What are flexible solar panels used for?

Flexible solar panels are exactly that – solar panels that are pliable and portable, making them a perfect tool to be used while camping, hiking, or traveling in an RV. Generally, you will only need one or two for your outdoor solar energy needs, which makes them easier (and cheaper) to buy as a consumer.

Which brand of flexible solar panels would be best for your unique needs? And what should you look for when buying them? Let’s find out.

*Note: This is an unbiased review: we have no financial ties with any of the companies mentioned, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing.

How do flexible solar panels work?

There are three main types of solar panels: polycrystalline, monocrystalline, and thin-film modules. Flexible solar panels are a part of the thin-film family.

Flexible solar panels work just like your typical solar panels and are made with the same photovoltaic silicon solar cells to generate electricity. Compared to their rigid counterparts, flexible solar panels are made with thinner silicon cells, making them lighter and more flexible.

Since they’re thinner, they’re also more malleable, which allows them to move and bend. They don’t need to be covered by protective glass and metal like regular solar panels do. Instead, they’re covered by a polymer known as ETFE, which has the ability to bend easily.

Although their thinner design allows them to be used for things like camping and hiking, it’s that very same design that makes them less efficient than traditional solar panels.

What are flexible solar panels used for?

Because flexible solar panels are thinner and less efficient, you’ll need more of them to generate the same amount of energy that fewer monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels could.

Since they’re also pretty low-cost, all of these factors make them better-suited for large-scale installations, like a commercial solar array in a field or on top of warehouses. With that said, you’re probably here looking for the practical uses of flexible panels for your on-the-go needs – like while camping or out on a boat.

They come in many shapes and sizes, and can work on both flat or curved surfaces. Flexible solar panels give you the flexibility (see what we did there?) to use solar power wherever you need it.

In fact, you can buy flexible solar panels that are small enough to power your phone or big enough to roll out on top of your RV, acting as a generator to charge your 12-volt RV battery. You can read more about how that works here.

Because you generally use flexible panels for outdoor use and charging things with low-wattage needs (like the aforementioned 12-volt battery or your phone charger), you only need one panel. If you need more than one, then you are looking at a traditional (rigid) panel project and should contact a solar installer.

How much do flexible solar panels cost?

Flexible panels range in price, depending on the brand, size, and wattage. Generally, you can expect to spend as little as $100 for a lower-quality panel, with a cap for a higher-quality module at around $500.

A high-quality flexible panel will cost you about $200. We listed a few options below that offer dependable (and affordable) portable power.

READ FULL Article here.

Source: SolarReviews

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