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Flexible Solar Panels

Flexible Solar Panels

Recycled Goods stocks new flexible solar panels from several leading manufacturers. Originally designed for grid-tied solar installations on metal and flat roll type residential commercial roofing systems, flexible solar panels are perfect for a variety of applications, including RVs, boats, and emergency solar generators.

Flexibility for every need

Residential
Industrial
Curved Roof
Metal Roof

Battery Charging
RVs/Buses
Camping
Disaster Prep
 

Technical Innovations

The flexible solar panels from Recycled Goods utilize solar cells made with either amorphous silicon (essentially a super-thin layer of silicon) or CIGS (an ultra-thin layer of copper indium gallium selenide), enabling panels to be more flexible and lighter weight. These flexible panels can also withstand higher temperatures than fragile rigid crystalline panels and perform better in low light conditions due to the fact that they absorb a wider spectrum of light.

Light Weight
OK in High Temps
OK in Low Light
 
Unbreakable

Each flexible solar panel is encapsulated with a special formula of EVA and ETFE which was used to provide resistance to daily sun, weather, and wind for 20-plus years.

QA Tested

The flexible solar panels from Recycled Goods are tested for power output prior to shipping and should provide at least 95% of rated capacity, as they are very robust flexible solar panels.

No Drill Install

Some flexible solar panels feature an adhesive back. Designed for high heat and harsh weather, this hurricane-strength adhesive provides a near-permanent bond to most flat roofing surfaces.

 

Why choose flexible solar panels?

Flexible solar panels are the best choice for many types of solar projects and situations where rigid bulky glass panels just won’t work effectively.

When comparing solar panels, take note of three components:

  • Solar cells - the energy-producing component
  • Encapsulate - material that protects the cells
  • Installation

Of course there are plenty of other considerations when choosing a solar power system. Since every solar power project is different, please feel free to contact us if you'd like to discuss your situation.

Solar Cell

Solar cells

The workhorse of any solar panel is the solar cell. When light hits a solar cell, electrons are set in motion and electricity starts flowing. If you want to impress your friends, call it the “photovoltaic” effect. All solar panels work this way. In the 40 years or so since consumer solar power has been a thing, there have been considerable innovations in power output, manufacturing techniques, and other features (like flexibility).

Standard crystalline solar panels are made of silicon wafers that are about as thick as a human hair. These wafers are used in the rigid, glass-covered panels that most people see on neighborhood rooftop solar installations.

Flexible or thin-film solar panels use material about 300 times thinner than their rigid counterparts. This ultra-fine profile allows for flexibility and is incredibly lightweight. We stock two kinds of thin-film solar panels:

Amorphous Silicon

Like crystalline panels, amorphous panels are made using silicon. However, instead of using relatively thick solid silicon wafers, amorphous panels are constructed by depositing an ultra-thin layer of silicon onto a thin flexible substrate, like stainless steel. They are made using a fraction of the silicon required for crystalline panels.

CIGS

Solar panels made with CIGS solar cells don’t use silicon at all. They use a compound called copper indium gallium selenide. Like their amorphous cousins, to make a flexible CIGS solar panel, a thin film of the material is deposited on a flexible substrate, like stainless steel.

Comparing power output

Generally, the power output from rigid crystalline panels is greater than what you’ll get from a flexible panel. However, with solar panel output in high-heat or low-light situations, this performance gap shrinks, as flexible panels better tolerate these common non-optimal environmental conditions.

Since flexible panels produce less energy than crystalline panels, it goes that you’ll need more flexible panels to produce the same amount of electricity. If roof space is limited, this may be a deal breaker for flexible panels, since there may not be enough room available to produce the amount of electricity needed.

Bottom line...

Goes without saying that you should choose rigid crystalline panels if your structure will support the weight and you have the cool blue sky environmental conditions they require. They simply produce more power per square foot. However, sometimes your roof surface or environmental conditions are more conducive to flexible panels, since thin-film panels are able to flex with curved surfaces, are lighter on roof structures where heavy weight is counterproductive or structurally prohibited, and have superior performance in high heat and low light.

