Solar for beginners - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-26-2016, 01:29 PM   #29
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We had a number of folks mount the flexible monocrystaline panels so as to match the curve of their roof. I haven't heard of any reporting issues.

The sailboat folks appear to be mounting their panels on biminis which appears to be similar to an awning mount. Perhaps the continual flexing distorts the internal conductors creating a high resistance. In any case I took a quick look at the renogy site and couldn't find any flexible panels. Perhaps I missed them or they are no longer selling them. Raz
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:28 PM   #30
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And I think they discontinued them also but I did not see a definitive statement to that effect. As much as I would like a flexible panel, my research has ruled them out (for me) until the technology improves. I didn't want to say they are all bad but I do think that anyone who reads the statement, "Those panels sound awesome..." should really do more research.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:35 PM   #31
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And I think they discontinued them also but I did not see a definitive statement to that effect. As much as I would like a flexible panel, my research has ruled them out (for me) until the technology improves. I didn't want to say they are all bad but I do think that anyone who reads the statement, "Those panels sound awesome..." should really do more research.
I finally replaced my aging 42 watt amorphous panel with a pair of hinged mono 30 's. I have been following developing amorphous technology for some time, i.e.solar cell printers depositing cells on just about anything. The articles continually promised commercial product that never showed. Maybe next time. Raz
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Old 01-28-2016, 04:04 PM   #32
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If you read my earlier statements on solar panels I was advocating to only use monocrystallin panels which are by nature not flexible. I was swayed by the posters assertions that these flex panels put out more current and caused less wind resistance while towing.
Obviously if he had been correct they would have been "awesome panels". As we all know now, the manufacturer was blowing smoke and selling garbage.
I do second the person letting people know that cruising sailboats use these systems and have done all the calculations etc
We lived aboard our sailboat for 8 years on solar power. It was amazing.

Reading only part of any thread can give you erroneous impressions. Please note I never said they were "awesome panels". I said they sounded to be by his description. Those of you with curved roofs prefer a panel that bends. Since our Compact II has a flat roof, flat panels work great for us.


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Old 01-29-2016, 08:10 AM   #33
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Well... l I hope that no one concluded that Denece was endorsing the flexible panels. My only reason to quote him was that his short statement (admittedly taken out of context) seemed to reflect and summarize the overall thread and no doubt there are many people who do not know that the manufacturer was blowing smoke and selling garbage.

In fact, I have high hopes for improving technology in the PV field, and I think that that some sort of flexible or thin film panels will someday be the accepted norm. But most or all of them are not there yet. I was led to the thread based on the subject (Solar for Beginners) and but I fear that the thread as a whole might mislead those who are in the early stages of their education on the topic. Im glad to see Denece, with eight years of actual experience living with solar power, is still around in this thread.

BTW, I am now testing a single 100 watt Poly panel with the Bogart Engineering SC-2030 charger paired with the TriMetric TM-2030 meter. The poly panel is only seven percent larger in surface area when compared to the mono version with the same rating from the same manufacturer, which cost 17% more. While the surface area is a little more, it has different dimensions form the mono panel and will fit on my roof better (if I decide to go that route). According to the manufacturer the weight is the same (which is not logical since the surface area including the glass is different).
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Old 01-29-2016, 09:19 AM   #34
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I would love to have about 200 watts of solar panels on top of my 16' Scamp and I am very interested in where this thread goes.
I would prefer thin flexible panels that fit the center of the raised part of the roof ahead of the escape hatch.
Who has a similar setup, either flexible or rigid? any pictures?
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Old 01-30-2016, 06:08 PM   #35
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Hot off the presses.. here is a recall of 1500 Flexible solar panels from Renogy, model RNG-100DB.

I still think that Renogy is a good company and their panels are generally top notch. I have one now and if I buy more they will likely be from Renogy.
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Old 01-30-2016, 07:35 PM   #36
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I also believe that Renergy is standing behind their product, I am concerned about other similar panels from companies such as grape solar that may be selling the same panel made at the same factory. Many of the North American sellers are purchasing from India or China and selling under their name, there may be numerous sellers of this panel. You need to do your homework if you have a flrxible panel installed.
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:03 PM   #37
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I would have guessed China too but according to the notice the panels are made in Thailand. Many folks who put them on their trailers used very high bond tape. Not good. Raz
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:30 AM   #38
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I would have guessed China too but according to the notice the panels are made in Thailand. Many folks who put them on their trailers used very high bond tape. Not good. Raz
I'm one of them. Not looking forward to this. I don't have an easy way to work on the roof to remove the installed panel.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:52 AM   #39
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This time the good news is that you probably don't have to worry about damaging the panel when removing it if they will be junked out by Renogy anyway.

Perhaps just put a protective piece of plastic or wood on the surface of the fiberglass and then pop the panel off the VHB with a pry bar.

The real issue will be removing the VHB residue from the fiberglass surface. May need to make a call to 3M to find out the best way to do that.

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Old 01-31-2016, 09:13 AM   #40
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The first thing I would do is see if flexing is what causes the failure. Panels that are in a fixed position may be OK. If there's a safety issue with the panel in a fixed application then the panel must be removed.

I have no experience with vhb tape. In a previous discussion when I posed the removal question it was suggested that cutting the tape in half would free up the panel. If that's the case, I.e. if the tape is thick enough and accessible enough, then that seems a good approach. Since there was a panel in that position to begin with, new tape and a new panel covering the old tape residue puts you back to where you began.
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:05 AM   #41
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Removing badging on cars held on with double stick tape is easily removed by using dental floss and a heat gun. I would think that using WD40 would also work with the dental floss or with a plastic scraper.
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-31-2016, 12:46 PM   #42
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From the RNG bendable solar panels recall

About 1500 sold. 11 reports of overheating with 3 reports of property damage.

11/1500 = .0073 or .7% reported with overheating problems

3/1500 = .002 or .2% with reported property damage

It would be very helpful to have the details. I really, really don't want to remove mine!
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