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Old 10-28-2016, 10:45 AM   #1
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Flexible Solar Panels

I just came across these 120 watt semi-flexible solar panels at Solar Boulevard. They weigh in at about 8 lbs (not definitive on the website) and measure 46x21 They are selling for $119.

I know they can be roof mounted, at least they are photographed as such. Like anything I know there are issues with doing so. That is not what I am interested in, I want to figure out a way to use them as a portable panel. The weight of 8 lbs vs 45 lbs is very attractive.

The flex shown on the attached image is about their maximum.

Storage and durability seem like the issues. Am I just getting too anxious on technology?
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File Type: jpg Flexible Panel.jpg (34.7 KB, 13 views)
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Old 10-28-2016, 11:10 AM   #2
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While they are improving, the issue with roof mounting is heat. If you rack them up so they have good airflow underneath then good to go, but might as well go with regular panels then. I believe Technomada uses thes on a portable rack they built for deployment when needed.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:11 PM   #3
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Who or what is Technomada?
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
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Technomadia | Adventures in Nomadic Serendipity
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:43 PM   #5
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Looking at that picture of the flexible panel, it seems to me that if you use that feature, then parts of the panel will not be at the optimum angle for the sun.
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Old 10-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post

I want to figure out a way to use them as a portable panel. The weight of 8 lbs vs 45 lbs is very attractive.
That's a good price. I've been looking at them and I'm going to get one for use as a portable panel.

A friend with a boat got two last summer. He didn't want to permanently mount them. He wanted to stow them when not needed and put them out when needed.

He took 1/16" x 1" x 1" aluminum angle and made a lightweight frame which then fits into a bracket. I also intend to make a lightweight frame since having them bendable isn't a requirement for me.

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Old 10-28-2016, 01:19 PM   #7
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As a portable panel, the ability to bend a bit seems to me to be worth nothing, and best performance would be when using it held flat (as baglo mentioned). That means that Ron's plan for a lightweight (and relatively rigid) frame makes sense to me. The problem is then storing them without damage.

Paul, where would you be planning to store the panel? That would determine how much protection would be required, and what type of frame would be workable.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
As a portable panel, the ability to bend a bit seems to me to be worth nothing, and best performance would be when using it held flat (as baglo mentioned). That means that Ron's plan for a lightweight (and relatively rigid) frame makes sense to me. The problem is then storing them without damage.

Paul, where would you be planning to store the panel? That would determine how much protection would be required, and what type of frame would be workable.
One interesting use of the flexible panels was on the front of a Lil Snoozy. Unfortunately, they are behind the tree in this image, but you can see how they were mounted.
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File Type: jpg _JRV3970.jpg (256.0 KB, 32 views)
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:50 PM   #9
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Go Power! Flexible Mono Crystalline Solar Kit

I know thread was about using the flexible as portables...but the link above shows an install on an RV so it might give input as to how they are attached and wired.
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Old 10-28-2016, 06:29 PM   #10
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The problem is then storing them without damage.

Paul, where would you be planning to store the panel? That would determine how much protection would be required, and what type of frame would be workable.
There are times when I remove my swiveling tilting panel from the trailer. I made up a lightweight cover to protect it when it's being carried in the back of the truck. Doesn't weight much, just 1/8" plywood.

I'll do the same when I get a flexible panel. Although my friend gave his a durability test. He dropped a cordless drill on it. Very slight mark and the panel still works fine.

I'm thinking that a flexible panel is going to be the one that gets hoisted up in the air on the swivel mount, so much lighter than my current panel which will become my portable panel.

Ron
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File Type: jpg IMGP0010_resize.jpg (183.3 KB, 13 views)
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