Flexible Solar Panels Review

With the rising cost of electricity, many homeowners are looking for alternate ways to power their homes. Flexible solar panels offer a way to generate electricity without the use of fossil fuels. This makes solar panels a very eco-friendly energy source without the worry of fluctuating prices. While the initial investment in solar panels may be pricey, the savings that homeowners see will pay for the cost of solar panels in just a few years. Our flexible solar panels review will help you decide if they are the right choice for your home and budget.

Flexible solar panels are similar to the solar panel you will find in solar-powered batteries and other solar-powered products. They are found on solar farms and solar-powered vehicles and are becoming a popular source of energy for homeowners. With so many options available, it can be hard to decide which flexible solar panels are the best choice for your needs. The following flexible solar panels review may help you decide.

By considering factors such as the value for the price, features, and quality of materials, we’ve compiled the following list of the top 10 solar attic fans, with special consideration to the pros and cons any one model may have over the others. As potential buyers tend to have differing needs, and as the above features tend to vary significantly depending on the price range, the following models are listed in no particular order.

Comparison Table

What Are Flexible Solar Panels?

Flexible solar panels, also called thin-film solar panels, are layers of thin films of photovoltaic materials on a base layer of plastic, glass, or metal. This creates a panel that is thinner than standard solar panels. Flexible solar panels are also lighter and do not require racks to mount them to the roof. The cost of producing flexible solar panels is also lower which reduces the price you pay for them.

The panels are arranged to make the most use of each material’s ability to absorb light. This allows them to operate more efficiently on cloudy, overcast days than traditional solar panels. Overall, however, they are not as efficient as the traditional panels and they do not last as long, although ongoing changes in technology are greatly improving the efficiency of flexible solar panels.

Product Specs

house with solar panel installed

image source: Pixabay

Materials Used

Flexible solar panel layers contain different materials to absorb the sun’s energy. In our flexible solar panels review, we found that there are three primary materials used to make the panels.

The most widely used is Cadmium Telluride, which makes up nearly half of the panels produced. Copper Iridium Gallium Selenide is also used. It functions nearly the same as Cadmium Telluride but does not contain any heavy metals. This third material is Amorphous Silicon, a non-crystalline silicon material that is the best for the environment because it does not contain toxic materials. This material performs better than the previous two since it is not affected by humidity levels.

Size

Flexible solar panels are longer and wider than traditional solar panels, which means that they will take up a lot of space. They work great in locations that have plenty of open space to put them. However, they are thinner and lighter, making them easier to mount to a roof. The smallest panels we found were about 40 inches wide by 27 inches long, so you can see why space is a consideration.

Efficiency

Generally, solar panels come in 50 or 100 watts. Some newer models can produce 120, 150, or 200 watts. A 100-watt solar panel can charge a single 12-volt battery, so you will need to purchase multiple panels. Make sure your solar panel produces more watts than the battery for safe, efficient charging. It is not recommended to use a solar panel to charge automotive batteries. This has the potential to be very dangerous.

Installation

Installing flexible solar panels is much easier than installing traditional solar panels. Since they are considerably lighter, they can be installed on roofs that would not have been able to support the weight of traditional panels. There are no racks to screw or bolt onto your roof either. Flexible solar panels are attached to the roof with a special adhesive, giving them “peel and stick” ease of installation. You do have to ensure that the wiring is properly placed and connected correctly for safe operation.

Pricing

two men installing solar panels

image source: Pixabay

Flexible solar panels require far less material than traditional solar panels which make them the lowest priced panels available. They also have shorter warranty periods since they do last as long. We will review the general cost of flexible solar panels and then compare the cost of three major brands of solar panels further in our flexible solar panels review.

How It Compares

If you are in the market to purchase solar panels for your home, you must take the time to compare the different brands and models available. Since each manufacturer produces their flexible solar panels differently, it is important to take the time to find the one with the features you need. We have researched and compared the panels that are on the market and brought together the key features of three of the best for you to compare with the general features found in most flexible solar panels. We rated the panels on price, efficiency, ease of assembly, and the warranty coverage.

The following are the brands we selected as the best among the affordable models on the market. Read on through our flexible solar panels review to see which one would be the best fit for your needs.

  • Mission Solar 360W
  • Jinko Solar
  • Canadian Solar

Flexible Solar Panels

This is an overview of the information we gathered during our flexible solar panels review research. This general information can be applied to all of the brands we reviewed.

Price $, $$, $$$

The price of a complete 5kw assembly can range in price from about $10,000 up to about $17,000 depending on the brand and model you choose.

Efficiency (5-Star Rating System) ****

The efficiency of solar panels describes how well the panels trap the sun’s energy and then converts it into electricity. The higher the rating, the more efficient the solar panels will be. Also, panels with higher efficiency ratings tend to take up less roof space. Efficiency ratings can range from 16% to 19%.

Assembly Time (5-Star Rating System) *****

Flexible solar panels can be installed on your roof using a special adhesive. This eliminates the need for bolting the panels to the roof, creating holes in the structure. Their flexibility and light weights allow you to install them in areas that traditional solar panels could not be placed. Without the need for racks, installation time is much faster than traditional solar panels as well.

