Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-14-2023, 06:50 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
DaveP's Avatar

 
2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,489
Renogy Flexible Solar Panels

Has anyone installed the new Renogy 100-Watt 12 Volt Black Division Lightweight Monocrystalline Solar Panels? The specs look good and they only weigh 5 lbs. I am thinking of installing them to supplement my 600 watts of portable solar and to be the only solar power when taking longer trips on which we do not boondock. Your thoughts and experience would be appreciated.
__________________
DaveP
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
2023 Ram 3500 4x4
DaveP is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 07:32 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 7,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
Has anyone installed the new Renogy 100-Watt 12 Volt Black Division Lightweight Monocrystalline Solar Panels? The specs look good and they only weigh 5 lbs. I am thinking of installing them to supplement my 600 watts of portable solar and to be the only solar power when taking longer trips on which we do not boondock. Your thoughts and experience would be appreciated.
Hi DaveP,

We have installed just about every type of flex panel in years past. They work well for about 6 monks and then begin to degrade rather quickly. I would estimate that the Renogy flex panels will degrade to beyond usable output in a year or two. Renogy makes a fine panel, but only in their hard panel designs.
__________________
lewster
Solar Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
Victron Solar Components and Inverters, Zamp Solar Panels, LiFeBlue and Battle Born Lithium Batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries
lewster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 09:51 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
TouringDan's Avatar

 
1966 24' Tradewind
1995 34' Excella
Lynchburg , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 4,150
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Hi DaveP,



We have installed just about every type of flex panel in years past. They work well for about 6 monks and then begin to degrade rather quickly. I would estimate that the Renogy flex panels will degrade to beyond usable output in a year or two. Renogy makes a fine panel, but only in their hard panel designs.


Thanks for this valuable information Lew.

Dan
TouringDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 10:24 AM   #4
Keen amature
 
martin300662's Avatar

 
1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,480
Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Hi DaveP,

We have installed just about every type of flex panel in years past.
Does that include CIGS panels Lewster?

I fully agree 'flexible' and 'monocrystalline' are two words that should not be in the same sentence, but the CIGS are flexible by design and used for military application and there doesn't appear to be the same reported failures?
martin300662 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 01:22 PM   #5
"Cloudsplitter"

 
2003 25' Classic
Houstatlantavegas , Malebolgia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 19,796
Images: 1
If you are set on flexible, I'd go for 'marine grade'.

Just one example...do the research.

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"You don't know where you've been until you leave, enjoy life" RLC
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 02:01 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
DALLAS , TX
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 1,231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
If you are set on flexible, I'd go for 'marine grade'.



Just one example...do the research.



Bob

I dislike being a contrarian, but Lew has a solid point.

Most quality rigid solar panels have a warranty that guarantees 80% of the original output power for 20-25 years. This guarantee is sometimes provided via a policy with an insurance underwriter since so many solar panel manufacturers go out of business.

But, the warranty on the flexible marine panels that you referenced Robert is... a guarantee of no less than 80% rated power at 1yr. Warranty only covers 4 years in total, prorated.

The flexible products are unfortunately, not even close in terms of longevity.
foobar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 03:52 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
DaveP's Avatar

 
2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,489
I really appreciate everyone's input particularly Lewster with all of his experience.

On the Renogy website, this particular product has a "Performance Warranty: 5 year 95% output warranty, 10 year 90% output warranty, 25 year 80% output warranty". It seems that they are pretty confident in this new technology.

Is there anyone out there that has experience with this exact product? "100 Watt 12 Volt Black Division Lightweight Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Thanks, again.
__________________
DaveP
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
2023 Ram 3500 4x4
DaveP is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2023, 10:56 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
DALLAS , TX
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 1,231
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
I really appreciate everyone's input particularly Lewster with all of his experience.



On the Renogy website, this particular product has a "Performance Warranty: 5 year 95% output warranty, 10 year 90% output warranty, 25 year 80% output warranty". It seems that they are pretty confident in this new technology.



Is there anyone out there that has experience with this exact product? "100 Watt 12 Volt Black Division Lightweight Monocrystalline Solar Panel



Thanks, again.
Yes, that is the kind of warranty you want and should expect to see.

