The best flexible solar panels provide several benefits to their users – we list them in the guide below.
We also provide some flexible solar panels reviews, and a list and buyer’s guide
(*Friendly Disclosure – links to retailers or brands on this page may include affiliate links, and we may receive a commission when you purchase through these links)
Top Rated Flexible & Bendable Solar Panels List
Our top flexible and bendable solar panel pick is:
Best Flexible Solar Panel – Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible (on Amazon)
Although note that Renogy has other flexible solar panels models available too.
Best Flexible Solar Panels: Reviews
Windynation 100W Bendable Solar Panel
The Windynation 100W Bendable Solar Panel can bend/curve up to 30 degrees, and is intended for charging 12 volt batteries.
Who Is This Solar Panel For
- Those looking for a solar panel to mount on an RV, boat, cabin, tent, or any
irregular or curved surface
- Those looking for a solar panel that bends up to 30 degrees
- Those looking to charge 12 V lead-acid and lithium batteries – marine batteries, rv batteries, bike batteries etc.
- Those looking for solar panels that are extremely light and easy to move/transport
Who Is This Solar Panel Not For
- Those who would prefer a rigid solar panel, or folding solar panel
What’s Good About It
- Extremely versatile and portable – good for camping and camper trailers, RV batteries, cabin setups, marine batteries, car batteries, electric bikes etc.
- Can be mounted by using the 6 pre-drilled holes in the panel
- Can be mounted with adhesive or velcro if you have it
- Solar cell type is Monocrystalline Silicon – mono panels work better than amorphous panels in direct sunlight
- Works at 18 volts and can charge 12 volt lithium and lead-acid batteries
- Can curve slightly to fit to curved and uneven surfaces – macimum bend of 30 degrees
- Very lightweight – only weighs 4.1lbs – easy to transport, install and remove
- Frameless design
- Connector type is MC IV (MC4) Cables attached to junction box
- Comes with 35 inch 12 gauge connector cables
- Weather resistant
- Can withstand up to 1 inch diameter hail
- Dimensions are 41.7″ (length) x 21.3″ (width) x 0.1″ (thick)
What’s Not So Great?
- No real major issues with these panels
What Else Might You Get With This Solar Panel
Some users get these extras with their solar panel:
- Solar Charge Regulator & Display – XCSOURCE® Intelligent 30A PWM Solar Panel Charge Controller (on Amazon)
- Male & Female Cable Connectors – RENOGY 5 Pair MC4 Male/ Female Solar Panel Cable Connectors (on Amazon) [currently unavailable]
- Extension Cables – One Pair 10 Feet Black + 10 Feet Red 10 Gauge Solar Panel Extension Cable Wire MC4 Connector (on Amazon)
Where To Check Out This Solar Panel
View the Windynation 100 Watt Bendable Solar Panel (on Amazon)
HQST 100 Watt Monocrystalline Semi Flexible Solar Panel
Who Is This Solar Panel For
- Those looking for a lightweight panel
- Those looking for a lightweight panel that is easy to install and remove
- Those looking for a lightweight panel that can be fixed in a number of ways – adhesive, grommets, zip ties or velcro
Who Is This Solar Panel Not For
- Those looking for a panel that bends – this one does not
What’s Good About It
- 10 inch panel cables with MC4 connectors
- Operating voltage of around 18 volts
- Monocrystalline cells laminated into plastic sheets – very lightweight at 5lbs
- Very easy to install and remove – a good non-permanent or portable option
- Can be fixed in a number of ways – adhesive, grommets, zip ties or velcro
- Pre drilled holes in the panels for quick installation and removal
- Junction box is sealed and waterproof
- Dimensions of 41.7 X 21.3 X 0.12 inches
- Box includes –
> One (1) 100 Watt Lightweight Solar Panel
> One (1) IP65 Rated waterproof junction box
> One (1) pair of IP67 Rated waterproof MC4 connectors
> One (1) pair of 14 AWG Panel Leads
What’s Not So Great?
- These are just lightweight plastic panels – they are not bendable
What Else Do You Need To Use This Solar Panel
Some users get these extras with their solar panel:
- Male & Female Cable Connectors – Sun YOBA 5 Pairs of MC4 Male/ Female Solar Panel Cable Connectors (on Amazon)
- Assembly Tool – Renogy TOOL-MC4 Solar Panel Mc4 ASSEMBLY Tool (on Amazon)
Where To Check Out This Solar Panel
View the HQST 100 Watt Semi Flexible Solar Panel on Amazon
HQST 100 Watt 18 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
HQST Flexible Solar Panel have 50 watt and 100 watt models.
