These semi flexible solar panel are rugged and designed for use in the harshest environments. They can be permanently fitted and even walked on. Perfect for boats, motorhomes, caravans and expedition use.If you are an RV owner who loves to explore remote places and enjoy the freedom of living off-grid, you might have considered installing solar panels on your RV roof. Solar panels can provide you with clean, renewable, and free energy wherever you go, as long as there is enough sunlight.
However, not all solar panels are the same. There are different types, sizes, and qualities of solar panels available on the market, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we will focus on one type of solar panel that is becoming more popular among RV owners: semi flexible solar panel.
What is semi flexible solar panel?
Semi flexible solar panels are solar panels that can bend up to a certain degree to follow the contours of your RV roof. They are made of thin layers of monocrystalline solar cells that are laminated with a durable ETFE coating. They are attached directly to the roof of your RV with a suitable adhesive or tape.
Semi flexible solar panels are different from rigid solar panels, which have aluminum frames and glass covers. Rigid solar panels are more common and cheaper than semi flexible ones, but they also have some drawbacks. They are heavier, bulkier, and more difficult to install on curved or uneven surfaces.
Flexible solar panels for RV roof are also different from fully flexible solar panels, which can bend up to 360 degrees and roll up like a mat. Fully flexible solar panels are very lightweight and portable, but they also have some drawbacks. They are more expensive, less efficient, and less durable than semi flexible ones.
What are the pros of using semi flexible solar panel for your RV?
Semi flexible solar panels have some benefits that make them attractive for RV owners who want to go off-grid. Here are some of them:
Lightweight and easy to install. Narrow solar panels for rv weigh much less than rigid ones, which means they will not add much load to your RV roof. They also do not require any drilling or mounting brackets to install them. You just need to clean the surface of your roof, apply the adhesive or tape, and stick the panel on it.
Low profile and minimal wind resistance. Semi flexible solar panels are very thin and flat, which means they will not stick out from your roof or create any drag while driving. They will also blend in better with the color and shape of your roof, making them less noticeable and more aesthetically pleasing.
Bend up to 30 degrees to follow the curves of your roof. Semi flexible solar panels can adapt to the shape of your roof, which means they will not leave any gaps or spaces where dust or water can accumulate. They will also maximize the surface area exposed to the sun, which means they will produce more power than rigid ones.
Durable ETFE coating that protects them from UV rays, salt water, and dirt. Semi flexible solar panels have a special coating that makes them resistant to weathering and corrosion. They can withstand high temperatures, humidity, rain, snow, hail, and salt spray. They can also be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or hose.
What are the cons of using semi flexible solar panel for your RV?
Semi flexible solar panels also have some drawbacks that you should be aware of before buying them. Here are some of them:
More expensive than rigid ones. Semi flexible solar panels use more advanced technology and materials than rigid ones, which means they cost more per watt. You might have to pay more upfront for a semi flexible system than for a rigid one with the same power output.
Shorter warranty periods than rigid ones. Semi flexible solar panels usually come with a warranty period of 2 to 5 years, while rigid ones usually come with a warranty period of 10 to 25 years. This means that if your semi flexible panel fails or degrades within a few years, you might have to replace it sooner than a rigid one.
Degrade faster than rigid ones due to heat buildup. Semi flexible solar panels do not have any air gap or ventilation between them and the roof surface, which means they can get very hot during sunny days. This can reduce their efficiency and lifespan over time.
Semi flexible solar panels are a great option for RV owners who want to go off-grid and enjoy the benefits of solar power. They are lightweight, easy to install, low profile, and adaptable to curved surfaces. However, they are also more expensive, less durable, and less efficient than rigid ones.
You should also consider your budget, power needs, roof size and shape, and personal preferences. Here is a ready recommendation for Sungold‘s 200W flexible solar panel, a highly recommended product that is popular with consumers for its unique appearance and excellent performance. If you are unsure, you can always consult a professional solar installer or retailer for advice.