Greater than or equal to 80% of the original rated output at 20 years. Some very high quality panels are rated at 80% minimum at 25 years.
foobar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 09:17 AM   #9
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
Andrew T's Avatar

 
2019 27' Tommy Bahama
London , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,322
If you would like a panel that has a cleaner look? Zamp Obsidian panels are very nice and perform great. Its what I have on my own unit. 400 Watts, I almost never plug the Airstream in, only to run the convection part of the microwave.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Tommy Roof Modifications.jpg
Views:	46
Size:	339.5 KB
ID:	427180  
__________________
Andrew Thomson
London, Ontario

"One test is worth a thousand expert opinions."
Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot
Andrew T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 10:19 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
redding , California
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 72
Only con I’ve heard is longevity. Will Prowse (YouTube) did a segment on them as well as best brands.
howell57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 10:59 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
DaveP's Avatar

 
2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,489
Quote:
Originally Posted by howell57 View Post
Only con Iíve heard is longevity. Will Prowse (YouTube) did a segment on them as well as best brands.
Did Will do the comparison on the Renogy panel I am referencing in this thread?
__________________
DaveP
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
2023 Ram 3500 4x4
DaveP is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 11:24 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
PB_NB's Avatar
 
2019 22' Sport
Port Coquitlam , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 1,230
Images: 9
Blog Entries: 1
I went with 2 skinny 80W CIGS panels and one larger 190W Mono Panel to fit around the various roof components. it has topped out at about 18 amps. All of this goes into my Victron solar charge controller.

It has about 6 months since I installed them so hopefully they will still work this coming year.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_6978.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	364.6 KB
ID:	427192  
__________________
--------------------
Peter.

"Live Long and Prosper \\//" - Spock
PB_NB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 01:40 PM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
AKNate's Avatar
 
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 410
I have the white Renogy flex panels, not the newest black. It looks like they use the same construction material (ETFE), but have newer, more efficient cells in them.
I have had my panels for four years now and they still look and perform like the day I got them. Flex panels have a bad reputation from the early models that used materials that did degrade quickly and many were poorly installed (you want a ventilation gap under them). Many people keep giving the same recommendations against flex panels year after year based on outdated information. Quality flex panels, like the newer Renogyís, absolutely do not begin to degrade after only a year and, as was pointed out already, they carry the same 25 year, 80% output warranty as a rigid panel.
I spent a lot of time researching flex panels before I bought mine. I looked into as many flex panel failures as I could all over the internet and satisfied myself that all the root causes of the previous failures would not apply with proper installation of certain newer design panels. There are still plenty of junk flex panels out there that use inappropriate materials, but the Renogy is not one of them. Lumping all flex panels together and saying they are junk and donít hold up is ridiculous. There are many different materials used in various panels and you need to understand what those materials are. ETFE for one has a long track record in outdoor applications and performs better than glass for solar applications.
Iíve had my panels in all conditions, from freezing and snow to Phoenix during heat warnings, from high UV camping for months in the Rockies (many places over 10,000 ft) to the salt air of the Keys and they have performed flawlessly and not degraded in any way. We spend about half of each year on the road, so they havenít just been sitting in covered storage.
The panels youíre looking at have a higher efficiency than mine, so they are smaller for the same output, so you can fit more on your roof, which is always a plus. Iím not crazy about them making the non-cell areas black though. I prefer to have as little black on my roof as possible to keep the inside of the camper cooler. Itís a small amount of area though, so I guess it doesnít matter that much. If I had the choice to make over today I would probably pick the panels youíre looking at (they didnít have those when I got mine) because with the smaller footprint I could fit more of them. If not them Iíd get the same ones I did, just because theyíre white. Based on my experience with flex panels I would now never even consider rigid panels for an Airstream. They are heavier, bulkier, uglier, less aerodynamic, less efficient, not self cleaning, and harder to mount. For durability I see no difference. Rigid is definitely cheaper, but nobody ever bought an airstream because it was cheapest.
Anyway, thatís my opinion. Thereís obviously people with the opposite opinion, but I question how recent and specific the facts are upon which those opinions are based. Iíve only had my panels four years, so maybe at five they somehow self-destruct, but Iíve seen zero indication of that happening and donít expect them to.
AKNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 03:15 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
DaveP's Avatar

 
2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,489
AKNate,

Thank you very much for responding with specific Renogy flex panel experience. That is exactly what I wanted.

