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Everything you need to know about flexible solar panels

Views: 345     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-12-14      Origin: Site

If you’re a boater, camper, or anybody who needs portable off-grid power, flexible solar panels are a great way to keep your devices powered with clean energy.

marine flexible solar panel

Types of flexible solar panels

There are two types of flexible solar panels that you’ll come across: thin film and crystalline silicon.

Thin-film solar panels

Thin-film is a type of solar cell where the photovoltaic material is essentially printed onto a surface. This is very different from the more common crystalline silicon solar cells that are used in most solar panels.

Flexibility is one of the main advantages of thin-film solar cells. Thin-film cells can be bent and even rolled. They can be placed on many different materials including glass, metal, and even fabrics. Because of this property, thin-film is sometimes used to make highly flexible, small solar panels for portable applications.

While thin-film solar has a lot of promise, crystalline silicon has a much larger global market, making it cheaper than thin-film. It also is less efficient than crystalline silicon, and many of the materials used, such as cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium selenide, are toxic.

Because of these disadvantages, thin-film isn’t very widely used. Still, this could change.

Crystalline silicon solar panels

Most solar panels used today are made with silicon, which is the primary element in beach sand. The two types of solar cells on the market are polycrystalline and monocrystalline.

With both, the cells are made by cutting wafers of silicon out of a block. The cells are wired together to make a panel.

In a conventional panel, the individual wafers are thick and not flexible. But it turns out that if you cut the wafers thin enough, they become fairly flexible while retaining their photovoltaic properties.

The result is a solar cell that can bend at about a 30 degree angle. While this is less flexible than thin-film solar, it’s well suited for a lot of applications where you want the solar panel to conform to a curved surface, such as the roof of an RV.

Plus, these cells can be made of the same silicon as conventional panels, including high efficiency monocrystalline, gaining the benefit of economies of scale.

Flexible Solar Panels

Disadvantages of flexible solar panels

Given the benefits, you might wonder why all solar panels aren’t made to be flexible.

Because of the thinner silicon, flexible solar cells are less durable over the long run. Also, instead of being protected by a thick layer of glass and a rigid alumimum frame, they are attached to flexible sheets subjecting them to more stress over their lifetime. Eventually, wiring can fail or cells can crack.Because of this, flexible solar panels have shorter warranties.

4 recommended Sungold flexible solar panels


Glass-free Solar Panel

1. High light transmittance, ageing resistance and local hardness and stickiness,It can be installed on the surface of the yacht arbitrarily, allowing you to swim in the ocean

2.Corrosion resistance, no need to worry about sea water erosion

3.When you accidentally step on the flexible solar panel, the surface polymer material Can protect your solar panel

4. 5+years warranty and quality assurance,Customized monocrystalline and SunPower cells

TF-Flexible Solar Panels


Sungold Marine Solar Panel

For marine boats or yachts

1.ETFE is used on both sides of the panel

2.Resistance to high temperature and corrosion, and longer lifespan

3.A grade solar cells are adopted, thus conversion efficiency is up to       22.42%-22.60%

4.The weight is 50% less than traditional panel

5.Waterproof, and suitable for outdoors in all weather conditions

Flexible panels for RV



Black/White Lightweight Solar Panel

1.Flexible, perfect for RVs, boats, cabins, tents and any other irregular surface

2.Using monocrystalline solar cells, thus the conversion efficiency is up to 20.6%

3.The surface ETFE material, which can be high-temperature resistant, and will not be deformed by external factors such as heat

4.Lightweight, easy to install

5.Waterproof and beautiful; patented material is contained to protect the solar panel from the impact of hail

LE-Flexible Solar Panels



Black/White Flexible Solar Panel

1. Better heat resistance to keep efficiency

2.Weak light tolerance to work well under the weak light

3.Resistance to the lightly cracked cells

4. Ultra-light, ETFE surface, high-temperature resistance, corrosion resistance, and water resistance

5.Available to be bent 30 degrees, great for RVs, cars, boats and some irregular surfacesSP-SERIES SOLAR PANEL FOR RV ,Ultra-thin, Lightweight, Aesthetic and Flexible Solar Panel

SP-Flexible Solar Panels

Maintenance tips for flexible solar panels

Flexible solar panels are a great product for certain applications, but the tradeoff is lower durability and a generally shorter lifespan. To maximize the life of your product, follow these tips:

1.not step on them

If you’re working to mount these panels on the roof of a vehicle or  boat structure,While it might seem like they’re durable enough, stepping on silicon solar cells can cause invisible microcracks that compromise the energy production and longevity of the product.Store them when not in use because UV light and exposure to the elements will degrade your panels over time.

2.avoid bending

If you’re mounting these on a vehicle, consider using velcro to secure them to the roof so that you can easily remove and store them when not needed.

Even though they’re bendable, avoid bending them as much as possible. These solar panels are flexible within limits, but they will eventually crack if stressed too far. To minimize the risk of damage, handle them carefully and flex them only as much as needed to fit the surface that you’re installing them onto.

3.Clean periodically

The maximize power performance, keep these panels clean. Be sure to remove any bird droppings that land on them, which can have a corrosive effect on the plastic. Clean them gently with plain water to avoid scratching the surface.

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