Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Flexible Solar panel performance
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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Flexible Solar panel performance

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Groover

Pulaski, TN

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Posted: 04/21/19 09:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can I get some feedback from people that have had flexible solar panels 2 years or more? I would like to know how they are holding up, performance and visual. It seems to like they are a lot easier and safer to install than rigid panels but I have heard that they don't hold up well.

RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 04/21/19 10:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd also love to know.
Planning solar addition, but not in a hurry.


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chuckbear

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Posted: 04/22/19 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed and used flexible panels in the marine industry for decades. They do not have the same output as solid panels and scratch easily so the output is degraded even more. They also don't have the same longevity. I stopped installing them. Chuck

Groover

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Posted: 04/22/19 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

chuckbear wrote:

I installed and used flexible panels in the marine industry for decades. They do not have the same output as solid panels and scratch easily so the output is degraded even more. They also don't have the same longevity. I stopped installing them. Chuck


What sorts of things scratch them or more importantly am I likely to encounter the same things with my RV? It is rare for me to get on the roof of mine. Longevity is exactly what I am asking about. Would you please elaborate? How long did they last and what killed them?

chuckbear

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Posted: 04/22/19 08:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Scratches develope from dirt, weather, leaves, tree branches, scrub brushes and just about anything else. They also degrade from UV and will eventually look like they are fogged over. Chuck

mbutts

Farmington MI, USA

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Posted: 04/22/19 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chuck,

Did you see any problems with the surface the flexible panels were mounted to? It seems like there would be a LOT of heat transferred to the roof or deck or wherever they are mounted.


Mike Butts
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chuckbear

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Posted: 04/22/19 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most installs I did were on fiberglass tops and soft covers like biminis. There were always issues with dirt getting under them and discoloring the fabric and abrading the fiberglass. They will need to be removable to clean under them. Not an issue and 10 knots, but could be at 65 MPH. I can imagine a lot of movement at those speeds.Chuck

Almot

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Posted: 04/23/19 02:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

chuckbear wrote:

Scratches develope from dirt, weather, leaves, tree branches, scrub brushes and just about anything else. They also degrade from UV and will eventually look like they are fogged over. Chuck

Yes. This is clear plastic cover, not a glass like on rigid panels. When there are no leaves and branches, like in desert, there is a lot of dust accumulation. Sand particles can be abrasive.

IMO, there is rarely a scenario in RVs where a rigid panel could not be installed.

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