It’s important to note the HQST panels are not bendable or able to be curved.
You might consider this important fact in your purchase – but also weight that up with the other features and performance of the panels.
What’s Good About This 100 Watt Panel?
- Monocrystalline cells – crystalline panels are among the best performing panels in direct sunlight
- 17.7 volts panel is rated for a 12 volt battery > good for Rv’s, boats/marine, bikes, vans, cars and more
- East to install, uninstall, hand and transport around to different surfaces
- Can be used for both permanent, and non-permanent applications
- Thin plastic panel sheeting is very lightweight – 4lbs
- Less vulnerable to cracking than a framed panel
- Various fixing methods available – adhesive, grommets, zip ties or velcro
- Pre fab metal panel holes
- Comes with 10 inch long cables and MC4 connectors
- Junction box is sealed and waterproof
- HQST offer a one year warranty
- Make sure you are aware of the dimensions of the panel for the surface you want to install or hang it on – Dimensions: 41.7 X 21.3 X 0.12 inches
- Comes with the panel, plus:
– One (1) IP65 Rated waterproof junction box
– One (1) pair of IP67 Rated waterproof MC4 connectors
– One (1) pair of 14 AWG Panel Leads
What Isn’t So Great, And Could Be Improved?
- NOT bendable or able to be curved – only a lightweight panel
- More vulnerable to scraping and ripping than framed/rigid panels
- Be aware of the maximum voltage of a system you can have this panel in – 600V DC (UL)
- Over time – a flexible panel has a chance of delaminating or bubbling
- May not get as much performance as a rigid solar panel over time
What Other Accessories/Devices Might You Need With This Panel?
Solar Charge Controller – Mohoo 20A Charge Controller with Intelligent USB Port Display 12V-24V (on Amazon)
- Cable Connectors – Sun YOBA 5 Pairs of MC4 Male/ Female Solar Panel Cable Connectors (on Amazon)
Where To Check Out This Panel
View the HQST 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel on Amazon
HQST 50 Watt 18 Volts Flexible Solar Panel
The 50 Watt version of the HQST semi flexible solar panel.
This panel is 21.8 x 21.2 x 0.12 inches in dimensions, and weighs 2.8 lbs.
View the HQST 50Watt Semi Flexible Solar Panel on Amazon
Who Are HQST?
HQST are a solar company that offer off-grid products and services.
They offer solar panels, kits, camping accessories, general solar accessories, and OEM custom services for solar.
What Do They Do Well With Their Solar Panels?
Compared to Suaoki and Allpowers, it looks like HQST have specialised and developed their solar products and services slightly more.
They are not a re-seller anymore, but rather source their own materials and produce their own units.
They offer both a 50 watt and 100 watt model, and are good with their customer service for these models.
What Could Be Improved With Their Solar Panels
The biggest drawback to using a HQST panel over say a Suaoki or Allpowers panel, is that their panels are only lightweight, and are not bendable.
The cables are also quite short at 10 inches.
Make sure when you buy your panels that you check (if going through another seller) that you get your warranty guaranteed.
Best Flexible Solar Panels: Buyer’s Guide
Other Names For Flexible Solar Panel
Semi-Flexible Solar Panels
Bendable Solar Panels
Soft Solar Panels
Stick On Solar Panels
Lightweight Solar Panels
Portable/Transportable Solar Panels
NOTE: some flexible and semi-flexible solar panels are not meant to be bent – they are just made of a more flexible material than glass or aluminium.
What Is A Flexible Solar Panel?
Flexible solar panels are usually made of a plastic material, and have the monocrystalline or polycrystalline cells (that capture sunlight energy) laminated between them.
This is in comparison to the traditional glass or aluminium material solar panels.
Flexible Solar Panels vs Traditional/Hard Solar Panels – What’s The Differences?
