All Knowledge about Flexible Solar Panels
Solar panel energy is the future. Its price is plummeting, it’s a powerful force in the fight against climate change, and the Smart Export Guarantee means you can now save even more money on your energy bills.
But sometimes, traditional standard solar panels won’t do the trick. Sometimes they’re too rigid for the curved roof of your house or caravan or too heavy for the top of your holiday cottage.
That’s where flexible solar panels come in. They’re light, adaptable, and won’t affect the aesthetic qualities of the home or vehicle they’re attached to. To see the excellent deals you could get on solar panels or solar power systems, please fill in the form at the bottom, so our professionals will get back to you with all details.
How do Flexible Solar Panels Work?
Though they work the same way as standard solar panels, some key differences exist. There are two types of flexible solar panels: thin-film and crystalline silicon.
Thin-film panels are created by printing photovoltaic material onto one of any number of surfaces, whether it be glass, metal, or even fabric. This makes it the more flexible type of panel, with a level of bend and versatility that means it can be used to power countless different objects and situations.
Flexible crystalline silicon panels are more common than their thin-film counterparts. They’re made by taking the crystalline silicon used for standard panels and cutting it until it’s incredibly thin or using the shingled technology (solar shingles), so it can bend about 30 degrees to wrap around objects that traditional panels can’t handle. These solar panels are less flexible than the thin-film alternative but are more energy efficient.
At Coulee, you’ll be attracted to the most advanced shingled flexible solar panels, and the black ones are even more attractive.
Benefits of Flexible Solar Panels
The most significant advantage of shingled flexible solar panels, and why they are made in the first place, is their portability. Whether on a boat, RV, or hiking backpack, a flexible solar panel can be taken almost anywhere. And you can easily transition flexible panels to power different off-grid systems with simple installation steps.
Flexible panels are significantly lighter and always smaller than traditional solar panels. A flexible solar panel will range from about four to ten pounds, while a traditional solar panel weighs upwards of 60 pounds.
Unlike traditional solar panels, which need to be mounted to a racking system, flexible panels can be installed simply with an adhesive such as 3M tape or magnets. The easy installation process is one of the reasons flexible solar modules are such a popular choice among customers looking for portable solar panel systems.
Adapt to Unusual Surfaces
With shingled flexible solar panels offering a flex of up to 30 degrees, they can be used on curved surfaces where rigid solar panels cannot. This could be on the curved top of a van or an uneven surface on an RV roof. With their lightweight frame, they can also be installed on weaker, more fragile surfaces without causing any damage.
Shingled flexible solar panels are great for off-grid, on-the-move applications – like camping and caravan holidays, or for powering your boat – because they’re light and can wrap around pretty much any shape. Why bring expensive, carbon-emitting oil with you on a trip when the sun is right there above you?
Boats require a lot of energy to keep things like navigation, lights, radio systems, and autopilot functions running. Flexible panels can not only provide you with the energy that your boat needs, but they can also keep your boat’s battery bank charged.
Flexible panels can be used on smaller boats, such as sailboats, to help keep the battery bank fully charged or for large boats to reduce the need to use the engine.
Be sure to purchase well-sealed solar panels suitable for marine settings. Look for an ingress protection rating of IP67 or higher. Add a Battery Bank to store the electricity generated by the solar panel system, so you can sail without having to worry about refueling stops.
RVs and Campers
Flexible panels can be easily installed on your RV or camper, allowing you to run your lights and other appliances using solar energy. You’ll also be able to recharge your batteries with solar during the day so that they are ready to be used at night.
Using renewable energy to charge your batteries will allow you to roam more freely on the road, as you won’t have to search for places to hook up your RV frantically.
A number of RVs, motor homes and trailers come either solar-equipped or solar-ready. Your solar panel system will work best if you have ample power output from your solar panels and a battery bank to store that electricity at night and on overcast days. A battery bank is certainly quieter than a generator.
Camping and Hiking
A flexible solar panel can solve that problem if you’re worried about your phone or any other of your appliances running out of charge during a camping trip or long hike. You’ll need to attach the flexible solar panel to your backpack or tent and use the power it generates to charge your electronics. You can also use the solar panel to charge a portable solar battery to ensure you never run out of charge at night.
When camping in winter, a flexible solar panel can better absorb the refracted light from snow and direct sunlight.
Alternative Rooftop Solar
Being lightweight, flexible panels are suitable for roofs that can’t support the weight of standard solar panels. Flexible panels are far more accessible than standard solar panels, as the latter require mounting brackets and sealing materials to prevent roof leakage. And without the need for mounting brackets and other hardware, flexible panels are more easily moved if, for example, you decide to sell your house and want to take your solar panels with you.
Flexible panels can extend a rooftop solar array by filling in spaces too small or too misshapen to accommodate standard solar panels—or add to a system when your electricity needs grow.
Worth the Investment?
As with many solar panel comparisons, your best option will depend on your requirements and application. Coulee Shingled Flexible solar panels will be your best option if you need a lightweight, portable solar energy solution. With an easy DIY installation, you also have the possibility of moving the system for different uses. This could mean on top of your RV, on the roof of your boat, or hanging off your hiking bag.
In the future, new flexible solar panel technology might be beneficial for more renewable energy uses. But for now, they are a great addition to your outdoor lifestyle. And traditional solar panels are your best option if you’re looking at a permanent home solar system.
How Long do Flexible Panels Last?
Shingled flexible solar modules generally last 10 – 20 years. This is a considerably shorter lifespan than traditional panels, which typically have 25-year warranties, and can often last even longer. However, companies are pumping a lot of money into making flexible panels more durable to compete with traditional solar panels. At some point in our lifetime, flexible panels may become the most popular form of solar panel.
Shingled Flexible solar panels are perfect for those rare occasions when you go off-grid and want a renewable energy source to keep you going – or at least reduce your impact on the climate.
For more details, fill in the form below or just send us an e-mail at email@example.com, or call us at +1 737 702 0119.
Coulee All Black Solar Panels come with an attractive all-black design giving an appealing unique view, especially when paired with black mounting clips. These robust and durable solar modules can maintain consistent output and can withstand build-ups of snow and ice.