New approaches for small RV’s.
After I introduced Semi Flexible Solar Panels in my previous post, questions remain about the performance of these new semi flexible modules.
|SOLAR PANEL TYPES|
|Amorphous Thin Film||Semi Flexible|
|average cost per watt 1||$ 0.80-2.00||$ 1.50||$ 2.00-7.00|
|low light performance||average||good||good 2|
|high heat performance||average||good||good 2|
|efficiency||15 watt/sf||5.5 watt/sf||15 watt/sf|
|weight||40 oz/sf||11 oz/sf||7.5 oz/sf|
|warranty||20-25 yrs||20 yrs||10 yrs 3|
2 Several unconfirmed user tests indicate low light and high heat performance are less than rigid panels.
3 Misuse of the limited flexibility is often given as a reason for the shorter warranty period. Product life maybe similar to rigid panels.
As a general indication, prices for these panels are double that of regular rigid modules. For that, you’ll get a substantial weight reduction and a more aesthetically pleasing finish and maybe even some improved fuel mileage.
High heat performance is probably the biggest drawback, where some users indicate a considerable performance drop during the hottest part of the day. Under low light circumstances, they seem to under perform too, however no significant amount of energy is produced those times of the day anyway.