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Old 09-12-2019, 21:04   #16
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Location: Baltimore, MD / Albany, NY
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Re: Flexible Solar Panels you can Walk On

Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
There are huge differences in quality. Cheaper options won't tolerate traffic well at all. The cells are quite fragile and cracks rob power at an alarming rate. But it's not as bad as it seems.

This cheap panel is 5 years old and is still at full power. I keep off of it, but it's probably been stepped on. Most importantly, it is well supported by a smooth deck. (Ecoworthy)

Many of the early failures are on dodgers, where they flex, and the worse extend across a bow, against all manufacture recommendations.

  • Firm support. No flexing at all.
  • Bend them only once, and not to a radius less than recommended (generally just a few inches over the width).
  • Avoid traffic as much as humanly possible. An occasional cautious step should be OK... but why? I climb my mast and have yet to step on the panel for that reason.
Is there a brand you recommend?

Jim Eaton
s/v Pendragon Alberg 35 #175
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Old 10-12-2019, 22:19   #17
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Location: Half Moon Bay, CA, USA
Boat: 1963 Pearson Ariel, Hull 75
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Re: Flexible Solar Panels you can Walk On

Originally Posted by moseriw View Post
SCRAP!: flexible = 5-6 years monocristalline 20 years
I'll concur on this point: Rigid framed panels will last much longer if not subjected to flexing. And they cost much less per amp of output. "Flexible" (bendable) panels should only be considered after all possible locations for rigid framed panels have already been used. I even hung framed panels between my lower shrouds (with reinforcing straps to prevent flexing) before I added "flexible" panels on my deck.

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Old 11-12-2019, 03:10   #18
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Re: Flexible Solar Panels you can Walk On

Originally Posted by JBP View Post
Lensun makes fiberglass backed semiflexible panels suited for decks which are not much more expensive than the plastic backed ones.
Yep, had one of those, a 30w panel mounted on the deck in front of the sprayhood. Never walked on. Started to delaminate after a year but Lensun said its working so no warranty claim. Complained again at the white marks appearing between the layers around the edges at the 2 year point. Lensun said send us the evidence that it doesn't work. At the 2.5 yr point threatened to go public with the pictures unless exchanged. They capitulated and sent a replacement which I promptly sold for 50 to off set the original price of 99

This was a single incident, but Lensun have gone quiet in the UK compared the advertising they used to do 2-3 years ago.

Whilst this drama was being played out the cost of larger 100w plus solar panels has dropped considerably in the UK as China floods the market and the US trade sanctions close that market off. Therefore I going to replace the other 150w fixed panel with a much larger one rather than faff around with smaller flexible panels.

Appreciate this doesn't help the OP, but the only flexible panel that really lasted was from Solara, 10 years after being purchased second hand
They are the ones used on the Atlantic rowing yachts. However, the price is breath taking and too rich for me.

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Old 11-12-2019, 03:57   #19
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Re: Flexible Solar Panels you can Walk On

Check SUNBEAMsystem Tought+ with 5-year warranty

We got ours from Teknik Hamstern (I think they ship worldwide, check forum)

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panels, solar, solar panels

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