 

Encapsulation

Encapsulate

Solar panels operate in hot, harsh conditions, so it makes sense that the material used to protect solar cells is an important factor in how long a panel will work at maximum capacity.

ETFE is the current industry leader in durability and sustainability as an outermost protective layer. ETFE is a highly stable polymer that promises high UV permeability, suitability for cold/heat extremes, and intelligent features, such as self-cleaning, recyclability, and green manufacturing. 

Bottom line...

While it’s more expensive to manufacture panels with ETFE, promoters of the polymer promise a 20-year-plus lifespan vs 5 years for PET or other materials. We recommend flexible panels with ETFE encapsulate, due to its durability, long life, and sustainable qualities.

 

 Hardhat

Installation

Flexible panels are portable, lighter, and easier to handle than rigid panels. As a result, it’s generally understood that installation of flexible thin-film solar panels requires less labor and is thus less expensive than rigid panels.

Flexible panels can be installed on curved surfaces, non-conventional architecture, or in situations where a low profile is critical, such as installing solar panels on an RV, bus, or other movable surface.

Some flexible panels feature a peel-and-stick adhesive back which can be easily installed on most roofing types without the need for drilling or bulky roof mounting systems. This adhesive is designed to withstand high heat and adverse weather conditions.

Bottom line...

Sometimes, the type of roofing surface you have dictates what you can do with your solar panel installation. Flexible panels are a good alternative when you need a low-profile solution, are reluctant or restricted from drilling holes in a roof, or are installing solar panels on a non-standard roof such as a carport or curved architectural surface. Portability is also a great benefit of flexible panels as they can be quickly deployed and redeployed at another location. Flexible solar panels may be attached to roof surfaces with hurricane-strength adhesives, which presents a great advantage over leak-prone penetrations. Be advised, these adhesives are strong and should be thought of as a permanent installation.

 

 

Here's the deal...

You’re not going to beat the power output of crystalline panels. That being said, flexible panels are best for situations with:

  • Curved and unconventional roof systems
  • Limited weight allowances
  • Prohibition or reluctance to drill holes in roofs
  • Shady areas
  • Hot and inhospitable weather
  • Portable or temporary solutions

High quality flexible solar panels are durable, glass-free and will provide solid performance in punishing conditions for many years.

Did you know?

The average solar panel array gets only 4 hours of sun per day. Yes, there are more hours of daylight in a day and that amount varies depending on where you are geographically, but saying “4 full sun hours per day” is a good way to combine peak times with fringe times to give you an easy number to use when figuring out how many solar panels you’ll need.

sun

How are panel wattage numbers determined?

Solar panels are tested under ideal conditions, usually with a specialized solar panel testing light system, to determine how much electricity they produce in one hour of clear sky at noon on the equator. So it’s guaranteed you won’t see 100% of a panel’s promised output every hour of every day.

 

 

Don't let the name fool you...

Recycled Goods stocks a variety of NEW flexible solar panels and DIY solar cells, including these leading brands:

 

Uni-Solar Flexible Solar Panels

Uni-Solar Flexible Solar Panels

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
PVL-24 Uni-Solar 24 - 36.5 15.5
PVL-64 Uni-Solar 64 - 112 15.5
PVL-116T 1 Uni-Solar 116 - 198 15.375
PVL-116T 30 Uni-Solar 116 - 198 15.375
PVL-128T Uni-Solar 128 - 216 15.375
PVL-128T Uni-Solar 128 - 216 15.375
PVL-128B 1 Uni-Solar 128 - 216 15.5
PVL-128B 30 Uni-Solar 128 - 216 15.5
PVL-128 SP Uni-Solar 128 - 216 15.375
PVL-136 1 Uni-Solar 136 - 216 15.375
PVL-136 30 Uni-Solar 136 - 216 15.375
ePVL-144T 1 Uni-Solar 144 - 213.1 14.49
ePVL-144T 30 Uni-Solar 144 - 213.1 14.49
PVL-144 1 Uni-Solar 144 - 216 15.375
PVL-144 30 Uni-Solar 144 - 216 15.375