Flexible solar panels and traditional/hard solar panels have several differences, with some of the main ones being:
Fixing vs Adhering – hard solar panels usually require some type of solid or structural fixing, whereas flexible solar panels can be adhered with adhesive, grommets, zip ties, velcro
Material, and Flexibility or Bend ability – hard solar panels are usually made with glass and/or aluminium, whereas soft solar panels are made with lightweight materials like plastic
Weight – hard solar panels are usually heavier than flexible solar panels because of the materials used
Efficiency – hard and soft solar panels might have differences in the efficiency of catching sun energy
Range of Applications They Can Be Used In – flexible solar panels can be used on curved surfaces, whereas hard solar panels usually need a flat surface
Cost – there’s usually a cost difference between buying a flexible vs hard solar panel
Damage To Panel – flexible solar panels are at risk of being damaged by sharp objects and scraping, whilst traditional solar panels are at risk of shattering or cracking
What Is A Flexible Solar Panel Used For, and What Does A Flexible Solar Panel Do?
Flexible solar panels are used as a more versatile option to glass and aluminium/hard solar panels.
They can be used on a rooftop, RV, boat, cabin, tent, and other irregular or curved surfaces where a hard solar panel might not be suitable.
Applications like the home, travel, camping, hiking and fishing are good for flexible and semi flexible solar panels.
Flexible and semi-flexible solar panels can usually be installed and removable, making them portable or transportable – suiting the above applications.
Whether it’s for the home, camping, a caravan, boat or another use, some of the benefits of using a bendable solar panel compared to rigid panels are:
They are still efficient at extracting sunlight energy
They can bend to a curved surface (like a roof or deck), or stick to the surface (in addition to being fixed)
They are usually much lighter than glass solar panels
They can be as durable (to breaking, corrosion, and water) as glass panels
They can be transportable and easy removed
Types of Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels can be:
Flexible or Semi-Flexible – soft flexible material, but not be be bended or curved
Bendable – can be bended or curved usually between 10 to 30 degrees…good for curved and irregular surfaces
The above types of flexible and bendable solar panels can then be classified into 50 Watt max power, 100 Watt max power panels.
NOTE: flexible, semi-flexible and bendable solar panels are different to foldable and other types of solar panels.
Flexible Solar Panel Bits & Accessories
Solar Charge Regulator Display – regulates of limits the rate that electric currents are added to or withdrawn from the panels > protects against overshoot/overcharge, and discharge.
Cable Connectors – connects cables like MC4 cables, and extension cables
Cable Extensions – an extension cable for the cables on your solar panel
Solar Panel Assembly Tool – for installing and removing your solar panel/s
How To Choose A Flexible Solar Panel
The main things to consider when choosing a flexible solar panel are:
1. Do you want a solar panel that is just flexible, or one that can bend also?
2. What Watt/power do you want from the panel/s?
3. Consider the ‘features’ to look for below if you want something specific e.g. if you are looking for a certain hail or snow resistance level.
Features To Look For In A Flexible Solar Panel
What Wattage of power does it produce – 50w or 100w?
What’s the conversion efficiency of the panel?
What’s the panel made of – plastic?
Is the panel just made of plastic and is flexible, or is it bendable – if bendable – what degree can you bend it to…10 degrees, 30 degrees?
How to you fix/adhere the panel – adhesive, grommets, zip ties, velcro, screws? Or, does it need structural reinforcements?
Do you have to drill holes in the panel, or are they pre-drilled for you?
What surfaces can you adhere the panel on? In what applications? e.g. rooftop, RV, boat, cabin, tent, other irregular surfaces, AND in applications like the home, travel, camping, hiking.
How long are the connector cables – how many inches?
Is the junction box sealed and protected?
Has any testing been done on the panel to guarantee performance – are there any certifications?
What are the surface area dimensions of the panel?
What is the thickness of the panel?
How much does the panel weigh?
What other specs do you need to know about the panel – voltage, current etc.
Is the panel transportable and able to be uninstalled and re-installed?
What sort of resistance does the panel offer – air, snow, hail, water and heat resistance of some kind?
Tips For Installing A Flexible Solar Panel
1. Find out what the legislation and regulations are on solar panels in your area – can you install or does a professional have to install?
2. If you can install, make sure you follow the manufacturer instructions so you don’t void any warranty or guarantee.
18 Buyer Tips For Choosing A Flexible Solar Panel
There are a few different types of solar panels on the market – read about some of them and their differences here.
If you are thinking of buying, or want to buy and want help with choosing a flexible or semi-flexible solar panel, this guide will be extremely useful.
We’ve put together 18 buyer tips for choosing that will help save you time, research and money.
