Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-09-2016, 11:31 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1977 24' Argosy 24
SW Florida , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 53
Images: 8
Flexible Solar Panels?

Anyone ever use flexible solar panels? I am thinking fridge just for starters.
__________________

__________________
Elisa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 03:53 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
 
2011 27 FB International
Vancouver , British Columbia
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 204
Lots of discussion on this, search the forums.

General consensus seems to be they are more expensive and less efficient/resilient than glass panels. Personally I still went flexible but I think traditional glass panels are a likely better investment at this point.
__________________

__________________
mixedpuppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 05:27 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
Gregsch's Avatar

 
1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Tipp City , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 495
I was considering flexible panels as well. Heard lots of negative thing about them over the last year or two. I believe most manufacturers have discontinued them due to problems. I just purchased some Renogy monocrstyline panels, I would have preferred the appearance of the flexible panels but the technology is not there yet.
__________________
Gregsch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 06:07 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
AWCHIEF's Avatar
 
2006 23' Safari SE
Biloxi , Mississippi
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 8,138
Images: 33
Flexable panels have been around for many years. Thousands of boaters swear by them. I used 3 for 10 years on my sailboat when I was living and cruising down island. Still have the panels. Recently checked them out for power output. All 3 are still putting out the rated amps and voltage. These panels are now over 25 years old. So take negative talk with a grain of salt like almost any discussions on the Internet.
__________________
MICHAEL

Do you know what a learning experience is? A learning experience is one of those things that says "You know that thing that you just did? Don't do that."
AWCHIEF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 07:02 PM   #5
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
lewster's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples, FL , Hood River, OR
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,281
Here's some 'negative talk' from a solar professional who has had 2 years of direct comparisons between a 500 watt array of GS-100 glass panels and later, a 500 watt array of Grape Solar's flex panels.

The glass array would give me 30-35 amps into my battery bank on a regular basis and would see panel output voltages from 18-20.5VDC from an hour after the sun was up, lasting almost all day.

The flex array had dull, faded panel surfaces within 6 months of installation and I never saw more than 20-25 amps to the batteries. All other components were exactly the same in both cases.

The panel voltage output decreased over time from an initial 17-19 VDC to s maximum of 15.5VDC at noon on a crystal clear day.

In addition, the flex array never saw output voltages near maximum until almost 'solar noon' while the glass array had much higher output in marginal lighting conditions, including overcast days.

My decaying flex panels were just replaced under warranty by Grape Solar. The quandary is whether to replace the old flex array with the new array or return to the known quantity of glass panels.

I'll keep you posted with my FACTS!!!


Lew Farber
RVIA/RVDA Nationally Certified Master Tech
ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
AM Solar Certified Installation Center*AMS Lithium Batteries
Lifeline AGM Batteries**Magnum Inverters***Victron Energy Components
541-490-6357
__________________
Lew Farber...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician...RVIA Certified Master Tech ...AM Solar Authorized Installation Center...AIRSTREAM Solar & Electrical Specialist...Micro Air 'Easy Start' Sales and Installations
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 07:30 PM   #6
Rivet Master

 
2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,322
Flexible Solar Panels?

The deteriorating numbers really tell the tale.

Flex panels and cheap solar lighting both use plastic or epoxy coatings over the array elements. Full on Sunlight eats plastic and epoxy quickly.

I'm not convinced flexible solar cell technology is there yet....especially out here in SoCal where the sun is intense all year round.

Admittedly glass panels are heavy, and subject to breakage, but they do seem to last longer.


Sent from my pocket Internet using Airstream Forums
__________________
KE4GNK/AE
'The Silver HamShack' (2007 International 22FB CCD 75th Aniversary model)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch
2012 shortbed crewcab 4x4 Toyota Taco TV with more antennae on it
rmkrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 08:10 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
rodsterinfl's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari
Fort Myers , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,429
Images: 8
I had one from Renogy and it failed. They gave me a refund and I got a regular kind. In the 6 months I owned it, the flex panel really aged looks-wise and it was easy to scratch and mar. My advice is that although they are light and easy to set up, they are not worth the expense as they do not hold up. I replaced it with a 100 watt suitcase.
__________________
WBCCI 8653/AIR 60240
2017 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecobeast Gen 2 3.55 Platinum
rodsterinfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 09:20 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 804
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
I had one from Renogy and it failed. They gave me a refund and I got a regular kind. In the 6 months I owned it, the flex panel really aged looks-wise and it was easy to scratch and mar. My advice is that although they are light and easy to set up, they are not worth the expense as they do not hold up. I replaced it with a 100 watt suitcase.
I had 3 100 Renogy panels and they were working as promised until this year. No problems with surface but 2 of them just quit. The 3rd was still putting out 18.7 V and 5.8amps at noon sun up here in BC in early May.
Renogy had had a problem that they admitted to and gave me a full refund after almost 3 years even on the working panel,
so I am impressed enough to wait for their next panel.
Personally I too want the flex panels and believe their time will come.
__________________
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2016, 09:46 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
israndy's Avatar
 
2005 39' Skydeck
Alameda , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 415
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 1
My 2+ year old flex panels are coming apart. I hose them off and they leave plastic flecks all over the roof and sides of the RV. They keep getting duller and duller. But they are still working enough to keep the batts topped up.

I have another RV that I am thinking of installing flex panels on, curved surfaces, not strong enough to support heavy panels, but the fail of the ones on my other RV is frustrating. May just buy some glass ones for that RV and put the old flex panels on the tough to install RV.

-Randy
__________________

__________________
2007 LTV Serenity beater 2005 Airstream SkyDeck
Also a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2000 Honda Hybrid Insight, new 2013 Volvo C70 hardtop convertible
And all electric: a 2012 Mitsubishi i-Miev and two 2007 Vectrix VX1 motorcycles, waiting in line for the Model ☰
israndy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flexible Solar panels... Opinions? Keyair Generators & Solar Power 226 12-05-2017 04:24 PM
Flexible Solar Panels joecolao Generators & Solar Power 42 04-02-2009 01:14 AM
flexible solar panels Woody.303 Generators & Solar Power 6 02-03-2009 07:40 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.