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Equipping the Overland Vehicle Vehicle accessories - Making your home away from home comfortable, safe and reliable.
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



Overlanders Handbook - everything you need to know, available NOW!

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  • 1 Post By Surfy

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  #1  
Old 8 Jun 2020
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Solid vs Flexible Solar Panels

I'm looking at mounting a solar panel (likely 100W) on the roof of my demountable camper pod. I've overdosed on web searches and am now looking for some experience feedback. I gather the flexibles aren't so good as they don't get sufficient air around them but I'm concerned a solid one might shake itself to death on the offroad tracks I'm planning to be on. Anyone have any recommendations on which models have a good track record and which to avoid. Ta
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  #2  
Old 10 Jun 2020
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Flexible Panels are lighter and you can get them also with high efficiency.

During driving we should usually use the engine power for charging. So there are not much need for using solar while on the way.

All panels can gain much more power, if they are directed to the sun.

The question should be more, if you want to mount a fixed panel, or if you want to use a mobile solar panel, which you can put in the direction of the sun.

Any Solarpanel drop most of the power, if parts of the panel are in the shadow. So consider that too, if you still think about to mount it fix at sample to the roof, where maxtrax or roofbox can bring shadow.

Also consider that you have to park into the sun, when the panel is really mounted. At hot days you probably prefere more shadow...

A good flexible 120W panel can fire a compressor fridge, Notebook, Camera easily - if used with a good solar charger and battery without the need of other power sources, just a week of rain and no sun - can bring the need of the 12v power of the car.

I did go a mixed way, a small 50W flexible panel mounted, to get power for extended parking of the vehicle - during overlanding I can take the 120W Panel under my matress for more juice.



Maybe you find this helpful:

Fixed Solar Installation:
https://www.4x4tripping.com/2020/04/...efahrzeug.html

Mobile Solar Example:
https://www.4x4tripping.com/2020/06/...laranlage.html

The mobile Version is very light an tiny - but is less powerful compared to a setup with good components. As the Video tells - it stilll works good enough for most purposes...

Flex or nonflex Solarpanels - both can work well... For both there are Panels with bad values (efficiency) available.

This flexible EFTE Panel powers a lot with just 50W


https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07...d537947d2ec310

On sunny days this is enough for Fridge/Smartphone/Notebook - and costs under 100 Euro. EFTE brings a lot, if you panel is not directed to the sun. It powers the same power than my 120W non EFTE Panel - when both are not directed into the sun.

Surfy
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Old 10 Jun 2020
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Solar tech has moved on surfy.
New semi-flexible panels of a certain type do not require to be angled towards the sun.
One of the key elements is the right solar charge controller with the right panel, wiring and battery.
I'd suggest you don't get tempted by cheap kit as, in this instance, it really would be money wasted.
Best get real facts! Whatever you chose to do, have fun!
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Old 10 Jun 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toyark View Post
Solar tech has moved on surfy.
New semi-flexible panels of a certain type do not require to be angled towards the sun.
That is right:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
[...]
This flexible EFTE Panel powers a lot with just 50W


https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B07...d537947d2ec310

On sunny days this is enough for Fridge/Smartphone/Notebook - and costs under 100 Euro. EFTE brings a lot, if you panel is not directed to the sun. It powers the same power than my 120W non EFTE Panel - when both are not directed into the sun.
But also a good Solarpanel with EFTE will bring more juice - when directed to the sun.. Mabe you missèd it, because I was editing some changes.

Surfy
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  #5  
Old 7 Jul 2020
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Landrovers used to have an option called the Safari roof, a second layer above the actual roof with some ventilation so the bit in the sun had an insulative layer of air between it and the actual roof. Some German truck builders offer it too.
You could add such a second layer to help keep cool in the sun, and put flexy panels on that? They stay cooler so work better, interior stays cool, all good?
A solid solar panel would do the same thing but with gaps between. Even black mesh as a roof rack floor seems to reduce internal vehicle roof temps.
What's under the roof it's going on, bare metal or insulation?
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Solid vs Flexible Solar Panels-safari-roof.jpg  

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Old 6 Mar 2021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
That is right:



But also a good Solarpanel with EFTE will bring more juice - when directed to the sun.. Mabe you missèd it, because I was editing some changes.

Surfy
Surfy,
thanks for the nice informations
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