I have been doing a lot of research this weekend. Flex panel installers like Brian Tito point out that you must have some ventilation underneath them and have some great ideas on how to do that.

As I mentioned in my first post, I already have 600 watts of Renogy solar suitcases that I take with me when I boondock which is most of our camping in the Colorado Rockies. I want to put another 200 watts on my roof so that I have some solar for trips when we are not boondocking and want to leave the suitcases at home (since they are pretty heavy/bulky). At 5 lbs each, these flex panels look like just the ticket, and I have plenty of overhead in my two Victron solar chargers to install them without much additional cost.
__________________
DaveP
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
2023 Ram 3500 4x4
DaveP is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 04:20 PM   #15
4 Rivet Member
 
AKNate's Avatar
 
2018 30' Flying Cloud
Anchorage , Alaska
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 410
I have a post in this thread showing how I mounted mine.
AKNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 06:22 PM   #16
Overkill Specialist
Commercial Member
 
GMFL's Avatar
 
2020 30í Globetrotter
2014 23' International
Dadeville , Alabama
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 4,514
Images: 4
Blog Entries: 52
Iím not a fan of the flex panels for the same reason LEW stated. They degrade quickly and offer no real advantage over rigid panels. Also flex panels can trap moisture underneath themselves and cause further damage.
__________________
Instagram @Airstream_Nuts_And_Bolts
DoItYourselfRV Articles
Certified Victron Installer
GMFL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2023, 11:04 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
gandttimes's Avatar
 
2014 25' FB International
2007 20' Safari SE
2005 19' Safari
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,086
Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Iím not a fan of the flex panels for the same reason LEW stated. They degrade quickly and offer no real advantage over rigid panels. Also flex panels can trap moisture underneath themselves and cause further damage.
So, in answer to the question that the OP asked.
No, I have no experience, just opinions.
Helpful. Not.
gandttimes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2023, 07:56 AM   #18
"Cloudsplitter"

 
2003 25' Classic
Houstatlantavegas , Malebolgia
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 19,796
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandttimes View Post
So, in answer to the question that the OP asked.
No, I have no experience, just opinions.
Helpful. Not.
"Opinions are all about....meme, not UU".
RLC


Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"You don't know where you've been until you leave, enjoy life" RLC
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2023, 10:11 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
2007 16' International CCD
Vintage Kin Owner
Somewhere , Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,259
I am following this thread with interest and am hoping that more members (especially the professionals) will comment on the OP’s specific request for experience with the new Renogy flexible panels. I have held off installing flexible panels due to the knowledge that older flexible panels did not hold up over time — the open question is these new ones.

Respectfully, I disagree that there are no significant advantages. Feel free to call me superficial, but they are way better looking than the clunky rigid panels. Airstream roofs already resemble a Home Depot parking lot sale and I have no interest in adding to the problem!
field & stream is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2023, 11:40 AM   #20
Rivet Master
 
DaveP's Avatar

 
2004 28' Classic
Monument , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,489
field & stream,

They are also significantly lighter than most rigid panels (at approximately 1/3 the weight at 5 lbs.), hence my interest. I see this as their major advantage.

I am still collecting information, but I am getting close to pulling the trigger.
__________________
DaveP
2004 Airstream Classic 28 "Willard"
2023 Ram 3500 4x4
DaveP is online now   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
Renogy solar install, options for non Renogy monitoring bmklawt Generators & Solar Power 9 03-05-2022 07:47 AM
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase Panels jamienate Airstream Classifieds 0 07-01-2018 03:39 PM
Flexible Solar Panels joecolao Generators & Solar Power 42 04-02-2009 12:14 AM
flexible solar panels Woody.303 Generators & Solar Power 6 02-03-2009 06:40 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.