 

Uni-Solar Flexible Solar Shingles

Uni-Solar Solar Shingles

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
SHR-17 1 Uni-Solar 17 - 86.4 12
SHR-17 15 Uni-Solar 17 - 86.4 12

 

Xunlight Flexible Solar Panels

Xunlight Flexible Solar Panels

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
XZS8-16 Xunlight 16 1.8 37 15
XLS11-45 Xunlight 45 3.5 56.5 19
XSS11-45 Xunlight 45 3.5 56.5 19
XLS8-52 Xunlight 52 4 79 15.5
XNS10-55 Xunlight 55 6 116 15.5
XRS8-64 Xunlight 64 5 91 17.75
XRS8-66 Xunlight 66 5 91 17.75
XUS10-71 Xunlight 71 6 116 15.5
XLS11-72 Xunlight 72 5.2 108 16
XLS12-78 Xunlight 78 6 120 16.25
XRS10-83 Xunlight 83 8 118 19
XRD12-100 Xunlight 100 9 70 35
XLS12-100 Xunlight 100 9 70 35
XSD38-123 Xunlight 123 - - -
XUS19-134 Xunlight 134 15.5 216 15.5
XLD22-144 Xunlight 144 12 212.3 15
XRS18-150 Xunlight 150 13 204.75 18
XRS19-158 Xunlight 158 14 215.75 18
XRD36-264 Xunlight 264 26 203 35
XRD36-291 Xunlight 291 26 203 35
XRD36-300 Xunlight 300 26 203 35

 

Solopower Flexible Solar Panels

Solopower Flexible Solar Panels

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
Solopanel SoloPower 20 3.8 62.5 11.5
SFX1-i3 SoloPower 105 8.5 64 34.75
Solopanel SoloPower 180 12.75 86.75 45

 

Solopower DIY Solar Cells

Solopower DIY Flexible Solar Cells

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
CIGS Cell 10 SoloPower 1.25 .32 oz ea 14.5 1.5
CIGS Cell 100 SoloPower 1.25 .32 oz ea 14.5 1.5
SP3 Cell 1 SoloPower 1.25 .2 oz ea 5 3.75
SP3 Cell 10 SoloPower 1.25 .2 oz ea 5 3.75
SP3 Cell 100 SoloPower 1.25 .2 oz ea 5 3.75
CIGS Cell 1 SoloPower 1.25 .3 oz ea 7.5 3.75
CIGS Cell 10 SoloPower 1.25 .3 oz ea 7.5 3.75
CIGS Cell 100 SoloPower 1.25 .3 oz ea 7.5 3.75

 

Nanosolar DIY Flexible Solar Cells

Nanosolar DIY Flexible Solar Cells

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
Nanocell 2.6W 1 Nanosolar 2.6 18.5g 6.5 5.3
Nanocell 2.6W 10 Nanosolar 2.6 18.5g ea 6.5 5.3
Nanocell 2.6W 1000 Nanosolar 2.6 18.5g ea 6.5 5.3
Nanocell 2.6W 6000 Nanosolar 2.6 18.5g ea 6.5 5.3

 

Global Solar P3 Portable Power Packs

Global Solar P3 Portable Power Packs

Item Brand Watts Weight Length Width
P3 Black 12V Global Solar 42 3.1 52.5 33
P3 Black 24V Global Solar 42 3.1 52.5 30
P3 Desert 12V Global Solar 42 3.1 52.5 35
P3 Desert 24V Global Solar 42 3.1 52.5 32
P3 Woodland 12V Global Solar 42 3.1 52.5 34
P3 Woodland 24V Global Solar 42 3.1 52.5 31

 

 

We're here to help

If you have questions about flexible solar panels, solar cells for DIY, or portable solar panels, please visit our contact page or call (805) 648-3300.