Electronics > Power/Renewable Energy/EV's

Semi-Flexible Solar Panel Advice

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mscottydiy:
I've been looking into getting a new semi-flexible solar panel for my canal boat and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these?

Are they practically any better than rigid ones?

I'm wanting a semi-flexible panel so that it doesn't protrude too much. As far as I can tell, these things are pretty thin. Do I still need to leave a gap like you do with rigid ones?

I've been looking into one by Renogy - https://uk.renogy.com/175-watt-12-volt-flexible-monocrystalline-solar-panel/

As well as one by Sunpower - https://envirobuy.com/170w-sunpower-semi-flexible-solar-panels/

The Renogy one is generally cheaper across the board although the Sunpower one is a better shape for my needs. Does anyone have experience with either?

Cheers

Renate:
Me? I would NEVER buy anything that bends.
They spot weld connections and with bending they fail.
Renogy (who used to be HQST, except that they deny it) sold those.
I threw away 3 100W panels.
I now have 2 X 300W Canadian solar (solid) solar panels.
The framework is mine.

Edit: I remembered that about HQST

richard.cs:
I have a flexible panel I got off a friend because it flew off his van and hit the road as he was driving at 60 mph. It had 2 damaged cells, after shorting those it just worked with a slightly reduced output voltage indicating all remaining cells we OK, I was pretty impressed it survived that. The flexibility does seem to be fine, and bending once to match a curved boat roof is exactly what they're intended for. The one I have is 2-3 mm thick, aluminium backing, EVA front. I probably wouldn't bother with a gap, if you make it large enough for useful air circulation then you'll have lost all the advantage of a flexible panel. If mounting without a gap, then thermal contact between the aluminium back and the steel roof would be good as the board can then heatsink the panel a bit.

Renate:
Two damaged cells that you knew about.
Who's to say that another connection didn't go flakey and that in the future it won't dump the entire solar panel power into a resistive connection?
There have been melt-throughs. Google HQST.
You might have a point with a metal roof but a wooden roof is a sub-optimal.

richard.cs:
Well yes, I certainly wouldn't recommend throwing them off the roof at speed, I was rather surprised it worked at all afterwards. It's been fine for years, but where it's installed a point dissipation won't cause a fire in any case.

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