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hi,i`m looking to buy  some solar panels and was thinking of getting the flexible one,has anyone any experience with this type of panel and could you recommend one type,failing that what would be a decent solid type, many thanks in advance  

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More expensive and probably a sightly lower output than rigid type and there are questions about  their life - de-lamination etc. Some report they trap water undernreeath and cause rust within a  very few years. The adhesion is only as good as the paint adhesion you will be sticking them onto (unless its for a GRP boat the rust and adhesion should not be a problem.

 

Rigid type mounted a little above the roof are likely to be cooler because of the ventilation underneath and thus produce more power on hot days - especially on a steel boat..

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6 hours ago, dreadnought said:

hi,i`m looking to buy  some solar panels and was thinking of getting the flexible one,has anyone any experience with this type of panel and could you recommend one type,failing that what would be a decent solid type, many thanks in advance  

I put a Biard semi flexible panel on 14 months ago. 

Still looking and working like new. 

Screwed it down with self tapping  screws. 

Took it up last month when I repainted cabin top. All Ok. 

 

 You can walk on them but I try to avoid it. 

 

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15 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

I wouldnt touch them with a bargepole.

When boaters use this phrase they really know from direct personal experience.

 

 

Solar power. When will people ever learn.

Jen

  • Greenie 1

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6 hours ago, dreadnought said:

was thinking of getting the flexible one

I installed one of these about 3 years ago - very pleased with it so far, no problems to report, does it's job really well. Stuck it down and sealed the edges with Sikaflex to prevent water getting behind. Not as efficient as solid panels when the roof gets hot but in those conditions, there's more than enough power coming through so not an issue.

 

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My hesitation is that not all plastic performs well in the sun for 10 years plus. If it is not stabilized well against UV then it can crack. Lots of posts on here and other boaty sites with anecdotal evidence of cracking. Moisture underneath the panel will cause issues.

btw.......I never let my barge pole touch the roof.

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21 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

My hesitation is that not all plastic performs well in the sun for 10 years plus. If it is not stabilized well against UV then it can crack.

Aren't solid panels also made of plastic?

 

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3 minutes ago, Señor Chris said:

Aren't solid panels also made of plastic?

 

I guess the cells are a rigid plastic but that is far less prone to cracking than the flexible material used in the flexible panels. UV radiation has the effect of abstracting hydrogen atoms ( not deuterium) which then cleave the carbon carbon bonds and cause all sorts of issues such as making the plastic brittle. You then get cracking if there is any stress.....which there invariably will be. 

Rigid panels will be far far less prone to cracking and you don't walk on them.

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41 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

Rigid panels will be far far less prone to cracking

I didn't know that when I bought mine but I'm not sure it would have made a difference.  I don't walk on the panel but do use the roof a lot when single-handing so not keen on introducing a trip hazard. The other issue is security - solid panels are much easier to steal and they do get swiped. Will see how long this one lasts before deciding what to get next time - you can get flexible panels which are fully UV protected, I think.

 

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7 hours ago, Señor Chris said:

I don't walk on the panel but do use the roof a lot when single-handing so not keen on introducing a trip hazard.

 

The other issue is security - solid panels are much easier to steal and they do get swiped

 

I have narrower (660mm?) rigid panels to keep the roof access. I can walk down either side so it works fine should you decide flexi isn't for you next time.

 

Do they really get swiped?  Has anyone here suffered that?

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I’m thinking of getting semi flexible panels and fitting them with magnetic tape which I hope will allow a small air gap to allow water to drain & lift them slightly from a hot roof. I could also then take them off in the winter when I’m mainly on a hook up. 

 

The main reason for fitting flexibles is to keep a low roof profile...and I don’t like the look of rigid panels!!

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41 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

I have narrower (660mm?) rigid panels to keep the roof access. I can walk down either side so it works fine should you decide flexi isn't for you next time.

 

Do they really get swiped?  Has anyone here suffered that?

Yes roof access is restricted but as per Sea dog, ours are narrow enough to get down the roof both sides. Everything I have read over the past 15 years has said rigid ones are more efficient and for me that means more power in Sept/Oct which to me is important.

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10 hours ago, Señor Chris said:

Aren't solid panels also made of plastic?

 

 

Well the cells themselves might be, but the panels the cells are fixed behind, are sheets of toughened glass in an aluminium frame.

 

 

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I'm with Seadog on this one - using the narrower (150w?) panels does leave a bit of access either side for walking the roof - though you are on the slope there and it doesn't feel that safe, I need to get grip tape / sand. Asthetically the panels sit very well, and it is possible to arrange them as tiltable if you use suitable brackets.

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I had a 1 KW of flexible solar on the roof, I removed it to fit nearly 3.7KW of rigid solar on the roof, that should give you an idea how much smaller rigid panels are in comparison to flexies.

I glued the panels down using PU adhesive on a single pack polyurethane paint finish, when I removed the panels I removed the paint as well!! I ended up rubbing the whole roof down to the primer and repainting [not a bad thing] If I didnt want that 3.7KW for my electric boat I would happily have stuck with the flexies as they looked far better than the rigids and as they were flat less problems with ropes getting tangled in them.

15 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

When boaters use this phrase they really know from direct personal experience.

 

 

Solar power. When will people ever learn.

Jen

I am loving my solar as we speak its heating my water via an immersion heater, free hot shower every day whats not to like?

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4 hours ago, peterboat said:

free hot shower every day whats not to like?

Soap in the eyes?

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49 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Ropes getting tangled in the panels? 

 

 

Panels butted together so rope doesnt get tangled, bit of a bugger getting on the roof though

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3 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Ropes getting tangled in the panels? 

 

 

They (assuming centre lines) don't do it on mine and they're just forward of the slide. Narrow panel idea works well in my experience.

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3 minutes ago, Sea Dog said:

They (assuming centre lines) don't do it on mine and they're just forward of the slide. Narrow panel idea works well in my experience.

Mine are fine too. Never get a problem with tangled lines.

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My previous flexi panel was stuck down with Sikaflex which was a bugger to remove when I need to do some roof maintenance. My new panel is held on with magnets which have enough force to hold it down securely whilst still allowing easy removal and in addition leaving a small air gap to help prevent overheating which is one of the drawbacks of stuck down panels.

Solar-panel.jpg

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14 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

They (assuming centre lines) don't do it on mine and they're just forward of the slide. Narrow panel idea works well in my experience.

 

I only mentioned it because Peterboat mentioned it specifically as a problem in his post, a few lines before asking "what's not to like?"

 

So I reminded him of what he said there was not to like...

 

:P

 

 

 

 

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