New solar install.... - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-19-2011, 08:17 AM   #29
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Another option is a second battery and a 15 watt portable solar to keep it full, that is what I have had success with, the 15 watt panel keeps both my batteries @ 100%. Well you can figure it out what is best for you, good luck.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:32 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by honda03842
I've decided to add two 40 watt flexible solar panels to our roof. We have an uncluttered roof, no air conditioner or Maxx Air vent, and the thinnes appeals to me..

These panels are about a 1/10th of an inch thick. Our plan is to attach them to the roof with an adhesive or tape. In addition to being thin, they weigh less than 5 lbs apiece.

They come in a number of different wattages. Information follows on the product.

Sunflex Solar and Alternative/Renewable Energy - About us
I have used Solar panels on many of the boats I've skippered. I liked them all. One had 10 110 Watt panels which ran DC Fridge, auto pilot, and a water maker. This was a 62' catamaran. On the other end of the spectrum, I've seen single flexible panels on deck that I never thought woukd hold up. They take a beating, literallt pwople walk on them unconcerned about damage and never seen one fail--just a small steady charging current and no need for a charge controller. I became a believer in these thing. I agree with Norm on taping them down with double sided tape. Less wind drag ane only a small hit in performance due to lack of an underlying cooling space.

For me, I tend to use a lot of power and would rather go larger on a panel. The ideal set up is a smooth fairing on the leading and trailing edges with ventaltion from side to side. It woukd be relatively easy to custom make a mount that would allow a flush mount on the fore and aft axis for maximum efficiency. However if you dont mind the wind drag any old mounting solution will do. The most important factor is to have at least one panel--that give you energy independence.

I have to admit the cost of these panels seem very low. The market must be weak for these now. Grab these deals whike you can.

One final note. A new technology, not yet perfected and it might be very long before it is, places a carbon nanotube in the center of each cell for a three fold or more increase in efficiency--up to 70% efficiency compared to 17% with current technology. The nabotube acts like a resonant antenna for light. However there is no way to place them where the need to be. We can look forward to much higher efficiencies in the future.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #31
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Solar efficiency

Thank you Night Sailor.

I looked up solar panel efficiency. In summary a typical panel loses 0.5% power for each degree above 25C. Assuming a top solar panel temperature of 70C (about 158F), you'd lose about 20% of your rated power.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:29 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by honda03842
Thank you Night Sailor.

I looked up solar panel efficiency. In summary a typical panel loses 0.5% power for each degree above 25C. Assuming a top solar panel temperature of 70C (about 158F), you'd lose about 20% of your rated power.
I am not sure what you are thanking me for, but you are welcome. I hope I did not disuade you from the flexible panels--they are wonderful. I think your taping idea is fantastic, unless you decide to go bigger with a raised mount. I would not worry about cooling or the perfect angle--just get nore of them, wire it up and forget about them.

Any solution you chose will psy for itself over time in frer energy. I am such a believer in these things, I am thinking about putting an array on the roof of the house.

Excuse all the typos. Small phone keyboard means I often hit the wrong keys.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #33
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I looked up solar panel efficiency. In summary a typical panel loses 0.5% power for each degree above 25C. Assuming a top solar panel temperature of 70C (about 158F), you'd lose about 20% of your rated power.
The mono and poly crystalline panels loose power at elevated temperatures, however the amorphous type panels work much better at high temperatures. They also work better in partial shade and low light situations and when not at the optimum angle towards the sun as stick on panels would be on the roof of a camper. The only trade off is that the require a bigger area for the same wattage, but there is usually plenty of space on top of a camper.
Amazon.com: Uni-Solar PVL-68 PowerBond PVL 68 Watt 12 Volt 112-Inch x 15.5-Inch Flexible Solar Panel: Patio, Lawn & Garden

The manufacture shows that they are available in a shorter length as well.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:17 AM   #34
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amorphous type panels

I favored the amorphous panel however they are long and thin. At least the 68 watter is too long for our roof's central section. As well it's too wide for the side section, lower section.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:55 PM   #35
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amorphous type panels

I favored the amorphous panel however they are long and thin. At least the 68 watter is too long for our roof's central section. As well it's too wide for the side section, lower section.
There are some other sizes that are shorter than the 112 inch long 68 watt panels. The 62 watt panel is 103" and the 31 watt size is 55.5 inches long. A couple of the 31 watt size panels might fit side by side. The 31 watt panels are 6 volt and would need to be used in pairs.

http://www.sunwize.com/info_center/p...%20RoofLam.pdf

http://www.solarcellsales.com/techin...l-saleslit.pdf
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:11 PM   #36
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Could you mount a layer of Reflectix underneath the flexible panels and prevent heat buildup underneath?
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #37
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I think that is a disaster waiting to happen. Fiberglass is porous to an extent and sealing it under this will probably cause damage. Maybe to a piece of aluminum or fiberglass sheet and then elevate the whole thing like a conventional panel would work? This would allow ventilation and keep heat to a minimum.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:54 PM   #38
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Oh, dear. Another "brilliant" idea shot down. I'm so glad, though, because I would probably have tried it! Thanks!

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I think that is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Old 09-22-2011, 01:58 PM   #39
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Oh, dear. Another "brilliant" idea shot down. I'm so glad, though, because I would probably have tried it! Thanks!
Please do not ever take any of my comments personal. I did not intend to make you feel shot down. Do not disparage, it may work but I think there are better solutions. Maybe there was a better way I could have expressed myself.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" or is that the other way around?
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #40
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Oh, no! I didn't feel personally shot down at all! I was making fun of myself!!!

I'm delighted I got a good answer to my question!!!

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Please do not ever take any of my comments personal. I did not intend to make you feel shot down. Do not disparage, it may work but I think there are better solutions. Maybe there was a better way I could have expressed myself.
"Necessity is the mother of invention" or is that the other way around?
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:12 AM   #41
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I think that is a disaster waiting to happen. Fiberglass is porous to an extent and sealing it under this will probably cause damage. Maybe to a piece of aluminum or fiberglass sheet and then elevate the whole thing like a conventional panel would work? This would allow ventilation and keep heat to a minimum.
Disaster is a pretty strong word because something is attached to fiberglass with a flexible adhesive. Maybe you could explain how this would cause a disaster because of porosity.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:11 AM   #42
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Disaster is a pretty strong word because something is attached to fiberglass with a flexible adhesive. Maybe you could explain how this would cause a disaster because of porosity.
You are right, my word choice was wrong, maybe an irreversible mistake would have been a better choice. I think that the panels attached directly to the fiberglass with VHB not only would cause the panels to deteriorate quicker but the fiberglass underneath may also suffer some sort of damage. Jim Palmer, the builder of the EggCamper and fiberglass manipulator told me several times that fiberglass is porous. I think the tape would also suffer and somehow become absorbed into the glass when faced with the high temperatures created under the solar panels. The temperature must be relieved somehow and it will take the easiest egress. Either back up thru the panel or down thru the roof. IMHO
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