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Canwoman

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello I am copying this post from member #Elfresh because no-one responded first time over.

Both of us are looking for recommendations for flexible panels.

For me,  They will be on the roof of a mobile kitchen. I am after something that I can leave on the flat roof during transit and that can be moved to face the sun when stationary using a simple aluminium triangle frame or bamboo.

I need lightweight hence flexible. I would appreciate any tips about how to tie them down to a flat fibreglass roof that has an aliminium frame. My alternative is to use them from the roof of a transit van.

stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #2 
Well, the reason you didn't get lots of answers is because no-one on here has much if any experience with them.

I guess this is what you're thinking about: https://www.solarblvd.com/products/solar-cynergy-flexible-bendable-120-watt-12-volt-solar-panel/

It's my understanding they are generally glued down which will make them immovable and more or less permanent. If you want to install them so you can tilt them, you'll probably have to construct some kind of rigid, tiltable backsheet and glue them to that. By the time you're done with all that you might as well have rigid panels. It would be simpler, lighter, and maybe cheaper to just buy a couple extra panels and simply glue them all down to the roof. The extra panels would make up for them not being tilted. It would save you the hassle of having to re-orient them every few hours.

If you have a lift-up awning, you could glue a couple panels to that, too.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #3 
Flexible and moveable are not the same thing.
Once mounted, nobody in their right mind wants the panels to be flexible. Constant flexing would cause them to crack and lead to a short live span.
You need to sit down and think, what is it you really need and want.


Flexible solar panels are a niche market. Mostly for mounting on the top of curved RV roofs were mounting holes are a no-no .. the biggest killer of RVs is leaking roofs ... enough said?

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
Electronics Engineering Technologist
Canwoman

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Reply with quote  #4 
I am after something that I can BIND DOWN SECURELY TO leave on the flat roof during transit  that can be moved to face the sun when stationary using a simple aluminium triangle frame or bamboo. I need as lightweight as possible, hence flexible. 

I would appreciate any tips or propositions about how to tie them down to a flat fibreglass roof with an aluminium frame. My alternative is to use them from the roof of a transit van.

I do appreciate comments but I should have asked the question in more specific terms

I am looking for creative and problem solving ideas to help solve these issues, and I am sorry to be such a task master but throwing money at the problem is not an option and having heavy solid panels is also not an option.

I would also add that as long as the panels are secured carefully to a frame there seems no reason to me they should bend. I also wonder why they are suitable for a canvas structure if they can't be secured to a frame without a weighty solid structure behind them?

Perhaps I am really the Einstein of mobile solar system design and I just haven't had the recognition I so clearly crave yet
Rick H Parker

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Reply with quote  #5 
"Perhaps I am really the Einstein of mobile solar system design and I just haven't had the recognition I so clearly crave yet"

If you already have all the answers, why the hell are you wasting our time?

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Rick H Parker
Kansas, USA
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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #6 
Ditto!

Yes they can be secured to a canvas top, but that top is kept taut and does not flap. Boat bimini tops and their frames are generally NOT designed to go down the highway at 70+ mph. They would be torn to shreds and any attached solar panel destroyed. And they're not cheap, either.

However, Madam Einstein, it's your money, go for it. You might visit an RV forum first, they might have some ideas that would work for you.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
Canwoman

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick H Parker
"Perhaps I am really the Einstein of mobile solar system design and I just haven't had the recognition I so clearly crave yet"

If you already have all the answers, why the hell are you wasting our time?



#admin I object to this person's rudeness and draw attention to my good humoured comment above.

please remove this person's response from my post. 
Canwoman

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Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stmbtwle
.... If you have a lift-up awning, you could glue a couple panels to that, too.

thanks for your input and this is especially worth thinking about for the future as I have two lifting side-roofs on the trailer

I looked at those boat bimini tops and they seem to be on speed boats, which surely go at a fair whack. Also, flexi panels on canvas are subject to some pretty high winds - I don't see why they can't be adapted. 

I was thinking of battening the front and rear edges down using bamboo or thin steel flat strips (free or reasonably easy to get at a scrap yard).


SolarInterested

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canwoman
#admin I object to this person's rudeness and draw attention to my good humoured comment above.

please remove this person's response from my post. 

Noted. Humor is easily misinterpreted in text.

Be civil people and mind your manners.

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stmbtwle

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Reply with quote  #10 
"Yes, Dear!"

Catwoman: "A fair whack" for a "speed" boat is about 40mph. Faster than that and they usually fold their biminis if they even have them, as they create a LOT of drag. They're also generally folded for highway travel to prevent damage. Folding isn't possible with solar panels attached.

A couple years ago I made an awning for my camper out of PVC pipe (mostly thinwall) and a plastic tarp. The tarp was secured with bungees, and the whole thing came apart. It was lightweight and CHEAP. After a couple trips I didn't even bother to disassemble it, but simply tied it down on top of the camper for travel. Something like that MIGHT work for you, IF you can figure out how to secure your panels to it, how to get it up/down from your roof (my camper was only about 5' high) and how to secure it against the wind. Good luck!

I simply stow my (rigid) panels inside the camper and set them up on site. Individually, they're quite manageable.

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Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay
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