Any thoughts on Grape Solar flexible panels? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Any thoughts on Grape Solar flexible panels?

I've seen these in a couple of places, but reviews in a marine context are slim:

Grape Solar PhotoFlex 100-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel-GS-PHOTOFLEX-100W at The Home Depot

What are people's thoughts on these panels? I like the MC4 connections, they're 12 volt panels (I have a MPPT charger anyway) and they're *SIX* lbs. After my failed attempt to mount a big ass Kyocera on a frame above my bimini, the thought of a couple of these sired in serial with some zip ties to hold them down is very appealing.

Anyone used these panels? Any good? They're *HALF* the price of Solbians flexible panels.

Specs:

SPECIFICATIONS

Amperage (amps) 5.62
Assembled Depth (in.) .125 in
Assembled Height (in.) 41.75 in
Assembled Width (in.) 21 in
Panel length (in.) 41.75
Manufacturer Warranty 2 year limited product warranty on materials and workmanship.10 year warranty on >90% power output.
Panel weight (lb.) 6
Voltage (volts) 17.8
Wattage (watts) 100

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Last edited by night0wl; 04-19-2014 at 11:05 PM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-19-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Any thoughts on Grape Solar flexible panels?

Just noticed eMarine Inc ( a local co I used for my last solar project) has a similar product for a similar price: 100W Semi Flexible Solar Panel with MC4 Junction Box

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post #3 of 3 Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Any thoughts on Grape Solar flexible panels?

I'm in the market for solar and have looked at these and a few other flexible products (some even cheaper than the Grape panels) that seem to be me-too competitors to the Solbian and Aurinco panels. While they get good user reviews at online stores, the few reviews I've found on boating and RV forums and blogs are decidedly more mixed. There also aren't a lot of reviews reporting real world performance over an extended period, probably because they haven't yet been on the market very long. While I believe flexible panels will continue to grow in market share and drop in price over the next few years, it's currently too early to tell which of the second tier brands will perform better than others over time and with the premium brands it's difficult to justify $7-9/watt, even when their simplified installation is accounted for. As much as I'd love the low profile and weight savings of flexible panels, I'm going with tried and true hard panels at $1.50/watt until the flexible panel market matures a bit more. Of course, someone has to be the "early adopter" for every new product.

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