Solar panels come in a wide range of styles and sizes geared for different applications. There are rigid, portable, flexible, and larger fixed panels to choose from.
One aspect to consider when you are installing any type of solar system is insulation. If you choose flexible solar panels, there are challenges and solutions to adding insulation underneath your panels.
Flexible solar panels are a popular choice for RV enthusiasts. due to the fact that they’re more adaptable in many ways.
Did you know that insulating under your flexible solar panels will add key benefits to your solar system setup?
Problems With Flexible Solar Panels and Solutions
How fragile are flexible solar panels?
The material used to make flexible solar panels is an ultra-thin silicon material. Since they are considerably thinner than rigid fixed solar cells, flexible solar panels are more fragile. Greater care should be taken in their use and maintenance.
These panels must be able to bend and be mounted into positions that just aren’t possible with rigid solar panels. Rigid panels have tempered glass over them, while flexible panels do not have any of this.
What is the lifespan of flexible solar panels?
The amount of time your solar panels stay in a good working condition depends on a variety of factors.
This includes the type of panel, if you’re in an extreme climate, if there were mistakes made in the installation process (such as stepping on panels), accumulation of dirt particles, general weather issues, and damage from birds.
Panel degradation can occur at a slow rate over the years, and many panels will have an 80 percent decline in efficiency within 25 years. This is the efficiency standard and why several brands offer a 25-year warranty for their solar panels.
Even though the panels aren’t especially fragile or prone to defects, this can occur at a faster rate.
It’s important to pay attention to any issues and seek the services of a professional if it’s something you’re unable to adjust or fix on your own.
Can you stand on flexible solar panels?
Standing on flexible solar panels will damage them and decrease their effectiveness or destroy them completely. Attention to panel locations is important if they adhere to high traffic surfaces.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably not a good idea to walk on any type of solar panel, but you especially wouldn’t want to stand on the flexible variety unless you absolutely need to for some reason.
Are flexible solar panels any good?
Depending on their use, flexible solar panels can be an excellent choice. They are light, portable, and can be useful for contoured surfaces.
Many people like flexible panels for how efficient they are when it comes to using energy. They also tend to hold up extremely well in the elements and with regular wear and tear.
Flexible panels are a great option because of their convenience factor, though they don’t offer the same amount of energy as other types.
Do flexible solar panels need ventilation?
Any high usage solar panel that is in the sun a lot can benefit from ventilation.
An air gap under solar panels aids in keeping panels cool.
Flexible solar panels can be adhered flat to surfaces, and many times they do not have ventilation underneath them. Because of their design, the lack of a flexible solar panel air gap underneath them does not affect their operation.
Installing Flexible Solar Panels
How do you install a semi-flexible solar panel?
Semi flexible and flexible solar panels are best installed with the use of adhesive to get them to stay on the roof of your RV or wherever else you’re placing them. This is a good idea if you don’t want to drill holes into your structure.
In addition to the heavy-duty tape, it’s in your best interest to use fasteners so that you don’t have any mishaps along the way.
Some other ways in which you can install your panels include grommets, PVC honeycomb panel frames, and working with a zipper system.
Which VHB tape should you use for solar panels?
One of the top VHB tape brands on the market is 3M. AM Solar is another popular brand that many people like to use to secure their solar panels onto their vehicles or home.
This is best done by priming the surface of where you plan to place your solar panels, putting on the tape, then pressing it on.
You’ll need to use an oscillating tool in order to remove this tape.
How do you stick down a flexible solar panel?
One thing you definitely shouldn’t do is step on the panels.
You can use your hands and various mounting tools. If you’re uncomfortable with doing this precise work entirely on your own, it may be a good idea to bring in the experts.
There are sure to be several solar panel specialists in your area who can assist you with the installation process.
Flexible Solar Panel Insulation
Why should you insulate under your flexible solar panel?
Insulation under solar panels offers protection from expansion and contraction of the RV roof (or another type of roof).
Triple insulation is ideal if you can have it done since this promotes airflow and cooling between the layers of insulation, which cools the panels and roof.
Typically, it will transmit only a third of the heat energy to the interior of the caravan. It does this as a great alternative to your usual flexible solar panel air gap.
Polycarbonate insulation is an excellent way to insulate so you can further protect your solar panels as well as keep your roof from becoming damaged.
It can be a little tricky to figure out how to install this, but there are tutorials. If you are uncertain about any steps, get assistance from an expert in solar installation.
It’s well worthwhile when you consider how much money and time you’ll save by adding this to your flexible solar panel kit.