Simple, portable solar setup?

Rbertalotto

Explorer
This article I wrote might help...


Other articles here www.rvbprecision.com
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
Heh, well the word "flexible" doesn't appear anywhere in the ad... but they also don't have rigid frames so I suppose they must be at least somewhat flexible.

Can "monocrystalline" solar cells be flexible? It has been a lot of years since my crystallography class but I don't remember flexibility as being one of the parameters of a crystalline mineral... other than perhaps mica sheets. But I digress.

Really do like the ability to fold into the small package, I truly don't have a place for a rigid solar suitcase folder. My camper is basically a bed with a phone-booth size (not even that big, really) space between the sink and stove.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
yeah w/out a rigid frame the cells risk flexing, and no they shouldn't be flexed.. it breaks down and destroys the cells.. even the so called flexible ones advertised as it can be flexed very few times.. like once to glue it to a curved surface, but not regularly or they will short out internally and its dead jim.

If thats all you can do then thats all you can do.. just take very good care of em, id find a hardcase for transport and understand that they wont last as long as rigids.. the only foldable ones of your style I seen that can stand up to some abuse/neglect and time are MilSpec, and cost about 3-4x as much as that panel you found on amazon... price per watt those ones are some of the worst I've ever seen.. hence my original comment about needing a military budget.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I'm using a folding panel kit as a roof-mounted install but I retained the ability to easily dismount the panel and deploy it away from the vehicle in direct sunlight, if I'm able to shade the vehicle.
My kit might as well have been the protoype of the Goal Zero 100watt folding panel kit. I get about 5A from it here in SoCal, even mounted flat.
details of the folding kit and my rooftop mount are pages 7-10 in my build topic, link in my sig

 
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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
yeah w/out a rigid frame the cells risk flexing, and no they shouldn't be flexed.. it breaks down and destroys the cells.. even the so called flexible ones advertised as it can be flexed very few times.. like once to glue it to a curved surface, but not regularly or they will short out internally and its dead jim.
Generally when speaking about flexible in electronics such as thin film solar panels is more like moldable. The various thin films do flex but how much they can flex isn't infinite like a flag and when they are molded maybe just once to an irregular surface they'll last fine. But for the most part I wouldn't worry much about flexing them a few times, there's a lot of accumulated industry knowledge about how to make thin film semiconductors and flexible printed wire boards that I'd think solar panel manufacturers leverage.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
Moldable is a much better term than flexible for solar panels.

When we were dispersed outside Grand Canyon we pissed off a Kaibab Squirrel by camping under his food tree.. that lil **** was throwing giant pine cones at my solar panels from about 80ft+ up... We'd just be chilling there then everyone would jump from the bang... We went out and spent a full day wheeling and when we got back to camp there was a pile of pinecones at the downhill slope of my solar panel.

I'm glad I had some sturdy rigid ones.. but even then I was questioning whether or not a lil rodent was gonna take out a 4ft wide piece of tempered glass if he could get his hands on something with a bit more weight.
 
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