Let’s have a look at the list …
1. Decide what power/Watts you want
Most flexible and bendable solar panels come in two main power or Power specs:
Choose one or a combination of these two types.
2. Look at conversion efficiency of the panel
Most solar panel manufacturers should give you an idea of how efficient their panels are in capturing or converting sun energy.
As a benchmark, there are flexible solar panels on the market as of February 2017 claiming to have a 22-25% efficiency rate.
3. Look at what the panel is designed for
It is normal for a 50W or 100W flexible solar panel to be designed to operate on around 18 volts, and be designed to charge 12 volt lead acid or lithium batteries.
Rv batteries, marine batteries, bike batteries and similar smaller batteries are suitable for one or two flexible panels.
4. Decide how many panels you want
Depending on the power of the panel you want to get, and what you want to charge, make an informed decision on how many panels you think you’ll require.
5. Check what the panel made of
Most flexible and semi-flexible solar panels are made of a very lightweight material like plastic/laminate.
Make sure this material is ok for your intended use.
Whilst these materials are lightweight, not as rigid, and won’t crack or break – they are more susceptible to sharp objects than a glass panel, so consider that.
6. Check if the panel is just lightweight, or if it’s bendable and can be curved
There are two types of flexible, or semi-flexible solar panels:
Lightweight solar panels
Bendable solar panels
Flexible solar panels that don’t bend are just lightweight and made of a flexible material like plastic – so they have more flexibility than a glass panel.
Bendable panels on the other hand can curve or bend usually between 10 to 30 degrees – making them great for curved or irregular surfaces.
Bendable panels are usually not foldable though – so watch for that.
7. Check how the panel is to be fixed/adhered
Flexible panels are popular in part because they don’t need structural fixings most of the time.
They are usually stick on panels that can easily be adhered and removed.
Check what is actually required to stick the panels on – adhesive, grommets, zip ties, velcro, screws?
8. Check if you have to drill fixing holes into the panel, or if they pre-drilled for you
Panels should come with pre hollowed metal reinforced holes for fixing, but check this.
9. Check what surfaces you can adhere the panel to, and what applications its for
Flexible panels are hand because they can stick onto a range of surfaces.
e.g. rooftop, RV, boat, cabin, tent, other irregular surfaces.
They are also good for a range of activities and in a range of applications including but not limited to home, travel, camping, hiking.
Check the surfaces and applications a manufacturer recommends their panels for.
10. Check how long the connector cables are – how many inches…do you need cable extensions?
Connector cables running from the panel (usually MC4 cables) can be varying lengths.
Some are shorter in the range of 10 inches to minimise shade on the panel, but check length.
You can always get extension cables if the cables on the panel aren’t long enough for you.
11. Check if the junction box is sealed and protected
Simple one – but see if the manufacturer mentions the level of protection to the junction box on the panel.
Is it water resistant and sealed?
12. Check what testing has been done on the panel or if its certified
See if the panel has been tested in any way to achieve performance specs, or for efficiency % for example.
In addition, see whether the panel has any certifications in your country – like FCC, RoHS, CE certified if in the US
13. Check the surface area dimensions of the panel
Flexible panels are usually much smaller in dimensions than glass panels.
Check the surface area and thickness of the panel before you buy to make sure it will fit on the surface you want to stick it on.
14. Check the thickness of the panel
Simple one – most flexible panels are in the vicinity of 0.1 inches thick, so they are very thin.
15. Check how much the panel weighs
Depending on the strength of the surface you want to install the panel on, you might want to know the weight.
This is especially relevant if you want several panels.
For reference, most flexible panels are somewhere between 3 to 5 pounds.
16. Check the other specs of the panel – voltage, current etc.
It’s important to check other important specs about the solar panel like:
System operating voltage
System operating current (Amps)
Make sure these specs and others fit in with your current systems and what you want to do.
17. Check if the pane is transportable and able to be uninstalled and re-installed
Check how transportable the panel is, and whether the manufacturer mentions if it can be removed and installed elsewhere once it’s been installed on one surface
18. What sort of resistance does the panel offer – air, snow, hail, water and heat resistance of some kind?
Some manufacturer mentions resistance specs of their panels. For example,
Air Resistance – measured in pascals
Snow Resistance – measured in pascals
Hail Impact – look at the speed and weight of hail the panel is tested for
Water – is the panel water resistant?
Heat – does the panel dissipate heat well?
