Which Solar Panel ??? Flexi Or Rigid? (1 Viewer)

Minxy

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Aug 22, 2007
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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!

:)
 

tonka

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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...
 
Nov 2, 2008
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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.
 
Jan 22, 2013
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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,
 
Mar 11, 2014
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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?

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Bluestar

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

Judge Mental

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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.
 

Bluestar

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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.
If you go flexi, weigh virtually nothing as are ether backed onto a thin glass fibre sheet or thin aluminium
 
Apr 18, 2009
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Not long enough!
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.


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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vwalan

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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 .
 

vwalan

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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.
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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Aug 22, 2007
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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,
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.

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Jan 22, 2013
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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!
 

Bluestar

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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 :)

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