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Old 28-09-2012, 04:08   #1
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Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

We are installing solar panels on the Bimini of a cat. The framed panels average 15kg per panel for the 100W'ers. The Solbianflex panels are 1.5kg each. A saving of 54kg just on the panels. Whilst they are expensive the SP100L panels are rated @22.5% efficiency, the highest I have found anywhere. In cats weight, particularly at the extremities of the vessel severely inhibits performance so the attraction of these panels is obvious. Does anyone have personal experience with these panels. Any comments would be appreciated.
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Old 28-09-2012, 04:37   #2
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Some of the Solbian panels have a very low Voc so will only work with the very small number of controllers that will boost voltage, or when combined (in series) with other panels. Gensun is one company that makes regulators like this.

The panels look like a useful alternative option, but generally rigid panels are much cheaper and panels like this are only worthwhile where the flexibility is essential.

Durability has been an issue with this sort panel, but I have no experience of this particular brand.

(Edited from a previous reply)
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Old 28-09-2012, 05:13   #3
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Nasa,

Maybe talk to Oliver66 about his flexable solar panel install.

Solar
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Old 28-09-2012, 06:05   #4
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Nasa,

You may want to look at these SunPower panels also.
They have been installed on a lot of FP boats with great success.
They are the most powerfull, lightweight & smallest panels you can buy.
SunPower makes a 240 & a 327 watt panel.
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File Type: pdf SunPower240watt_e19.pdf (352.3 KB, 547 views)
File Type: pdf Sunpower327watt_e20a.pdf (400.9 KB, 248 views)
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Old 28-09-2012, 06:16   #5
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Nasa, I've been wondering about these panels, too. The 80 and 100 watt panels have a Voc of 20V. You've probably noticed that the older 80 watt panels cost almost 50% less than the newer, more efficient 100 watt panels of the same size. To me the upside of flexible panels is reduced weight aloft, reduced windage, and a more streamlined aesthetic. The downside is price and (perhaps) durability. Anyone have experience with the Solbian panels?
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Old 28-09-2012, 06:41   #6
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Thanks for the links Cotemar and have already had a look at the Sunpower Panels. All looks good for them but once again an average weight of 15kg, whereas Solbian are 1.5kg and use Sunpower cells anyway. Yes durability has been raised as a possible issue by others. As you are aware we are fitting out the Helia and want to replace the FP option panels with the flex panels. So for the pre-determined panel placement on the Helia size becomes an issue. I think the Sunpower panels may be too big. Still awaiting Bimini measurements from FP to get a better idea.
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Old 28-09-2012, 07:02   #7
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Nasa,

Looking at the size and output of the Solbian Flexible Solar Panels.
You will not have enough room on the back of your bimmini to get the power output you need. You will save weight, but not space and the power output is low.
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Old 28-09-2012, 09:20   #8
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

I'm very happy with my Aurinco 100 watt flexible panels.

Aurinco solar start page
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:09   #9
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Re: Solbian Flexible Solar Panels

Aurincos are great if you need to walk on the panels. I've sold some and feedback was positive.

Full disclosure: I'm the NA importer of the Solbian panels, and now have distributors around the US & Canada. Going well so far, and I'm as curious as anyone as to the long-term durability.

On the plus side, of the few panels (2 so far) that had some reduced output problem, Solbian replaced them immediately.

I've added some additional custom sizes in the "SP" series (SunPower cells, high-power panels), sheet attached.

Let me know if it's not ok to post this stuff (prices, etc.) here...apologies if not, I can remove if requested.

Bruce
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