I am in the final stages of planning a lightweight hard bimini
, basically replacing fabric
with fibreglass/foam sandwich. It is to be supported from the existing stainless bimini
bows so must be light and is curved transversely for rigidity. I am looking to mount semi flexible solar panels
to the top of the composite structure. The area is around 2m x 1.8m.
I am comparing two panel options.
Renogy 100/175w, sourced locally and Sunpower out of the USA
Considerations include cost, warranty and real life durability.
1. The Sunpower panels
are similarly priced, or a few percent higher but then freight and tax probably adds about another 30-40% so in the order of $1000 extra.
2. Warranty are similar on paper. If I buy locally I can go back to a local supplier assuming I am still in NZ when they fail. Sunpower seems to be a international warranty, but i'm not sure how people have got on with claims from outside USA
3. I hear good things about Sunpower semi flexibles. I have concerns about overheating
of the Renogy panels
where I fix directly to to the glass/foam laminate .