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Old 16-04-2020, 14:38   #1
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Solibian Panel Issue

I installed two 80 watt semi-flexible panels mounted on a hard bimini in 2012. Each is connected in parallel to 2 hard back panels (so 2 sets of 3 panels in total). Over the last few years I have noticed that the panels seem to be delaminating on the outer (upper) layer.

Has anyone else experienced this?
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Old 16-04-2020, 14:45   #2
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Interesting. Are these panels still covered under warranty?

Have you noticed a decrease in power?

Edit: I found they only have a 5 year warranty for panels manufactured after July 2015.
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Old 16-04-2020, 14:55   #3
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

I don't know for sure. I saw the same 5 year warranty statement you did. I would take a bit of work to try find the receipts etc from back then. At one time I seem to remember they had an output warranty that exceeded their physical material warranty but again I am stretching back a while.
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Old 16-04-2020, 15:03   #4
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Have you noticed the delamination decrease the power output or are they the same?
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Old 16-04-2020, 15:27   #5
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

I believe so but I would need to test them to be sure.
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Old 16-04-2020, 15:45   #6
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

It looks like originally the warranty was for 2 years on materials. Five years on output. in 2015 they increased the material warranty to 5 years. Not good numbers for me.
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Old 18-04-2020, 01:18   #7
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Similar on a Lensun panel, given a replacement after an epic fight involving 2 years of attrition. Sold it cheaply to a mate who knew the problem might occur.

Given up on flexible panels since rigid ones are now so cheap.

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Old 18-04-2020, 05:30   #8
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Pete,
Was that Lensun panel w/the aluminum backer or w/o?
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Old 20-04-2020, 04:39   #9
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

It was one of their newer EFTE panels with a GRP black back. Cost more and the advertising blurb made all sorts of promises

Whilst this may be a one off incident, I wasn't really happy fitting the replacement because I could see no reason why it wouldn't occur again. They used to be quite prominent in the UK market but seemed to have gone quiet of late.

Since it started at the edges and worked its way inwards, it looks like the many layers at the edge are not fully sealed and causing the problem. Panel was mounted in front of the sprayhood and ever walked on.
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Old 20-04-2020, 06:07   #10
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Pete,
Thanks for the reply. We thought Lensun panels were in general good quality/would last and we've been eyeing up the even more expensive alum. backed panels. Based on this thread, the more expensive panels appear to suffer from the same issues as many cheaper flexi panels, so why spend the extra money?
Some of the cheap EFTE panels (100W ~$95US) maybe just as good and then you just change them out every 3 years or so. Hate to do the throw away panels, but then on the other hand throwing away good $$ over a lame marketing promises isn't good either.
Was trying to come up w/another backer (besides aluminum) for added heat dissipation that maybe part of the delam./edge seal issue. Something thin, light weight and still stiff that would allow good air flow. Any thoughts?
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Old 20-04-2020, 06:27   #11
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Ive had the same thing happen to cheap panels from windy nation.

If I had room for more ridged panels Id forget these flex panels exist.
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Old 20-04-2020, 06:56   #12
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

We have rigid Kyocera panels on the bimini and they work very well. We want to expand the amount of panel coverage using our flush fore deck and why we wanted the low profile flexi panel.

If we had walkable ones, we would permanently mount them, but most likely they will be removable and out while we sit for a week or two.
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Old 21-04-2020, 06:33   #13
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Bill, how about something like this, but sourced locally, not from the UK

https://www.roofingsuperstore.co.uk/...oof-sheet.html
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Old 21-04-2020, 06:55   #14
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

On my Bavaria i have the same issue with my 3x 120w elfeland semi flexible ones.....

And on my Nauticat it is also the same problem with my sunbeam semi flexible.

So for me it was a lesson learned. i will not use semi flexible again if i can avoid it.
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Old 21-04-2020, 07:59   #15
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Re: Solibian Panel Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Bill, how about something like this, but sourced locally, not from the UK

https://www.roofingsuperstore.co.uk/...oof-sheet.html

Thanks Pete, great idea.

They have something similar here. Based on supplied facts, the 4 or 6mm has a lower R value and a better U value (heat dissipation) than the 10mm. The 6mm is a more popular thickness in the States, but will try to find a 4mm to compare the stiffness between the two.

Would like to have the lowest profile as possible on the fore deck.
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