100 watt flex able solar panels - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-21-2014, 03:27 PM   #1
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100 watt flex able solar panels

What say you with the bendable or flexible solar panels?
I am looking at some 100 watt panels but want the best of both worlds. I want to install on the roof but also be able to move them around when needed. Yes I would have to come up with a way to mount them on the roof but still be able to take the down and move them?
The roof mount panels are great but I would run into times when they are not so great and so on with the folded moveable panels. They both have draw backs.
How about some flexible panels that can be mounted on the roof but yet moved to the sunlight when needed. Anyone else on the same page as me?
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:48 PM   #2
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I think the big advantage to flexible solar pannels is the ability to mount them flush on a curved surface. I would use VHB tape, around the perimeter. This would not be removable. I am inclined to think that the flex cells, if they are polly, or mono-crystalline, would be prone to breakage if you handled them too much.
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:13 PM   #3
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Dave, what if the panels were moveable and could be flush on a curved surface? What if they could be walked on without breaking. Say 3 lbs for a 100 watt panel!
What if we could put them on the roof but while in the shade move them to a sunny location. Yes, I have been doing the "research" for what I want. I think I may have found a flexible 100 watt panel that can be moved as need that weights only 3 lbs. Would you rather have this over a reg solar panel or a fold able panel at a lower cost? I would love your input!
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:51 PM   #4
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While not as efficient as crystalline panels, I suspect the amorphous panels are the future. There is research at many institutions into thin film deposition on many substrates including paper. I have even read about organic solar panel paint. I have an old amorphous panel that I've used for 10 years. I'm starting to look for a replacement. The Unisolar roll up panels look attractive. You could use Velcro to attach to the roof or put where you want. Pull it off and roll it up when traveling. For now I'm just looking to see what comes. Raz
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:53 PM   #5
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I want a panel that takes the place of the awning fabric!
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:00 PM   #6
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I want a panel that takes the place of the awning fabric!
What if you could just throw the solar panel on top of your awning? At 3 lbs, you could!
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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If I'm going to be away from the trailer and the weather looks threatening ( wind ) I furl the awning. So, if it was solar, I'd not be charging.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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If you want to charge from the panel while moving down the highway, fastening a panel to the roof is the way to go. If you don't want to do that, simply get the panel out when you set up camp and put it wherever you wish: on the trailer roof, on the ground, on your tug, whatever.

There is also nothing wrong with having more than one panel, with one fixed on the roof and another unmounted. You just need an appropriate controller that's capable of handling one or both panels.

Trying to mount one on the roof in a way that it can be dismounted and remounted at will sounds needlessly complex and impractical to me.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:11 PM   #9
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What if you could just throw the solar panel on top of your awning? At 3 lbs, you could!
I'd keep the one on my roof, and just unroll the awning version when I was at the trailer & the wind was down. The thing I like about it is the ease of storage, and the fact that is is serving dual purpose - I try to do that with as much as possible living in a small trailer!

My 95 watt panel tries to keep up, but I have to watch my usage. With the area of the Escape's awning, I'd have far more than I need...
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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We have 80 watts of flexible mono solar panels permanently mounted to the roof with VHB tape. They have been on for about 3 years and 60,000 miles thru all kinds of weather. There are two separate 40 watt panels. They each weigh 2.2 lbs.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:12 AM   #11
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We had a 100 watt panel mounted on the front of our Scamp that could be angled from a down position, up to a 30 degree over a horizontal position. We rarely ever raised it, and after a while, never even oriented the Scamp facing directly south, because it kept our group 27 battery charged in just a few hours of light. I really doubt that you would ever need to move 100 watts around to keep up with your needs either. One could always plug your 7 pin connecter to the tow vehicle to combine the vehicle batteries for extra stored power if needed until the sun comes back up.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
If you want to charge from the panel while moving down the highway, fastening a panel to the roof is the way to go. If you don't want to do that, simply get the panel out when you set up camp and put it wherever you wish: on the trailer roof, on the ground, on your tug, whatever.

There is also nothing wrong with having more than one panel, with one fixed on the roof and another unmounted. You just need an appropriate controller that's capable of handling one or both panels.

Trying to mount one on the roof in a way that it can be dismounted and remounted at will sounds needlessly complex and impractical to me.
That's a problem I haven't figured out. I want a panel that can be easily stored in the trailer when not in use i.e. rolled up. But at such light weight it has to be mounted to something or it will blow away. Having to bring something to mount it on kind of defeats the storage benefit. I suppose you can put it on the ground with rocks holding it down, but...... Any thoughts?

These Unisolar panels have been around for a while. I believe they were originally intended to mount to a roof. Unisolar had financial trouble but when you do a search, you end up at BASF.


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I'm hoping for an upgraded version. Perhaps at a price similar to crystalline panels. I have never seen one of these panels in person, so I have no idea how well they would hold up to rolling and unrolling. Being designed for permanent roof mount they may be limited as to how much flexing they will take. Raz
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:21 AM   #13
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For us the problem with UniSolar rollup panels is that they do not fit on the roof of a Scamp. Secondarily they are larger than an equivalent monfilament panel because they are less efficient.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:37 AM   #14
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The 68 watt is 15.5" x112" which would be close on my Trillium roof.
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