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Old 07-01-2019, 22:23   #76
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

Interesting thread here. Just wanted to throw in my two cents. We just bought a Lagoon 450 that had previously installed walk on panels made by Aurunco. They failed. Iím currently replacing them with 11 panels by Solara. Their Power M series. They are semi rigid. We will have a total of 1300W. I just got 6 of them screwed and glued today. We are using outback controllers and a few victron controllers. These will feed our large Lithium Mastervolt system. Each different panel size needs to be kept together, so that you donít mix voltages. Each one has its own diode as well to prevent over heating. This Solara brand appears the be the best in class and will work well with oblique sun angles, and partial shading. They are true walk on panels with a non skid surface that actually has a prismatic effect to capture more light.
I have to say that these panels are fully encapsulated and appear to be of exceptionally high quality.
In my opinion, the glass panels are certainly cheaper, but much more fragile, and they are typically mounted in areas where windage could become a serious issue on giant frames. I do agree that the Solbian flexible panels appear to be cheap, and obviously the cheap Chinese stuff is not built for a marine environment. These Solara panels are made in Germany and so far Iím very impressed and happy with the product. They arenít cheap, but they appear to be very well engineered for the marine environment.
Weíll have to see how they look in 5 years.


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Old 08-01-2019, 09:11   #77
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

I have added sail battens to my expensive Solbian panels and the reduction in the flexibility and vibration on top of the bimini is dramatic. I bought the widest and thickest battens I could find and they are still lightweight and easily removed for storage under the mattress.
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:58   #78
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailinglegend View Post
I have added sail battens to my expensive Solbian panels and the reduction in the flexibility and vibration on top of the bimini is dramatic. I bought the widest and thickest battens I could find and they are still lightweight and easily removed for storage under the mattress.
Interesting! Do you have some pics?
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:02   #79
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnkev View Post
Interesting thread here. Just wanted to throw in my two cents. We just bought a Lagoon 450 that had previously installed walk on panels made by Aurunco. They failed. Iím currently replacing them with 11 panels by Solara. Their Power M series. They are semi rigid. We will have a total of 1300W. I just got 6 of them screwed and glued today. We are using outback controllers and a few victron controllers. These will feed our large Lithium Mastervolt system. Each different panel size needs to be kept together, so that you donít mix voltages. Each one has its own diode as well to prevent over heating. This Solara brand appears the be the best in class and will work well with oblique sun angles, and partial shading. They are true walk on panels with a non skid surface that actually has a prismatic effect to capture more light.
I have to say that these panels are fully encapsulated and appear to be of exceptionally high quality.
In my opinion, the glass panels are certainly cheaper, but much more fragile, and they are typically mounted in areas where windage could become a serious issue on giant frames. I do agree that the Solbian flexible panels appear to be cheap, and obviously the cheap Chinese stuff is not built for a marine environment. These Solara panels are made in Germany and so far Iím very impressed and happy with the product. They arenít cheap, but they appear to be very well engineered for the marine environment.
Weíll have to see how they look in 5 years.
The Solara Power-M are possibly the most durable solar panels every made. They've come a long way from the old Solara I had on OceanPlanet for the Vendee Globe (see pic). They were great for the race, however not long after they all delaminated. The fully encapsulated new Power-M are nearly indestructible.
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Old 09-01-2019, 15:01   #80
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

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Originally Posted by OceanPlanet View Post
Interesting! Do you have some pics?
I have only one poor quality photo. We have a centre cockpit Hunter Legend 420 passage.

The Bimini is being reinforced where the battens touch the bimini and the frames are being strengthened and raised to flatten the panels.

At anchor the boom is pulled to the side with a preventer. We already have two Solara panels on the deck in front of the mast.
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Old 01-03-2022, 14:00   #81
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

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Originally Posted by KTP View Post
Yep, I haven't owned one before but I understand that if they are allowed to flex the cells will develop micro fractures and power will decline (possibly even to zero output).

I plan to mount them to a sheet of 1/16" aluminum by using a expandable adhesive like Sikaflex 252. This will greatly dampen flexing and vibration on the cells while still allowing them to be really thin (about 0.2" thick with the aluminum backing), have some backside heatsinking, and be able to stack them to stow in a locker.

Anyway, that is the idea, we will see how it works out with these two.
KTP did you manage to glue the panels onto aluminium and whatís the result? Iím thinking of doing the same but with Solbian panels.
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Old 02-03-2022, 08:16   #82
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Re: Recommened Flexible Solar panels.

The back sides of the panels need to be cooled and flexing can kill them, so...

On the boat I have a 50W that is simply held in place with thick industrial velcro.



On the Transit camper van the flexible panels are glued to multi wall polycarbonate panels and the edges are taped with Flex-Tape. The ends of the open tubes have the plastic open into a common area so there's some air flow. Been working great for the last year at speeds a lot faster than the boat will ever see.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sunlite-...2506/202091947

https://www.homedepot.com/p/FLEX-SEA...-305793409-_-N

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