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Old 28-02-2013, 23:07   #1
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Walk on solar panel?

Does anyone have solar panels they walk on? I have seen several advertised as being tread proof but as ever I am doubtful of sales patter. I would like to fit flexi panels to the cabin roof but they will have to be trodden on from time to time.
Any thoughts?
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Old 28-02-2013, 23:47   #2
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

Mine is on the lazarette, I try not to walk on it but I do from time to time ,hasn't stopped it from working, but can't be doing it any good
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Old 28-02-2013, 23:48   #3
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

I can't say from experience, I've tried putting solar panels everywhere else in my boat but left the cabin roof alone because of high shading and plenty enough stuff up there already. I'd definitely want "tread proof" to appear somewhere in the written warranty before I would try it. I'd also worry about how slippery it could be. Not just that you could hurt yourself, but also tread proof doesn't necessarily mean large person falling hard on it proof. What about something like the rollable powerfilm solar panels?
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Old 28-02-2013, 23:54   #4
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

I had a flexible panel for a while. Came with the boat. Was quite well used. Could definitely be walked on. It would be slippery. The wire is a trip hazard. Heavy but will blow away in a good gust. They are not as efficient as traditional rigid panels, but far better at making electricity than bare deck That's all I know.
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Old 01-03-2013, 00:40   #5
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

Here is a link that advertises flexible solar panels for marine use that are actually dimpled for grip...
Solara Semi Flexible Solar Panels - For Yachts, Motor Boats, Canal Boats and Caravans
They are relatively expensive but Vs diesel generator they stack up well... Im thinking that 200W Solar + E400 wind turbine would cost a whole lot less and generate free juice...
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:32   #6
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

One of our solar panels is semi flexible and mounted on the cabin top. Whilst it is claimed to be "walk on" we don't because although the panel will bend about 3cm per metre this is only in one direction and the cabin roof under the panel is convex so curves in two directions. the result is an air gap under the middle of the panel of about 3/8". Nylon washers used to mount it ensure there is a little movement so it can flex and the dog Angus at 40kgs likes to sit on the panel because its warm

The panel is dimpled so good none slip surface, however there are lots of complaints on the net for these panel stopping working in just a few years rather than the 25 year panel life they seem to claim. Given the very high cost compared to a rigid panel I don't think I would buy another one now. Output is at best 1.4 AH from a 45w panel, not great and that is when it isn't shaded. Our 80w rigid panel cost 1/5th and produces 4x the AH.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:37   #7
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

Thanks, I have now read a number of similar complaints about this panel too...
Ps... Angus is a handsome chap! Italian Spinone??
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:42   #8
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

He is Labradoodle, but the long straight haired variety so more labrador than standard poodle.

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:08   #9
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Re: Walk on solar panel?

I have had 2 Doodles. IMHO the best dogs in the world!
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