Are you looking for the best flexible solar panels to use at home or with an RV? We put together this guide for you to determine what you might need. Flexible solar panels use solar cells to power your devices, they are convenient since they can be used anywhere the sun reaches. We picked out the best solar panels for you to check out!
When you want to add more energy options for your home, RV, shed or other structure, a flexible solar panel would be easy to install. They offer good efficiency and have many benefits. Here we are going to answer the most common questions when it comes to the solar panels.
Renogy 175 Watt Tiny House Flexible Solar Panel
Best Upgrade Option
SunPower 170 Watt Flexible High Efficiency Solar Panel
Renogy 100 Watt Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel
Best Alternative Option
ALLPOWERS 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel
Are Flexible Solar Panels any Good?
They are pretty good as a solar panel for an RV. They have high efficiency rates and can be bent to fit whatever surface you need them to. When it comes to thin film solar panels, many people think they work best at giving power to small structures.
These flexible solar panels are not as efficient as a classic panel, so they are not useful for large homes. We recommend that you use them for smaller buildings and giving power to your lights. This is because they do not cover as much of your roof as a standard 100 watt solar panel, so they produce less power.
What are the Most Efficient Solar Panels?
The most efficient types of solar panels are the monocrystalline and polycrystalline versions. Of all the solar cell types, monocrystalline panels are usually the best at generating power. A high quality set can get over 20 percent efficiency and can hold a lot of power. On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels will be lucky to hit between 15 and 17 percent.
There are flexible solar panels that are monocrystalline. You will want to be sure that you get one, if you want to have a higher efficiency rating. They do cost slightly more than the other types, but they work much better- you are paying for high efficiency and a better quality.
A monocrystalline solar cell will also give you a few more benefits. They do not take up as much space as other types of panels, plus, with a flexible panel you can bend the material at least 30 degrees. Monocrystalline solar panels also are more durable and tend to last the longest out of the other flexible solar types. If you live in a cloudy or heavily forested area, these panels do well in lower amounts of sunshine too.
These are also great solar panels for RVs. They are light and easy to transport- and can make you power while you travel. They are very useful and worth looking into if you are interested.
Do Flexible Solar Panels Overheat?
Since flexible solar panels are often installed on the roof of an RV, they tend to overheat on the hot metal. This is a common problem with these panels. An easy way to avoid this, is to use a rack to mount the panels. These help lessen the warm conditions by allowing air to circulate under your panels. When your panels are hot, they will not be able to produce as much power, so you will want to ensure that the solar cells can stay cool.
So, yes. They do overheat. However, there are ways to avoid this happening. If you want them to keep producing effective solar power, then be sure to keep the airflow up. This will cool them down. Your solar panel for RV is going to last much longer if you take those extra steps.
How Durable are Flexible Solar Panels?
Flexible solar panels do not last as long as rigid solar panels. However, they are quite durable. This is great if you intend to use solar panels for RV while traveling. They can handle some damage, although most do not do well in strong hail storms. If you suspect intense weather conditions are on the way, you will want to move any thin film panels into the RV.
They are not as durable as traditional solar panels, which can easily survive some hail. As long as you take care of your thin film panels, they should last you a very long time. You also do not want to walk on flexible panels or drop hard objects on them during installation. The best flexible panels are more durable and have high efficiency rates.
1.Renogy 175 Watt Tiny House Flexible Solar Panel – Best Overall Option
This Renogy product is lightweight and very efficient at converting power for you to use. The cells are monocrystalline and have an efficiency rating of about 18.5%. The solar cells are quality and designed to work well even in shadier areas. Because of that, the panels are worth investing in if you plan on traveling in an RV and want reliable energy sources to use.
We chose this as out top pick, because they are so flexible. The flexible solar panel can almost bend in half, which is well over the 30 degrees that most need them to bend on their RV. This is great if you need to install them in a limited space or in an unusual area.
This is the best flexible solar panel on the market right now, because the cells are well built, the flexible panel can bend far without breaking, and they have a great efficiency for small structures.
If you are Googling “solar panels RV” trying to find something that works, then your search is over. We highly recommend this option as a flexible solar panel.
- The best solar panel, since it has the most flexibility and works well at generating power.
- It is lightweight and easy to transport and install. If you are new to solar panels, then we think you would be able to learn a lot from this one. It works great as a first time flexible solar panel install job.
- Perfect option for travel or RV use. The panel can easily be attached in place securely.
- A durable option- can stand up to snow and wind easily.
- A little less efficient that other options, but still great.
