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Which are more cost and energy efficient: flexi or tiltable solar panels?


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Whether new build or retro-fit, just looking at energy efficiency which is better: flexible solar panels which follow the contour of the roof, or fixed which can be tilted to the sun?

Are some designs and makes better than others?

We would rather invest a little more if the results were better - but knowing which brands give better results is the secret!

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25 minutes ago, James Dunleavy said:

Whether new build or retro-fit, just looking at energy efficiency which is better: flexible solar panels which follow the contour of the roof, or fixed which can be tilted to the sun?

Are some designs and makes better than others?

We would rather invest a little more if the results were better - but knowing which brands give better results is the secret!

Welcome to the forum.

There is a pretty good search facility which covers most commonly asked questions.

Edited by LadyG
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What other thread? I think the other thread has been deleted.

 

In answer to the question. I would suggest that if you want a reasonable life from the panes you stick to rigid ones.

 

I have seen it said that horizontal panels produce more on overcast days because such light as there is comes in all directions. To maximise output tilted panels really need to have their angle adjusted throughput the day and also be continually twisted to track the sun. Life is too short, just fit anther panel if you can or  adjust your electrical consumption if its not possible.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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I have two 275 watt panels on a flat rigid frame, they are active from mid March to mid Sepember , from 600 nominal ah batteries, I get about 3 to 5 days autonomy, I try not to let batteries go low, to understand why , there is an excellent battery primer on the site, it's a big subject.

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23 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

What other thread? I think the other thread has been deleted.

 

In answer to the question. I would suggest that if you want a reasonable life from the panes you stick to rigid ones.

 

I have seen it said that horizontal panels produce more on overcast days because such light as there is comes in all directions. To maximise output tilted panels really need to have their angle adjusted throughput the day and also be continually twisted to track the sun. Life is too short, just fit anther panel if you can or  adjust your electrical consumption if its not possible.

I did see a self aligning satellite dish which had a solar panel on the back (I guess about 50w) so when not watching tv the panel would track the sun.  I would guess on a sunny winter day to be better than a 100w panel mounted horizontally.

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12 minutes ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I keep to flat rigid panels, the tilting one don't tilt enough, only tilt in one plane and its a drag going out to alter them 6 times a day. Flexible ones don't last, its a fib that you can walk on them without damage and they rot your roof.

I agree with you about keeping them flat, I have 4.6 kw and it would be a right pain trying to tilt them.  I did have flexible ones and the output for size is not as good as rigid ones, fastening them down is an art to stop them doing damage to paintwork. I could walk on mine without problems but never really felt the need to. I have kept them and they are going onto the broadscruiser which is fibreglass so no issues with corrosion 

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Tilting panels only gain about 10% output over a day compared to flat ones, and this assumes they face south and aren't shaded which won't always be the case on a canal. Rigid panels have considerably higher efficiency than flexible ones and are cheaper and longer-lasting.

Edited by IanD
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Semi flexible get hot, because the roof does and they are then less efficient. They have a very short life -look at the detail of the guarantee and compare with a rigid panel guarantee.

They are much more expensive. 

 

OK for the lumpy water folks where it can be very awkward to fit rigids but not for canal work.

N

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14 hours ago, Tracy D'arth said:

I keep to flat rigid panels, the tilting one don't tilt enough, only tilt in one plane and its a drag going out to alter them 6 times a day. Flexible ones don't last, its a fib that you can walk on them without damage and they rot your roof.

I would never have thought flexi-panels would cause corrosive problems to the metal roof. 

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16 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

I chose rigid panels, mounted flat and narrow enough to walk past. Never regretted that choice for a single moment. 

Me too.  Tilted panels need tracking all the time or you will finish up getting less than flat mounted.

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