What are the problems with flexible solar panels?
In this blog post, we will answer the question: “What are the problems with flexible solar panels? We will describe the common problems of flexible solar panels in detail. Additionally, we will also describe the advantages of flexible solar panels and talk about the major differences between rigid solar panels.
What are the problems with flexible solar panels?
The problems with flexible solar panels are.
- Prone to damage
- Lesser warranty
- Lack of durability
- Not too efficient
- Delamination and UV degradation
- Overheating issues
- Not too reliable
Prone to damage
- Despite having several benefits, flexible solar panels also come along with a set of problems. One of the most common problems with flexible solar panels is that they are prone to damage. These solar panels are not layers like crystalline solar panels. Hence, they are prone to damage.
- Since they are flexible, they can also take a lot of damage and most flexible solar panels cannot bend beyond a 30-degree radius. These panels can crack and can cause further damage to the solar cells and the panel itself.
- Once the solar panels crack, the solar cells can bring down the voltage of these flexible solar panels. These panels are fragile and small cracks can lead to major problems.
- Too much flexing can be a major issue with these panels. Unlike rigid panels, one of the major disadvantages of flexible solar panels is that they are prone to damage.
- Since these solar panels are prone to damage, they also arrive with a lesser warranty. These panels have a short warranty period by most manufacturers. Most rigid solar panels have a warranty of up to 25 years. Whereas, flexible solar panels have a warranty between 15 to 20 years.
- The good news is that they still arrive with a warranty but not many flexible solar panels last for more than 25 to 30 years. These panels are still efficient as they produce enough power.
- Some manufacturers might have the option to get an extra warranty. However, it is best to stick with the warranty that arrives with the solar panels.
Lack of durability
- Once again since these solar panels are prone to damage, they are not durable. Flexible solar panels consist of materials that are not durable. These solar panels are susceptible and they do not provide the durability that is required.
- Most flexible solar panels are things and are usually around two to four mm thick. These panels need to be bent and in some cases, it can be hard to bring them back to their original shape. Hence, they lack durability.
Not too efficient
- Poor efficiency is another common problem with flexible solar panels. These panels offer an efficient rate of only 10 to 17 percent. This is mainly because of the thin semiconductor film. These semiconductors do not have enough material to react with sunlight.
- They are not as efficient as the crystalline silicon that is present in rigid solar panels. These are one of the most common problems with flexible solar panels and the only way to avoid these issues is by purchasing a panel that has great quality.
Delamination and UV degradation
- Delamination has been yet another issue with flexible solar panels. This is because they are out in the sun throughout the day and UV rays can cause chemical changes to the panel itself. Make sure that the panels you have a built with top quality to avoid delamination and UV degradation to an extent.
- Flexible panels tend to show slight discoloration when they are getting degraded. This will also reduce the efficiency of the panel and it can cause damage to the plastic. The plastic laminates detach from the solar cells and there is nothing much that can be done once it is delaminated.
- Delamination and UV degradation takes place when the solar panels are made up of low-quality plastic. Avoid purchasing panels that are made with material such as PET.
- Overheating issues have also been another major problem with flexible solar panels. Overheating is also produced in crystalline panels but they are more prominent in flexible solar panels. Several solar panels face the inability to dissipate heat from the solar cells themselves.
- The more heat that the panels are exposed to, the higher the chances of degradation. The average lifespan of these panels is shorter due to overheating and it eventually drops the performance due to the damage that is caused.
- In some situations, flexible solar panels that are placed on top of the RV can cause heat in an area. This can result in further damage and also shorten the lifespan of the panel.
Not too reliable
- Flexible solar panels are too reliable in some situations. The normal panels are more reliable in extreme climatic conditions. As for flexible solar panels, they are not too efficient and can produce less power during winter.
- The material used to create flexible solar panels is cheaper than the normal ones. They are not built to last for 20 to 25 years like a rigid panel. Most RV enthusiasts who camp in winter prefer normal panels to flexible solar panels.
Advantages of flexible solar panels
While there are problems with flexible solar panels they also arrive with several advantages. Here are some of the advantages of flexible solar panels described below.
They are easy to mount
- The major advantage of flexible solar panels is that they are easy to mount. The installation process is easy and there is no need to worry about fixing them on the roof of the RV. There is no need for additional equipment and the installation can be done in hardly a couple of hours.
They are lightweight and portable
- Traditional solar panels are heavy, but these panels are lightweight and they are easy to carry around. These lightweight solar panels do not damage the roof of the RV while installation. They are portable and smaller in size. Hence, they are easy to carry around and store with ease.
They are not too expensive
- Another advantage is that these panels are not too expensive when compared to the other rigid ones. They arrive at a cheaper price and there are multiple options for flexible solar panels. You can also purchase these panels in various sizes to suit your convenience.
Those were some of the advantages of flexible solar panels. These panels are good to use but they also arrive with some common problems and they might not last long like the regular ones. However, they are good enough for small campers and can be used for around 10 years without any issues.
In this blog post, we have answered the question: “What are the problems with flexible solar panels? We have described the common problems of flexible solar panels in detail. Additionally, we have also described the advantages of flexible solar panels and talked about the major differences between rigid solar panels.