Performance (5-Star Rating System) **** or *****

The performance of flexible solar panels is measured by the temperature coefficient. This shows how well your solar panel will perform in adverse conditions. Ideal surrounding air temperature for efficient operation is right around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature coefficient indicates how much your solar panel’s energy production will decrease for each degree above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the manufacturer, temperature coefficients can range from -0,29 to -0.41. The lower the number, the less energy is lost.

Warranty (5-Star Rating System) ****

Most flexible solar panels come with a 10-year materials warranty. Some manufacturers may offer warranties up to 25 years on certain models.

PROS

  • Long-term savings
  • Eco-friendly energy
  • “Peel and stick” installation

CONS

  • Require a lot of space
  • Initial investment cost
  • Do not last as long as traditional solar panels

Mission Solar 360W

Mission Solar panels are manufactured in the United States. They are designed to exceed industry requirements.

Price (Approximate Only) $

A complete 5kw Mission Solar assembly will cost around $10,000 to $12,000 making this the lowest priced brand we reviewed.

Efficiency (5-Star Rating System) *****

This solar panel has an efficiency rating of around 19%, making it the most efficient of the models we reviewed.

Assembly Time (5-Star Rating System)

Assembly is not required. Installation is achieved with the use of a special adhesive to hold it to the surface of your roof.

Performance (5-Star Rating System) ****

The temperature coefficient of the Mission Solar 360W ranges from -0.4 to -0.3. This indicates a loss of 0.4% to 0.3% in energy production for each degree above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. The Mission Solar 360W has a power rating range of 290 to 365 watts.

Warranty (5-Star Rating System) *****

Two warranties are offered on this solar panel. There is a 10-year materials warranty and a 25-year linear warranty to protect against malfunction or environmental damage.

PROS

  • Two warranties
  • Best efficiency rating
  • Roof top and ground mount panels available

CONS

  • Higher temperature coefficient
  • Lower power rating
  • Add more if necessary

Jinko Solar

Jinko Solar is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels. They offer seven different series of solar panels for today’s homeowners.

Price (Approximate Only) $$

A complete 5kw system can range from around $15,000 to $17,000, depending on the series you choose.

Efficiency (5-Star Rating System) *****

Jinko Solar panels have different levels of efficiency depending on the series you buy. Generally, these panels are rated at around 16% to 19%, placing them in the standard efficiency class.

Assembly Time (5-Star Rating System) *****

The panels come fully assembled. To install, use a special adhesive to attach the panel to the roof’s surface. Then, make sure that the wiring is connected properly.

Performance (5-Star Rating System) ****

The Pinko Solar JKM260PP-60-DV panel’s energy production decreases by 0.4% for each degree above 77 degrees Fahrenheit. This places its temperature coefficient at -0.4. The temperature coefficient range for all Jinko Solar panels is -0.4 to -0.39. Its power rating range is 225 to 360 watts.

Warranty (5-Star Rating System) ****

Jinko Solar panels come with a 10-year warranty which covers defects in the materials.

PROS

  • More affordable
  • Built-in DC Optimizers
  • Reliable operation

CONS

  • Lowest power rating
  • Multiple panels require sufficient space
  • Do not last as long as traditional solar panels

Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar has six series of solar panels for use by homeowners or industry. They are also one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world.

Price (Approximate Only) $$

The price tag for a complete 5kw system ranges from $14,000 to $16,000 depending on the series and model you choose.

Efficiency (5-Star Rating System) ****

Flexible solar panels offered in Canadian Solar’s six different lines have efficiency ratings that range from about 16% to about 18%, depending on which model you choose.

Assembly Time (5-Star Rating System) *****

Since flexible solar panels come fully assembled, all you need to do is attach the panel to the roof’s surface and ensure that it is correctly wired up.

Performance (5-Star Rating System) ****

Canadian Solar panels have a temperature coefficient of -0.41. This means that for every degree the temperature increase above 77 degrees Fahrenheit the panel’s energy production will decrease by 0.41%. These solar panels have a power rating of 360 to 405 watts, giving them the highest power rating of the models we reviewed.

Warranty (5-Star Rating System) ****

Canadian Solar offers a 10-year warranty that covers your panel if it fails due to manufacturer error or environmental issues.

PROS

  • Higher efficiency rating
  • Lowest price of those reviewed
  • Standard 10-year warranty

CONS

  • Higher temperature coefficient
  • Does not last as long as traditional solar panels
  • Needs plenty of space

Flexible Solar Panels Review – Conclusion

After completing our flexible solar panels review, we feel that Canadian Solar is the best choice. It has the lowest price of the brands we reviewed and is backed by a 10-year warranty that protects against manufacturer error and environmental damage. While it does have a higher temperature coefficient than the other brands, it also boasts the highest power rating which more than makes up for the slight difference in the temperature coefficient.

With all the flexible solar panels available to homeowners, there is no reason for you to continue paying high electric bills every month. Using flexible solar panels to trap the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity will help you to save money and the environment. We hope our flexible solar panels review has been helpful to you and that you now have the facts you need to assist you in making an informed decision.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay

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