Campers and boondocker switch to solar all over the United States right as we speak. And there are some good reasons for it. Photovoltaics are silent and can work literally everywhere. While you can go for standard rigid modules for your camper van, RV Flexible Solar Panels are another great option.
Benefits of Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible panels are the cheapest of all types. However, their efficiency is the lowest and lifespan is shorter — only 10-15 year. Most flexible modules for RV are 100-200W. The fact that you bend and curve them allows you to ignore the configurations of your RV roof to some extent. The installation of flexible panels is super simple — you can use adhesives or even duct tape. Keep in mind however, that panels heat up and heat the van if there isn’t any space between the roof and the module. Let’s take a look at some examples — the best models of flexible PV modules in 2021.
Renogy 160W panel
Renogy has gained a solid reputation in the market of thin-film panels. This particular model has a flex of 248 degrees — one of the best rates in the industry. In theory you can curve it so that the stream of air underneath it cools the module down. It is super light (6.2 lbs) and thin (0.08 In). A panel endures hail, wind and snow, and the implementation of bypass diodes decrease the energy losses caused by shading.
SunPower 110W panel
SunPower is another well-known manufacturer on the market. This 110W module is even lighter (4.4 lbs) and almost as thin (0.1 inch) as Renogy model, which makes it easy to store and carry around, if needed. The flexibility of 30 degrees makes it suitable for irregular surfaces. The manufacturer provides a product warranty for 2 year and power output warranty for 5 years. The owners of this model note its high durability.
Rich Solar 100W panel
Rich Solar PV modules have four grommet holes for easy installation, withstand flexing up to 30 degrees and have very strong warranties for this type of panel. The company claims to offer a 25-year power output warranty with 80% of the rated power output by the end of the period, plus a 5-year workmanship warranty. There is no need for cleaning — the panel has a nonstick surface.