Who says you can’t have your own power supply in your camping RV or boat? With flexible solar panels, you have great means to conveniently enjoy solar power while you’re on the move. Built to be portable, they are quite transportable. In this article, we will dissect some of the best flexible solar panels.
Top 7 Best Flexible Solar Panels from Our Reviews
Renogy 160 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
59.2 x 26.5 x 0.08 Inches
RICH SOLAR 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
41.1 x 27.2 x 0.11 Inches
Uni-Solar PVL 136 Watt 24 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
216 x 0.6 x 15.5 Inches
SunPower 110 Watt Flexible Solar Panel
45.9 x 21.9 x 0.1 Inches
ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V
43 x 22 x 1.5 Inches
DDY 25W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Panel
33.1 × 5.85× 0.3 Inches
Lensun 60W 12V Semi-Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
30 x 21 x 0.1 inches
Our experts have carried out thorough research work on the several flexible solar panels. Thanks to the rigorous exercise, they have identified the top 7 models on the market. They include:
1. Renogy 160 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
If you’re looking for a versatile flexible solar panel, we got you one in this product. With a flex range of not less than 248 degrees, it can meet a wide range of applications where you can find it inconvenient to mount standard panels, such as on an airstream's curved roof. This panel weighs far less than conventional solar panels thanks to the advanced polymer materials. Hence, installation and transportation are quite easy tasks.
Furthermore, this solar panel is just a tenth of an inch thick, making it quite discreet and thin. In fact, it is about 95% thinner than its rigid counterpart. Hence, this product is perfect for a stealthy solar setup. This 160W panel is rigorously tested to withstand snow loads of up to 5400pa and wind of up to 2400Pa. Therefore, it works well for a long time.
This flexible solar panel is an ideal product for off-grid applications, including airstreams, boats, camper van, trucks, trailers, tent, and campers. Thanks to this panel’s many features and functions, it is one of the best flexible solar panels for RV. Hence, this product can be a great addition to your camping budget. With a dimension of 59.2 x 26.5 x 0.08 In, it weighs 6.2 lbs.
Pros and Benefits
- Very versatile
- Strong and durable
2. RICH SOLAR 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
This flexible solar panel with monocrystalline silicon is built for strong and lasting performance. It boasts of a unique lamination with extraordinary advantages for the best green energy experience. This product is capable of bending to 30 degrees for easy installation. Also, this device is mainly made for charging 12V lead-acid and 12V lithium batteries, including other equipment.
With this solar panel, maintenance is not a problem because it utilizes a nonstick surface to clean dirt with rainfall. Hence, it cleans itself and you don’t have to worry about debris affecting performance. In addition, this product is tear-resistant, fire-resistant, and corrosion-resistant to assure you of reliable and durable service. With a honeycomb structure, this model enhances 10% natural lighting and high transparency (95%) to ultraviolet light.
Moreover, the laminated membrane is built to last up to 25 years and is also recyclable, making it quite environmentally friendly. To ensure confidence, the manufacturer offers a 25-year limited power output warranty. This solar panel can provide power in your RC, hut, tent, boat, or any other irregular surface. In fact, this model is one of the best flexible solar panels for boats. With a dimension of 41.1 x 27.2 x 0.11 in, it weighs 4.8 lbs / 2.2 kg.
Pros and Benefits
- Corrosion-resistant and fire-resistant
- Extremely durable
- Comes with 25-year limited power output warranty
- Easy to maintain
3. Uni-Solar PVL 136 Watt 24 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
Are you looking for a reliable flexible solar panel capable of home and commercial applications? This product is just right for you and delivers great service regardless of where it’s deployed. It is great for metal roof while boasting of simple, easy peel and stick installation that ensures great convenience. Also, this model utilizes triple-junction amorphous silicon solar cells for low light performance.
Furthermore, different layers of the cell absorb the green, red, and blue light of the sun. Therefore, higher energy production is yielded, especially under diffused light and low insolation levels. With by-pass diodes that are connected across each cell, the laminates are enabled to produce electricity even when soiled or partially shaded. Hence, this device ensures you don’t have to worry too much about a shadow.
In addition, the performance of the manufacturer’s amorphous silicon technology doesn’t decline in high temperatures. Made in the USA, this solar panel is lightweight and built to last for a long period of time.
Pros and Benefits
- Tolerant of shadow
4. SunPower 110 Watt Flexible Solar Panel
If you’re looking for a flexible solar panel that delivers high power output as well as high charging capacity, you should strongly consider this product. It is designed with 25% efficient Maxeon Gen III prime back contact cells. Also, this device is constructed with lightweight, top-grade polymer materials. Hence, it allows for easy transport and installation. With the flexibility of up to 30 degrees, this product is ideal for irregular surfaces.
Moreover, this solar panel utilizes a durable laminate that may have small indentations and creases on the surface of the panel from manufacturing. However, cosmetic imperfections are not out of place in new panels and don’t affect performance at all.
Also worthy of mention is the portability which enables this flexible solar panel to be easy to stow. As if that wasn’t enough, this manufacturer offers five-year power and two-year product warranty. Finally, this product has a dimension of 45.9"(L) x 21.9"(W) x 0.1"(H) and a weight of 4.4 lbs.
