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Old 05-14-2018, 02:06 PM   #1
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Flexible solar panels

Does anyone have experience with flexible panels such as these? I think they might be easier to install on our curved roof?

https://www.renogy.com/renogy-160-wa...e-solar-panel/
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:02 PM   #2
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Does anyone have experience with flexible panels such as these? I think they might be easier to install on our curved roof?

https://www.renogy.com/renogy-160-wa...e-solar-panel/
I understand you want circulation around the panels and securing them flat against the roof could create overheating issues.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:58 PM   #3
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Does anyone have experience with flexible panels such as these? I think they might be easier to install on our curved roof?

https://www.renogy.com/renogy-160-wa...e-solar-panel/
Evidently Nanoplane has 20 of them on his roof...
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:01 PM   #4
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Evidently Nanoplane has 20 of them on his roof...
I'm not sure this whole "over-heating" thing isn't apocryphal.

Does anyone have real info on this, because it seems to me that flexible panels are designed to sit on curved surfaces, in full sun.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:26 PM   #5
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I'm not sure this whole "over-heating" thing isn't apocryphal.

Does anyone have real info on this, because it seems to me that flexible panels are designed to sit on curved surfaces, in full sun.
You would think. But there's lots of inferior products sold to unsuspecting buyers. Not uncommon to solve one issue only to create a new one. Maybe the time spent developing the flex panels wasn't quite long enough to show the premature failure.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #6
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i don't know the details on your build or your rig, but . . .

Adding a roof deck/rack has multiple benefits.
1. Add ridig panels.
2. Provide shade to your roof
3. Space between panel and roof allows for cooling for both panels and roof.

If I was investing into a big rig with lots of panels, I would just spend some more and go with a roof deck/rack.
But I'll probably end up with a van, so i'll do what ever is cheapest
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:54 PM   #7
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i don't know the details on your build or your rig, but . . .

Adding a roof deck/rack has multiple benefits.
1. Add ridig panels.
2. Provide shade to your roof
3. Space between panel and roof allows for cooling for both panels and roof.

If I was investing into a big rig with lots of panels, I would just spend some more and go with a roof deck/rack.
But I'll probably end up with a van, so i'll do what ever is cheapest
Gl.
Since it's not the cheap batt insulation normally found, and it's in good shape I would leave it alone.



That was weird. I posted this reply quoting on Marky's thread, but put it here, WTF
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:07 PM   #8
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Thermal Characteristics
Operating Module Temperature -40C to +85C (-40 F to 185F)
Nominal Operating Cell Temerature (NOCT) 452C
Temperature Coefficient of Pmax -0.42%/C
Temperature Coefficient of Voc -0.31%/C
Temperature Coefficient of Isc 0.05%/C


This is out of the instruction manual from the link you posted
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:18 PM   #9
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I as told by several people that the flexible ones tend to overheat... Apparently Renogy even had to recall some of them due to this issue. I think I'll go rigid and weld a frame or at least a few studs to support the brackets. Just learned MIG welding anyway, so why not put it to good use.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:50 PM   #10
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It's good that people are trying the flexible panels. It would be ideal to have the entire roof, or a lot of it, covered by panels glued to the roof -- if it works reasonably well.

A few years ago a company that manufactured flexible panels went bankrupt. The panels were being liquidated cheap, at least as to what they had been selling for. I was going to coat my roof with them, but there was no warranty at all. So I passed on those.

From a casual read, Renogy has a good warranty on the panels. How they would work out for bus application, I don't know. The price seems right. I say roll the dice and go for it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:07 AM   #11
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ive seen them on a rv but that is fiberglass not steel that may be the problem with a bus
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:57 AM   #12
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Flex solar panels

I do have 20 of them on my roof... just finishing up the installation...

I'll let you all know how it runs..



I did add some strips of rubber weatherstripping between the panel and the roof in an attempt to reduce direct contact and provide a small space for air to flow... not sure how effective it will be..

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Old 05-15-2018, 11:03 AM   #13
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I understand that due to the panels flexibility that they have a tendency to "cup" in each square. These cups collect rain and moisture and then collect and hold dirt that may have flowed off if smooth. Cleaning the dirt by wiping them creates scratches. It wasn't said whether the scratches reduced effectiveness or not.

With your cushions I would be concerned about waves sinking between the stripping.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:49 AM   #14
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Those panels do look nice. Please keep us posted on how they work, maybe start a thread. I know at least a few of us are curious.

How are those secured? I've seen them stuck on with that heavy duty double sided tape in YouTube builds. Any concerns highway wind would damage or peel them off?
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:38 PM   #15
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I understand that due to the panels flexibility that they have a tendency to "cup" in each square. These cups collect rain and moisture and then collect and hold dirt that may have flowed off if smooth. Cleaning the dirt by wiping them creates scratches. It wasn't said whether the scratches reduced effectiveness or not.

With your cushions I would be concerned about waves sinking between the stripping.
Yes, that could be a concern, although with the roof curved, I won't worry about it right now.. I can always modify things later (add little pads in the middle of each square..
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:39 PM   #16
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Those panels do look nice. Please keep us posted on how they work, maybe start a thread. I know at least a few of us are curious.

How are those secured? I've seen them stuck on with that heavy duty double sided tape in YouTube builds. Any concerns highway wind would damage or peel them off?
I have mine screwed on... just screws at the top edge and an aluminum bar and screws on the bottom edge (to keep it flat against the curve.

for the middle panels, they're just held on with screws.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:42 PM   #17
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We have Power !!!

Power is ON...

Here's the final install:



It's working and I have a dehumidifier running on it right now.. Sun is out and Batteries are charging while the dehumidifier is running....

We'll see how it fares overnight.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:07 AM   #18
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Power is ON...

Here's the final install:



It's working and I have a dehumidifier running on it right now.. Sun is out and Batteries are charging while the dehumidifier is running....

We'll see how it fares overnight.
Marcel, That is a nice clean looking install, but what are those huge black thingies, with what looks like rope tied to them...?

Seriously though, really great install. I look forward to hearing how the flexible panels work out for you.

There is a lot of churn about those flexible panels. And with 20ea panels on your roof, your install could go a long way in hopefully dispelling some of the rumors/talk/whatever about flexible panels. They do seem particularly well-suited for RV/Skoolie installations.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:14 AM   #19
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Marcel, That is a nice clean looking install, but what are those huge black thingies, with what looks like rope tied to them...?
That's the reservoir for the blinker fluid.

Is yours missing?
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:18 AM   #20
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That's the reservoir for the blinker fluid.

Is yours missing?
I know it's "frowned upon" and might "void my warranty" but I use rainwater for my blinkers. I have a piece of black rubber tube (think fuel line) connected to my rain gutters and then it goes to my reservoir. I'm green that way.
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