You will find the biggest bang for your buck using rigid panels instead of flexible. Especially when you look at the cost over the lifetime of the panels. You will also get more Ah from rigids vs flexible for the same area. I would also reccommend that you do not break the bank when purchasing the charge controller. The few extra percent you may get for the top of the line is not worth the money IMO. You will probably never be able to get the array positioned perfectly, so keep that in mind and oversize the array.
Major benefits of solar are 1) they are a passive and 2) no moving parts to worrry about. All you have to do is be very thorough when making electrical connections and keep the panels clean. Rigid panels should last you decades. The failure point will be the electrial connections.
Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 06:31 AM.