Tips on buying Flexible Solar Panels
You’ll find retailers on eBay or Amazon selling all sorts of?Flexible Solar Panels?at all prices. But how could you make sure you get the best bang for your buck?
The performance will vary depending on the quality of the solar cells used, the materials used to laminate those cells(the coating material, glue), and the rigor of the assembling process.
1. Can Have Much Shorter Lifespans
It should be noted that Flexible Solar Panels, in general, have a shorter lifespan than traditional panels and many of the poor quality ones found on these marketplaces will have lifespans as short as 1-3 years.
Unsurprisingly, those retailers will also offer no warranty on these products. Warranty, evidently, is a fairly good indicator of how much does a seller believe in his product. One year – standard, two years – great, three years – amazing.
One decisive factor in determining the lifespan of Flexible Solar Panels would be the coating material. The two more popular types would be PET and ETFE.
PET is a polyester-based plastic and ETFE is a fluorine-based polymer. And, the main differentiating factors between the two would be strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion.
While PET-laminated Flexible Solar Panels generally have lifespans of up to 5 years, ETFE-laminated Flexible Solar Panels have lifespans of up to 10 years.
ETFE-laminated Flexible Solar Panel seen up-close.
2. Sunpower Cell Technology Offers Superior Quality and Efficiency
Sunpower’s Maxeon multi-layered cell technology makes them arguably the highest quality of solar cells commercially available.
SunPower cells boast efficiencies of up to 24.3%, which makes them capable of providing up to “35% more power compared to conventional cells with outstanding aesthetics.”
Conventional cells will often have thin lines on the front of the cell, caused by the metal paste which is used to make electrical contacts. Those characteristics not only affect the aesthetics of the cell but the overall efficiency of the panel as well.
The exposed metal components are also vulnerable to corrosion, and although this might not be an issue for rooftop solar panel systems, it might be so if the system is in proximity to seawater, i.e. on a boat, or even near the coast, which makes it ideal for building?Marine Solar Panels.
3. What You Need to Know Before You Order
If you’re looking for a Flexible Solar Panel that’s low-cost, just to charge your phone or your tablet.
Then PET-laminated panels might be what you are looking for. Also, you might not need the most efficient cells out there(24%), remember that you will get less value from higher efficiency cells.
Tip 1: Efficiency rating does?not affect power output, it will?not make your phone charge faster. Higher efficiency cells only decrease the surface area needed to achieve the output shown. For small-scale normal conditions charging, the highest efficiency solar cells are generally not worth it
If you’re looking for a Flexible Solar Panel for your boat, RV, or for camping. One that you’ll use for more than charging a phone, like your refrigerator, engine starter, or battery.
Waterproof, fire-resistant, durable and reliable. The ETFE-laminated Flexible Solar Panels definitely are what you are looking for. A bit pricier, but definitely worth it.
There are a number of ways you can fix those panels. Mounting brackets,?glue, adhesive tape, screws.
Which of those options suits you best? Are you sure that your devices are compatible? What if it rains? What if the seller does not offer custom solar panel sizes? Do you have alternatives? Watt is Volts? The numbers what they mean?
There are a lot of things to consider before ordering, and we know how confusing the buying process might be. But, don’t worry! We’ve got your back.
If you have any solar-related questions? You can leave us a message anytime. We’ve been in this business for 10 years now, we know what works and what doesn’t. We’ll just try our best to help you out, and even if you don’t buy anything from us, that’s okay.
4. How to Make Your Solar Panels Last Longer
The first (and easiest) way to ensure a long lifespan for your panels is of course to buy quality. Make sure you know what you’re buying. Always make sure you know what materials are being used.
Tip 2: About to buy solar panels made from SunPower Grade A cells? Hold up! They are not graded as you might think. Read this, if you don’t want to be fooled. (Grade A SunPower cells are actually the lowest-graded?SunPower cells.)
Once, you’ve purchased the panels, remember that any physical damage to the surface of the panels can reduce their the overall performance and lifespan. Scratches or cracks, for example, will diminish the cells’ exposure to sunlight and affect performance, or even allow water in if the damage is serious enough.
Therefore, we recommend that you carefully think about the different factors that might mitigate your solar panels’ performance before setting them up. For example; stray branches, strong winds which might pick up small objects and damage the panels’ surface, or birds(and their tendency to defecate at will).
If you’re traveling and do not need to use your solar panels, you might want to use a protective cover.
Lastly, you will want to clean your solar panels for optimal performance. Water stains and accumulation of dust or dirt might even damage your solar panels. Most importantly before cleaning, you need to first remove the larger grainy objects which can scratch the coating when wiping the panel clean.
We hope that you enjoyed this post and found it useful. when you planning on buying flexible solar panels,you should choose the right one.
We would really love to hear from you and any feedback(positive?and?negative) would be greatly appreciated.
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