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post #21 of 44 Old 12-25-2012
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Good article! Thank you for that!

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post #22 of 44 Old 12-25-2012
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Stanford creates flexible, high-efficiency peel-and-stick solar cells | ExtremeTech

That is the article. It doesn't say anything about the watts produced per square foot.

MPPT solar controllers (starting at under $100) do allow monocrystalline panels to work when partially shaded, giving you the best of both worlds (working in shade and having a high output).

I think it is a lot easier to mount a couple of rigid 20x18" 30w panels than a 10' long 60w flexible.
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post #23 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I remember when Paolo was debating this issue... I'm now contemplating something similar, and the reason I'm thinking of going the flexible/semi-flexible route would be for two reasons- I could more easily move them around the boat (to the sunnier side, maybe) and wouldn't have the added expense and "stuff" hanging off the back of my boat (the more common place to put them on an Olson 30) and then they won't interfere with other activities (mounting/dismounting the outboard, mounting the emergency rudder/cassette, etc...). But, I'm not sure how the flexible panel worked out for you, Paulo. Was the output voltage sufficient for your cruising needs? I'm sure your needs would be different than mine, but I estimate that I won't need more than 100w, and could probably make do with 80, possibly less. Prices are dropping quite a bit, with the exception of the Ganz panels, which would be my preference. Any ideas, anyone?

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post #24 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

I have 400 watts of rigid panels mounted on an arch and tilt them to follow the sun. It is enough to meet all my energy needs. Fridge the makes ice, lappie, lights etc. On sunny days I am fully charged by mid day.
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post #25 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

I have several of the roll up 144 watt flexible panel.. these are used for roof installations and quite sturdy... these would be great to install on a bimini or dodger which is what I intend to do later... 4 of these panels should be all one needs for off the grid cruising... the panels are 5 foot long... I'd like to try to make a swing panel similar to tilt panels on the rear rails but on the side rails as has been done before and removable and stowable would be great features too. Need to put on the thinking cap and come up with an elegant design.

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post #26 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Guitarguy- which brand of panel do you have?
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post #27 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irunbird View Post
Guitarguy- which brand of panel do you have?
The panels are the Uninsolar 144 Watt (PVL-144), they supply 24 volts and are longer than 5 foot though... I was going to have them installed on my roof from an installer but my HOA prohibits installing them with out Architectural approvals... so I just kept the panels and got a good price on them from the installer... I used them for science projects at my wife's elementary school... they work great in all sunlight/shade... the deck on my 25 footer is too small for the panels so if installed they need to be on the port and starboard rails...

This is the panel:

UniSolar PVL-144 PV Laminate, 144 Watt 24V Amorphous Solar Panel
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post #28 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Semi-flexible panels will be a lot more efficient but they can not be rolled up. Solbian semi-flexible panels can be purchased with the most efficient solar cells in the world, SunPower cells, and a 100W panel is just 44" X 22"... They mount beautifully on bimini's etc. and weigh almost nothing.

You can also get "walk on" panels from Aurinco or Solara.. These are both robust well made products designed for marine use, and not the junk you find on eBay...

Armorphous panels (roll up) need double or more the square ft surface area to get the same output. Placing any panels on a deck, on a sailboat, leads to poor performance shading wise.

This boat has 125W of solar and it is not on-deck where it will be tripped on or stepped on......
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post #29 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

Agree Maine sail... beautiful boat if yours... Yes the best place to install them is out of sight and on top of the dodger and bimini is perfect and what I'd like to do... the roof panels may be too big practically speaking and may not be able to be installed but the engineer/tinkerer in me will try to rig something for the fun of it... just looked at some panels Kyocera 225W and 5' x 3' in size... I imagine two of these should be adequate for electrical needs with excess for a 32-35 footer (intended next sailboat size)...

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post #30 of 44 Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Roll-up solar panels

We simply mounted the panels on the bimini by bolting through the existing bimini frame with 1" spacers for ventilation and to reduce chafe on the cloth. They are out of the way, stay clean and the boom doesn't seem to be a factor, but if it was, I could just drop it between them at anchor.
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