18:37   #7
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
That said, I expect the marine solar market to flip almost completely over to semi-flexible panels in the next five years. The weight and bulk savings are just too great to ignore especially as it's becoming more and more common to see arrays in excess of 300 watts. I started out thinking I'd go with 2 x190 watt rigid panels but the the weight with mounting hardware would have been over 75lbs and the cost of building a support frame above the bimini would have been over $500 by the time I built something sturdy enough and that looked aesthetically pleasing. That framing cost really changes the value proposition of the rigid panel unless you already have an arch or a hard top.
I would agree with this 100%. The frame to support these above your bimini or whatever can really double the cost of the project.
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Old 09-07-2014, 16:37   #8
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Anyone have experience with the RDK panels?
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Old 14-11-2014, 06:47   #9
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Giving a bump here to see if anyone's got further comments on the Renogy panels, particularly the semi-flex ones. The price seems to fall into the "too good to be true" category as compared to other semi-flex panels, but they seem to get good reviews. Am looking to buy a few for use as a bimini cover.
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Old 14-11-2014, 07:00   #10
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Well, I started this thread back in the beginning of July. I decided to buy one of the 100 watt Renogy flex panel kits with a mppt controller. I had it on my Bimini all summer and am very satisfied with it. There is no appreciable heat on the Bimini and the panel is very light. Installation was very easy. I'm quite satisfied. I may but another panel and separate controller.

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Old 14-11-2014, 11:52   #11
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

I have (2) Renogy 250 watt hard panels on my davits and their solar controller.

They are working great for me. Even when in the marina I turn off my charger during daylight as they keep everything 100%.

When Sailing or on the hook they keep me charged during daylight hours. I am very pleased.

Tom
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Old 14-11-2014, 20:21   #12
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Great. Thanks guys. I'll likely buy them.
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Old 14-11-2014, 20:26   #13
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Bozsail - how did you mount them on the bimini?
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Old 14-11-2014, 21:37   #14
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

From what I understand, Pretty much all the low end flexable solar panels (Eco worthy, renogy, , etc) come out of the same factory and are branded under different names. So far I've heard great things. We just received 2 100watt renogy.Panels. So will let ya know how it goes too.
Soon solar fabric will take over, can't wait for that
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Old 15-11-2014, 04:30   #15
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re: RENOGY Flexible Solar Panels

Results of Renogy 100W solar panel immersion test...

While preparing to install my new 100W panel on the lazarette, I set it up on the bimini to avoid possible damage. Got cold, got late, got stupid and went below for supper and a nights sleep without stowing the panel. 20knt winds overnight stowed it for me, alongside the boat in about 20' of cold saltwater.

There it sat, on the bottom somewhere... Called my buddy the diver who charged me a full hour for a five minute recovery. (Too cold for me) but offered to swim around for a bit just to act like it was difficult.

Anyway, hauled it out of the drink, rinsed it off in fresh water, and installed it. Functioning just fine, so guess the encapsulation works. Not sure a regular glazed in frame panel would have survived 12 hrs at 20'.

This is not a recommended procedure for installation. Use at your own risk.
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