Originally Posted by Hudsoncamp
I haven't even seen it in person yet, but here's a photo of my SolarFlex installation. One 100 watt and two 30 panels. With limited room on our 19', it fit pretty well. Looks good, now I just hope it actually works!
Looks great! How about some more pics!
I didn't notice these past post questions before. Sorry I missed them. The 3M VHB tape I used was 4941. This is what Lewster recommended I remember it being 1/2" wide.
I let the tape setup for about a week, then went over the edges of the panels and mounting holes with sikaflex 221. Mostly to keep water from getting behind the panels and getting stuck there. Between the tape and sikaflex, these panel's aren't going anywhere. Even if I need them to!
Articfox - Get a couple of pieces of cardboard sized at 21"x42" and lay them in different configurations on your roof. Be mindful of items casting shadows when you do this step. You will quickly be able to determine the number of panels and their orientation this way. If you are mechanically inclined with hardware mounting and wiring, you should be fine doing it yourself.
Landrum - I have not tested how much a panel needs to be shaded to drastically reduce its output. I opted for more panels which cover the majority of my roof to make up for incidental shading. Just don't mount your panels butt up against a vent or air conditioner which will cast a shadow most of the day.
I conducted a very unscientific heat test on a 98 degree day we had a couple weeks ago.
For the base line, the most power I pulled from my 400w panels was about 20.5 amps when in full sun and running my microwave with the inverter. This was on a normal 80F day.
During the test, the outdoor temp in the shade was 98F. The panel surface on the solar read 159F with my IR temp gun (The photo shows 153F, but I did grab a 159F reading). I ran the inverter again and pulled around 18.5 amps from the panels.
So in full heat, the panels dropped in efficiency by 10%. For me, it's worth it for all the other benefits the flex panels offer.
The traditional panels would likely drop in efficiency as well. I'd like someone to post results of a similar real-world test.