Choose a small, lightweight solar panel that is both durable and flexible.
Solar panels can get quite heavy and not every roof or surface is strong enough to support them. They can also be quite difficult to transport. Your best bet in these cases is to go for a more flexible model of solar panel. Flexible solar panels are made of a thin material that allows the panel to bend and flex. This versatility has made them increasingly popular. Each of these solar panels present different levels of flexibility so you’re going to want to choose one that matches your individual needs.
How Do Flexible Solar Panels Work?
The difference between flexible solar panels and regular panels is all in the material used. Unlike “traditional” fixed panels (that also includes many portable models), flexible solar panels are made of much thinner silicon wafers than the norm.
Ultra-thin layers of PV material are layered on a plastic, metal or glass base. It is the PV material which allows the solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. This increasingly lightweight build, the result of continuous advancements in photovoltaic technology, confers added versatility, portability and of course, flexibility.
Pros Of Flexible Solar Panels
Solar panels that can be placed almost anywhere and molded to a certain degree obviously have some striking advantages when compared to fixed alternatives. Let’s see the many advantages of investing in flexible solar panels while also giving an honest look to some of their downsides.
➤ The first huge advantage is in the name. Flexible solar panels can be bent, shaped and placed in places that would be impossible for a fixed panel, becoming increasingly useful for off-grid locations and placement in both vehicles and mobile homes. Their light weight also makes them ideal for placement on roofs, as opposed to heavier panels that may not be suited for such risky positioning
➤ Representing the forefront of PV tech, some flexible solar panels implement highly efficient organic photovoltaic material that boasts an energy conversion rate of 12.25%
➤ The semi-transparent qualities of some models make for an awesome usage over window panes. These models literally make the your windows a conduit for solar energy!
➤ Thin-film solar cells react less adversely to weather extremes compared to regular solar panels, this means higher energy conversion rates even in overcast weather
➤ Many of the latest flexible solar panel models (especially of higher quality builds) are extremely durable
➤ Flexible solar panels are cheaper to install than regular panels
Solarparts@_Flexible Series solar panel is especially suitable for installation and use in places with a certain arc on the surface. Constructed with top-grade, light-weight polymer materials.This bendable solar panel is thin and lightweight, easy to transport and remove.
A kind of new and creative solar panel in the solar industry. The lightweight nature of flexible solar panels makes solar panels more effective for use in RVs, caravan，boats, tents, trailers, cabin, etc.
Light energy converts electrical energy and has strong practicability. It is a good supplement for power shortages and places where the city power cannot reach, such as mountains, marines, deserts, etc.
Equipped with high-efficiency solar modules, it can be installed on various types of shed supports, and the construction scale can be large or small. It can not only shelter the vehicle from the wind and rain, but also charge the vehicle, light and generate power through grid connection.
The Flexible Solar Panels Buyer’s Guide
Trying to find the perfect solar panel can be a challenge as multiple factors have to be taken into consideration. Follow this guide to help you find a good match.
If you want a solar panel with high power, you’re going to want to focus on the wattage. Higher wattage allows you to plug in more devices, and it will provide more power for longer periods of time. A rough guideline to follow is by selecting a solar panel with a wattage between 100-150. This value has been shown as the ideal wattage number for the average person. Though different people have different energy needs, so a value like this becomes purely subjective. All solar panels reviewed here pack a punch, with some intended as emergency backup generator chargers and can be used to power even car, RV, boat and even yacht batteries.
Durability is a vital factor as it goes hand in hand with the longevity of your investment. Any prospective solar panel company needs to look at the materials used for the solar panel and framing. Various types of resilient plastic and polymers are utilized in the build as protection from dust and moisture affecting the solar cells. The best type of plastic is ETFE, which is more expensive than PET and PTE, but it offers advanced durability and efficiency. When considering crystalline or thin-film in terms of durability, crystalline is considered tougher. A highly waterproof panel will obviously have an edge over a less durable model, as panels are intended for outside use even in harsh weather or even direct use over bodies of water.
While all of the panels listed above are flexible to the point that this category could be considered the main one, some are more so than others. Depending on the surface, you’re going to want to consider the degree of flexibility. Highly flexible solar panels have a bending range of 30 degrees. This is adequate for semi-curved surfaces like on RVs and boats. However, if you want more flexibility, you can find solar panels that roll up like a floor mat.
Most flexible solar panels are relatively easy to install yourself, without the need for secondary technical assistance. Many kits will come with pre-drilled holes or self-adhesive tape and detailed instruction manuals.
Can a flexible solar panel power my home?
It depends on the wattage and efficiency of the solar panel, but all models above here can be used as integral components of your solar grid.
Will my flexible solar panel get damaged by the rain?
Most solar panels are waterproof since they need to be outside to work. Some are even self-cleaning, getting rid of any outside debris that may coat your panel after any bout of extreme weather.
What is the main advantage of a flexible solar panel as opposed to a regular model?
Flexible solar panels have an added versatility that comes with their malleable qualities meaning they can be position on uneven, oddly-shaped and curved surfaces. This improves not only their placement as a static panel, but also portability as many flexible solar panels are designed for use in RV’s, boats and even yachts.