2. SunPower 170 Watt Flexible High Efficiency Solar Panel – Best Upgrade Option
SunPower makes a wonderful solar panel, they have many options of products to go with them as well. They generate a ton of solar power and come in other watts, including a easy to use 100 watt solar panel set.
Its small size and high efficiency rating make it great for those who want to save money on their energy bills. These flexible solar panels are amazing at what they do, which is why we decided to research them and put them in this guide.
The solar panel makes use of monocrystalline solar cells that have at least 25% efficiency- which is impressive for a flexible and portable option. If you want solar panels that will work hard for you, then this is it. The only real drawback is the cost. You could buy a traditional solar panel kit for a similar amount of money. However, if you plan on using this product on your RV, then it will work wonders at producing solar power for you.
- This solar panel has a high efficiency rate and works perfectly on your RV. It is a little more difficult to install, but still not too hard, when compared to the other options on this list.
- The flexible solar panel can bend over 30 degrees and can be easily attached anywhere that you need it to go because of this. We thought that this was one of the best flexible solar panels out there.
- When it comes to flexible solar panels, this option is more high cost. The solar cells are more expensive- almost as much as traditional, rigid solar panels.
3. Renogy 100 Watt Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel – Best Value Option
We chose this as our preferred value option when it comes to a flexible solar panel. It is about half as much as our top pick and works great- making it perfect for those on a budget or who need to cover a smaller space effectively.
It has the same efficiency as other models with higher wattages and is more compact. It is so light and can bend an impressive 248 degrees- making it a great portable option.
So, if you like the idea of the 175 Watt option, but can not afford it- this is what we would recommend. It is even easier to install due to its smaller size, the flexible solar panel only weighing in at 4 pounds!
We recommend this product for RVs and vans, since they are so light. It will not affect your mileage much and you will have access to more power in your vehicle. If you need a cost effective solar panel, this should be what you consider first.
- This solar panel offers amazing flexibility. It can bend further than many other brands of the same size and boosts a high efficiency rating. If you need something that can bend over 30 degrees, a Renogy product is a great choice to consider.
- The tiny size makes it perfect for smaller structures. This includes RVS, smaller homes or sheds, and vans. You could also take it on a camping trip with as a convenient, portable power source.
- This product is also very easy to install. Due to its size, it is even easier to install than other products from the same brand. If you need your panels flexible, solar and easy to install, then these are amazing choices.
- It is more fragile than the 175 Watt option, although it is still somewhat durable. You will want to keep an eye on it, to ensure that it does not break.
- It will not last as long as some other models, although at its current price, it seems to be fair.
4. ALLPOWERS 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel – Best Alternative Option
This is another great option for those who are sticking to a budget while shopping for a quality solar cell. This unit is super flexible and an upgrade on the company’s previous solar cells models. This one makes use of a laminate to make the solar cells last much longer and have more durability to them. If you need a product that can take somewhat of a beating, then this is it.
Many flexible solar panels have problems with cracks appearing due to bending. The laminate on this flexible solar panel prevents this from happening. It is much more durable than the other flexible solar panels out there and a great alternative option if you need a panel that is going to last you a long time.
This option has about 20% efficiency. which is good for a set of flexible solar panels. The small size and low weight also make these flexible solar panels easy to install on your small structure, RV, or can provide power to off grid living.
The solar cells are formed by 6 strips that evenly go across the frame. This allows you to do more than mount them to the roof of your structures- you can even stick the flexible panels in the ground or attach them to the sunnier side of a building. This solar panel product has a lot of options, so do not be afraid to get creative in placing them.
- The unique structure of the cells allows for the panel to create more power for its small size. When compared with other options, it is more efficient.
- This is another good budget option. You will not have to break the bank to get more power from a solar panel to your home or RV.
- This product is much stronger and more flexible than any other panel. It works well and you can expect this flexible solar panel to last you many years- longer than the other options.
- This option is better for those who want an alternative to the top option, since it works just as well, but has a different basic structure when it comes to the panel cells.
We chose our top pick for a flexible solar panel through research and looking at user reviews. If you want a high quality option, then the Renogy 175 Watt Tiny House Flexible Solar Panel is perfect. It will fit in any space and is extremely flexible- more flexible than other similar styles of panels.
We ranked it over the other panel options on this list for its reliability. It is sturdy, strong, efficient, and going to have a long life when taken care of. If you want to invest in a quality solar panel for your RV, then this would be your best option.
However, we think that any of these four flexible solar panels would be great. They all have high efficiency and can be installed easily. If you are interested, be sure to check out the product page for more information on them. They all ranked highly and are solid solar panels.
Be sure to reach out to us if you have any questions. We can respond quickly through email and hopefully clear things up for you.