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Old 04-25-2015, 07:39 PM   #21
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We put our two little panels on our pop-top and have plenty of juice for our needs plus companions cell phones, etc


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How big/heavy are your panels and how did you fasten? Where did you run the wires? I would like to put a panel on my pop-top but concerned about added weight making it difficult to open and secure.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:06 PM   #22
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How big/heavy are your panels and how did you fasten? Where did you run the wires? I would like to put a panel on my pop-top but concerned about added weight making it difficult to open and secure.

You can get lightweight plastic ones now like this http://www.renogy-store.com/Renogy-1.../rng-100db.htm. 100w panel weighs about 3 lbs.


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Old 04-26-2015, 03:55 PM   #23
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We have two little 20W monocrystaline panels they are the type with aluminum frames. Hubby through bolted them with lots of butyl tape. The wires have UV resist covers and come over the edge of the pop top then over the top of the fabric where they are secured to the top at the through bolt. Then the wires sneak into the big closet and are routed forward to his electrical control center.
I have no trouble raising them. In total it may be 5 pounds. I'm sure the plastic backed ones are lighter but you would probably need larger ones since the amorphous crystals have lower output so it may end up close to the same weight.
If this doesn't answer your question let me know and I'll have the hubby explain it better.


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Old 04-26-2015, 05:27 PM   #24
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Quote: I'm sure the plastic backed ones are lighter but you would probably need larger ones since the amorphous crystals have lower output so it may end up close to the same weight.

These panels are NOT amorphous crystals. Here is a quote from their website.
The Renogy bendable solar panel uses advanced technology. Sunpower Monocrystalline solar cells that have been laminated into a flexible plastic sheet. The result is a solar panel that is far more durable than traditional glass and aluminum models, with twice the efficiency (approx. 20%) of flexible thin film solar panels. With these advanced solar cells, you will get greater power efficiency even though the panel is no larger than a traditional model. The plastic back sheet can be curved to a maximum 30 degree arc and mounted on an RV, boat, cabin, tent, or any other irregular surface.

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Old 04-26-2015, 07:21 PM   #25
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Thanks Denece! What I wondered was whether you taped or drilled holes and where you ran the wires. I don't think I'm brave enough to drill holes in the pop-up of my Compact II ;-) But that does seem like the best location since there will be no shadow when raised up. If I have the right picture in my mind, you have the wires running through the fabric sleeve and then into the closet? I am picturing where the extra bight of wire would end up that would be necessary for when the top is in down position. Does it then hang down inside the trailer? Or am I picturing the wire entry point wrongly?
There was an excellent post last year, I think, about an installation of the flexible Renogy 100W panel using a bonding technique. Very nice, but more money and capacity than I want in a solar panel. Thanks for your response!

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Old 04-26-2015, 10:22 PM   #26
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Those panels sound awesome. I think I would use the tape others have mentioned and just stick them up there.
Ours are at the rear edge of the pop top so the wire just runs over the edge and tucks inside right at the closest point to minimize exposure. Once inside it is secured to the underside of the pop, you could glue an attachment, and then secured where it enters the large closet. There is a little more slack than strictly required in case the top goes up rear end first instead of flat. I used to have trouble getting it balanced when I put it up.
Having the panels at the rear facilitates wiping them off when dusty.

Our Compact II had almost no electrical system when we got it. 12V from tug and a couple of 110 lights and sockets when plugged in. Ours had a cord attached under the sink that you could feed out a hole for shore power!
My husband rewired it all to get rid of a lot of questionable stuff and added a battery, charger, solar controller and the panels. It's a very truncated version of what we had on our sailboat. We basically lived on solar and 12V for 8 years aboard so have a fair understanding.



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Old 01-26-2016, 12:10 PM   #27
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Those panels sound awesome...
While this is an old thread, someone may stumbling upon it in their research, and to him or her I strongly suggest reading this post and continuing your research.
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Old 01-26-2016, 01:08 PM   #28
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Flexible Panel Issues

What the article Gordon points to states: if you own the Renergy (and other brands made at the same factory) in the flexible/bendable version they are offering to exchange them with a revised model. I would recommend reading Gordon's link if you own any type of flexible panel.
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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 ďthe manufacturer was blowing smoke and selling garbage.Ē

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. Iím 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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