Which Solar Panel ??? Flexi Or Rigid?

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by Minxy Girl, May 1, 2015.

  1. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Yes, another Solar Panel thread!

    Our current PVC has an Alden 75w rigid panel which is around 8/9 years old and is staying on when we px it- we found that we had enough 'input' from it to keep us going indefinitely as we don't use a lot of power.

    At Peterborough show we picked-up a couple of very, very reasonably priced flexible solar panels, a 60w and 40w, and we were thinking of using the 60w on our new PVC but I'm now wondering if a normal 'non-flexi' panel would be more suitable partly due to the 'ribbed' nature of the roof and also that we could fit a larger (probably 100w) panel instead of the 60w (although the flexi panels are supposed to give a higher output than the equivalent rigid type solar panel).

    Your thought on this would be appreciated please - we pick the van up on Thursday so will want to fit one not too long afterwards hence will need to order a rigid one if that's the way to go.

    Ta muchly!

    :)
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    I have read about heat issues with flexipanels when stuck down on the roof... ! Unlike standard ali framed ones they have no airflow underneath to cool them..
    Cant offer any more info but may be worth investigating..
    Spoke with a dealer at one show and he was almost confirming he did not like to sell them for motorhomes...
     
  3. Neilfg

    Neilfg Funster

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    The Wynns did a show on the flexi panels after a years use it is on their youtube channel.

     
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  4. Ranger

    Ranger Funster

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    We have a 100w flexible panel on our ribbed roof PVC and it works well but not as efficient as a free standing one which is angled towards the sun. It might be easier to site a 60w and a 40w than a 100w panel which is quite big. We have not had any heat problems in the UK.
     
  5. ivorantony

    ivorantony Funster

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    Flexi panels here as well, doddle to fit keeps out of slipstream and branches, the temperature fallacy you can ignore, you loose a couple of percent efficiency at higher temperatures but guess what! Higher temperatures mean more sun so isn't a problem,
    And stating the obvious when it's hot/ sunny you use less power anyway,
    but use a quality MPPT controller to maximise output,
     
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  6. Stroppy Bird

    Stroppy Bird Funster

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    @Ranger - did you somehow manage to fix the flexi panel directly to the roof ribs or did you mount it on something rigid and then attach that?
     
  7. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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  8. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    Have always gone flexi easy to fix, screw and/glue went for Mono crystal works a treat :)
     
  9. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Nonsense is a word that comes to mind.
     
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  10. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    what would a pair of panels and kit weigh please..as might go for this on next camper, but payload an issue for me as restricted to 3500..Have never considered them in the past.
     
  11. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    If you go flexi, weigh virtually nothing as are ether backed onto a thin glass fibre sheet or thin aluminium
     
  12. wizzer59

    wizzer59 Funster

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    I have two of these, weight 2.80kg each plus a few meters of cable and a reg, probly less than 8kg at a guess(y)
    IMG_0596[1].JPG
     
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  13. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    two x 100 watt panels and ally angle as brackets ,cable , and a reg would be less than 15kg .add two batteries thats where the weight is .
     
  14. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    if i was buying new now . i would give these a go.
    gotta be a bargain .
    every m,home should have a roof full.
     
  15. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    We can only use a LR1218 charger with the Schaudt unit - we've 'committed' to buy one off Ebay (just waiting for an invoice including the P&P to the UK) - it's a bit pricey at around £62 but still £18 cheaper than getting it here! It will allow the cab and habitation batteries to be charged and also it has some other benefits apparently:

    The cost of a LR1218 includes cables, instructions, Charge Control for both the Starter and the Habitation batteries. We think it is one of the most cost effective regulators around, competing on output in UK conditions with regulators costing twice as much.

    It uses Pulse Width Modulation and the voltage boost technology used to good effect in the EBL range giving a higher charge output than standard regulators.

    However, the most important function as far as the Schaudt Elektroblock range is concerned is that the regulator has the DATA cable output that is essential when wiring the newer Elektroblock range like the EBL 100, EBL 101, EBL 220, etc. This data cable provides the EBL with the Solar charge rate information that allows the EBL to co-ordinate all the charging functions. Without this information the EBL can shut down leaving the MH without any 12v power.

    When the sky is cloudy the Solar panel voltage may drop below 12.4V, when this happens it's value in charging a battery is zero. What the LR1218 does is boost this voltage at the expense of some current to keep the output nearer to 13V for maximum battery charge. So the Solar panel is able to produce a higher charge in lower light levels than many other Regulators.
    http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/lr-1218.php

    So whilst a bit 'expensive' it looks like it's a good quality piece of kit.
     
  16. Ranger

    Ranger Funster

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    I just used Sikaflex direct onto the roof, from memory it covered two ridges and one valley mounted across the van if that makes sense.
     
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  17. ivorantony

    ivorantony Funster

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    As above so no need to drill into roof for fixings of frame work,
    And as they are sealed all around the edge much more secure then framework brackets that are bonded but not screwed, IMO

    I have a EBL101 and also a MPPT controller and I have had no problems with the onboard charger, they all seem to work together harmoniously, well at least they have done over the last three years,
    I just Hope I'm not tempting provenance by saying that!
     
  18. Bluestar

    Bluestar Funster

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    On the voltage front if the regulator will accommodate it you can wire your panels in series for 24v or use 24v panels ,the regulator will bring down to the 14v required charging range and you have a margin for voltage drop due to cloud etc.
    Oh yes the flexi panels normally have eylets at the corners so I go glue and screw :)
     
  19. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Exactly, Watts is Watts so a 60 Watt rigid will give exactly the same output as a 60 Watt flexi.

    D.
     
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