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Old 29-04-2022, 01:31   #1
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Best flexible solar panels on the market?

Looking for advice as to which flexible solar panels are the best quality and value on the market.

I know that solid panels are more efficient and last longer. Unfortunately I need to put some panels in an area that might need walking on every now and again.

I am looking at the Renogy 175w panels, but curious if there are other better options.

https://www.renogy.com/175-watt-12-v...e-solar-panel/
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Old 29-04-2022, 02:46   #2
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

SunWare in Germany make great panels
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Old 29-04-2022, 03:02   #3
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

GoPower. On my second set. They backed the first set (delam) in 2018 and this set has been going since. Bahamas & s Fl.
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Old 29-04-2022, 03:31   #4
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

We have a 175W flexible Renogy panel that was mounted on our Bimini. It is well made. We were happy with its output, but I don't know how well it would hold up to being stepped on. I have since replaced it with two Renogy 175W solid panels.Click image for larger version

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Old 29-04-2022, 04:18   #5
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

Thanks for all the suggestions ����keep them coming, always good to get input from people with experience.

I see the Renogy panels have a textured surface, doubles as antiskid and supposedly reflects more light at lower sun angles onto the panels.
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Old 30-04-2022, 00:24   #6
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

After some more research, it looks like Solbian is a high quality product.

https://solbian.solar/en/
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Old 01-05-2022, 18:06   #7
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

This is one outlet for the Sunman eArc panels which seem pretty good.
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Old 07-09-2022, 01:25   #8
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

I bought 4 RAD panels from solar4rvs in late 2019.
They were Chinese manufactured.
One of them has failed mid 2022 appears that the plastic coating is failing.
The boat came with 2 Sunware panels that must be fairly old, one had failed the other has only just failed this year.
So I'm looking to replace 2 panels but what with?
After a quick look Solbian might be OK but they're 3 times the price.
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Old 08-09-2022, 14:20   #9
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

I just installed 430W Sunbeam Togh panels on my forward deck. Completely flush no connection boxes on the panels and a pattern in the surface so they donīt become slippery when wet.
https://www.sunbeamsystem.com/tough-series/
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Old 08-09-2022, 14:34   #10
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

I have had good success with a six month trial of CIGS flexible solar panels.

These panels are a different chemistry than the renogy panels you mention; as a result they can be constructed to be truly flexible; they are rollable, walkable, you name it. Mine have flogged in 40 knots of wind due to poor installation and yet Iíve seen no degradation of output.

The only catch is the are a bit hard to find and a little more expensive, probably $2 a watt all told; I have just placed an order for 48 such panels (80 watts each) directly from a Chinese supplier. Plan is to make some foldaway deployable solar arrays for sunny days when I need more power.

My hope is that they will put an end to the typical performance degradation of flexible panels

Jack
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Old 08-09-2022, 17:19   #11
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagarwal View Post
I have had good success with a six month trial of CIGS flexible solar panels.

These panels are a different chemistry than the renogy panels you mention; as a result they can be constructed to be truly flexible; they are rollable, walkable, you name it. Mine have flogged in 40 knots of wind due to poor installation and yet Iíve seen no degradation of output.

The only catch is the are a bit hard to find and a little more expensive, probably $2 a watt all told; I have just placed an order for 48 such panels (80 watts each) directly from a Chinese supplier. Plan is to make some foldaway deployable solar arrays for sunny days when I need more power.

My hope is that they will put an end to the typical performance degradation of flexible panels

Jack
I'm in the market for some flexible panels too. I saw the CIGS, seem to be longer than most panels. How do they handle shading?
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Old 08-09-2022, 19:52   #12
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

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Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
I'm in the market for some flexible panels too. I saw the CIGS, seem to be longer than most panels. How do they handle shading?

In my experience and tests; they are superior to silicon panels which have a limited number of cells and bypass diodes.

As far as I understand CIGS panels are a continuous thin film PV surface with lots and lots of what behave as bypass diodes; so the loss of output due to shading is more closely related to the percentage of the panel that is shaded (in silicon panels it’s more related to what is shaded, and where the bypass diodes are; I think)

In my own testing if I covered a third of the panel I would lose about a third of the output, cover half and lose half, up to a certain point where output dropped more dramatically. My assumption was that eventually the voltage would drop significantly and therefor output would suffer accordingly.

Just my experience so far; things seem promising but it’s certainly still early.

I’m not exactly sure why they all seem to be manufactured with a different aspect ratio than typical panels; as you said they are longer. My theory is that it makes it more reasonable and compact to roll them lengthwise for storage.

Jack
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Old 17-02-2023, 03:05   #13
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

We have 8 Sunbeam Tough Series solar panels on our deck, and 4 of them have failed in less than 2 years. Voltage has dropped below charging threshold. the manufacturer has done everything possible to avoid a warranty replacement.

https://www.sunbeamsystem.com/solar-panels/
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Old 23-03-2023, 05:15   #14
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratel View Post
After some more research, it looks like Solbian is a high quality product.

https://solbian.solar/en/
From my research it seems their panels are arguable the best. And the price to go along with "being the best".

Foster
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Old 23-03-2023, 05:37   #15
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Re: Best flexible solar panels on the market?

I installed Solbians on the Bim a couple months ago. I have had only had them a few months so I can’t provide a thorough review, but can tell you the overall quality is high, and the output has been better than expected. Downside, they are $.
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