Pros and Benefits
- Comes with 5-year power and 2-year product warranty
5. ALLPOWERS Flexible Solar Panel 100W 18V 12V
If you’re looking for a flexible solar panel that is more durable than aluminum and traditional glass models, this product is the right model for you. With a sealed and waterproof junction box, this product promises great performance and durability. Also, this model’s cell delivers up to 23.5 power efficiency, thus allowing the device to capture an impressive level of sunlight.
Packing 100W of power, this solar panel weighs only 4.7 lbs (2.15kg), making it easier to remove, hang, and transport. Not only that, but the four reinforced mounting holes and unique frameless design also enable a seamless installation process. With adhesive, zip ties, velcro, or grommets, you can conveniently install this model.
Furthermore, the plastic back sheet of this flexible solar panel can be curved up to 30 degrees arc and mounted on a car, trucks, trailers, boat, RV, tent, or any other irregular surface. Therefore, you can confidently take this product along on your next camping trip and enjoy a great power supply. Meanwhile, the manufacturer offers an 18-month guarantee.
Pros and Benefits
- Quite powerful
- Easy to install
- Comes with 18-month guarantee
6. DDY 25W 18V 12V Bendable Flexible Solar Panel
This flexible solar panel is another impressive product built to deliver excellent performance for your convenience. It is made of industrial-strength PET polymer and sewn into a strong polyester canvas for weather-resistant outdoor durability. This polymer fabric protects your solar panel from wet fog or occasional rain. Despite boasting of IPX4 waterproof level, you should keep this product away from water when you have devices on charge.
Furthermore, this flexible solar panel boasts of a fast charging technology that delivers charge up to 2 amps under direct sunlight. Also, the solar array is 22-24% efficient, thus delivering enough power to charge two devices at the same time. Apart from that, the dual-port power also applies to all Android devices by connecting the attached cable. For other devices, you will need an extra cable.
With a compact size (11.1 × 5.85 × 1 in - folded or 33.1 × 5.85 × 0.3 in - opened), this solar panel is lightweight (1.3 lbs), thus making it very easy to carry and transport. The manufacturer offers a 24-month warranty and promises friendly customer service.
Pros and Benefits
- Very portable and lightweight
- Comes with fast charging technology
- Resistant to weather
- Comes with 24-month warranty
7. Lensun 60W 12V Semi-Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
This semi-flexible solar panel is the last product on our long list of best products on the market and it doesn’t disappoint either. This product is made of fiberglass back sheet which combines with ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) for excellent sunlight absorption to reflection ratio. Not only that, but they also combine well to withstand extreme environmental conditions, leaving the panel maintenance-free for years. The ETFE film has a high light transmittance and the ability to last long. Also, it has self-cleaning abilities, thus ensuring the best performance every day.
Moreover, this solar panel is made of Grade A PERC Monocrystalline solar cells with quite high efficiency. Hence, you get very reliable power for your off-grid applications, including boats, RV, off-road vehicle’s hood, rooftop, or any curvy surface.
With portability in mind, this solar panel has a dimension of 750 x 535 x 2.5mm/30 x 21 x 0.1 inches with a net weight of 2.34kg / 5.2 lbs.
Pros and Benefits
- Easy to clean
- Excellent efficiency
FAQs About Flexible Solar Panels
Are flexible solar panels any good?
Definitely, they are loads of good. They offer a good number of benefits over traditional solar panels. Flexible solar panels are usually lightweight, thus making them easy to be installed on low-load bearing roofs or easily fit into certain spaces that cannot accommodate traditional solar panels. They also attach easily to some unusual places like cameras, mobile phones, laptops, etc. Apart from that, they cost much less to install when compared to conventional solar panels. No doubt, flexible solar panels offer a wide range of advantages.
Do flexible solar panels overheat?
Flexible solar panels can get quite hot, especially when installed on the roof. Due to metallic surfaces, they can overheat. This situation ceases airflow which is paramount to the operation of the panel. It is important to note that the solar panel converts less energy when the temperature gets hot. Also, hot temperatures can burn the plastic laminate of the panel. Therefore, the overall performance of the panel is affected and compromised.
Can you cut flexible solar panels?
Yes, you can cut flexible solar panels. When you find yourself with a smaller space for a panel, you think of trimming it to size. However, it’s important that you do not delaminate the material or make matters worse. Delamination and moisture should be totally avoided to keep panel functional. When you cut a flexible solar panel, creases may show but if done correctly, won’t delaminate. Hence, it’s very important to cut your panel carefully and correctly so you don’t create more trouble for yourself.
Why do flexible solar panels fail?
When dealing with flexible solar panels, it’s important to understand that they are more fragile than their rigid counterparts. For instance, a flexible solar panel can get easily damaged by tree branches rubbing on it. Hence, it’s important to get it away from any tree that can affect its performance. Also, a flexible solar panel can fail due to overheating. Lack of airflow makes this type of panel hot and leaves it prone to damage. This problem can be solved by installing the panel on corrugated plastic rather than metal surfaces, thus allowing better heat dissipation and airflow. In addition, poor maintenance can make flexible solar panels fail. Therefore, it’s important to always pay utmost attention to the wellbeing of the panel so it can continue to deliver optimum performance.
Life is easier with convenient flexible solar panels. We have reviewed the best eight models on the market, highlighting their features and their benefits. These products were chosen by experts who have a vast knowledge of solar power. No doubt, these panels have exciting features that promise maximum convenience and performance. When shopping for the best flexible solar panels, you should think of their portability, durability, and efficiency before making a choice. Also, you should endeavor to install your solar panel on corrugated plastic to avoid overheating, thus preventing damage.