5 Benefits Of Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels provide a good option particularly for those looking for off grid solar power.
One of the main benefits of flexible thin film type solar panels is how portable they are.
You can read about how portable flexible solar panels are below, along with 4 reasons a list of 5 benefits that flexible solar panels have for home and off grid applications
It’s probably also worth giving our short guide about the potential problems with solar panels – so you get a balanced idea of both the benefits and problems with flexible solar panels.
Onto the benefits …
Because flexible solar panels are usually made of a thin laminate, they are quite light.
Rigid solar panels are not heavy, but as a comparison, a flexible solar panel might be around 4-5 lbs, while a rigid solar panel might be around 15-16 lbs.
2. Often Bendable
Flexible solar panels are often bendable. This means that they can flex, bend or curve up to a certain number of degrees – 30 degrees is a common curvature.
Bendable flexible solar panels are good because they can often fit on uneven or irregular surfaces – where a rigid solar panel might be too stiff to be mounted.
Some flexible solar panels do not bend – so check this on the flexible solar panel you are looking at before you buy.
3. Don’t Require Permanent Installation
Flexible solar panels do not require to be mounted with brackets like a rigid solar panel might be.
Flexible solar panels often come with pre-drilled metal mounting holes which you can use for temporary installation, or you can even lay or hand the panel on the ground or on a tent for example.
4. Very Portable
Because flexible solar panels are lightweight, bendable and don’t require permanent installation, they can be considered to be very portable.
For example, if you take your flexible solar panel out camping, you might choose to hang it up on your tent or van/RV, and simply de-mount it after use and take it home.
Flexible solar panels can be taken from spot to spot.
5. Won’t Crack Or Break Like A Rigid Panel
Rigid solar panels won’t crack or break often – but it’s a possibility if you drop them on a hard surface or they are hit with force.
Flexible solar panels won’t crack or break. They are however more susceptible to tearing or scratching if they come in contact with very sharp or rough surfaces – but this is rare.
6 Potential Problems With Flexible Solar Panel Problems (Why NOT To Buy Flexible Panels)
The aim of this guide isn’t to tell you flexible solar panels are bad, nor are we saying that you shouldn’t buy them.
Flexible solar panels are actually a versatile and lightweight option that might suit some solar users better than rigid/glass panels (we’ve actually written a similar short guide on 5 benefits of flexible solar panels too).
However, there are some problems that flexible solar panels can present for some users and applications – and we want to outline them to you.
If you’re wondering ‘are flexible solar panels any good?’, it might be worth scanning over this guide to find any information that you’re looking for to help you answer that question in your own mind.
1) Flexible panels are hard to tilt or angle into the sun
Flexible solar panels will usually either be stuck onto the surface you install them on, or fixed down through their mounting holes.
Either way, the panels lay flat on the surface.
This is not actually a massive problem – as some users find that the panels work perfectly well laying flat on a boat or Rv roof for example.
However, in some situations, you may need to angle the position of your solar panels via brackets or a solar panel mounting rack, to get the most efficiency from them.
2) The crystalline rigid/glass panels tend to have a better transfer efficiency of solar energy in direct sun than the flexible and thin film solar panels
Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solid/rigid solar panels tend to perform more efficiently in direct sun.
An amorphous solar panel (i.e. a solar panel that is non-crystalline, and the silicon are applied in thin film instead of in crystals) tend to be designed to aborb a wider range of infrared and UV lights when they aren’t in the sun.
So, look out for this when look at a flexible, semi-flexible or bendable panel.
3) Flexible solar panels are closer to the surface they are installed on – can be issues long term if it’s an extremely hot surface (even with heat resistance)
If you have a metal house roof or an Rv roof for example – especially if it’s a dark color – you can imagine how hot it gets in the hotter months.
Many flexible solar panels will have heat resistance ratings, but over the long term, would you want your laminate film panel in contact with that heat?
Bubbling can sometimes be an issue on low quality panels.
A rigid solar panel will be raised off the hot surface with either brackets or a panel rack, and are made from metal and glass, which is harder wearing.
4) Flexible solar panels tend to be more expensive per watt than rigid/crystalline solar panels
A GOOD flexible solar panel, with the portability and newness of the flexible technology, tend to be more expensive on a $ per watt basis than a mass manufactured rigid solar panel.
5) Flexible solar panels can have questionable quality products, and customer support
Like we mentioned in the intro – there are a wide range of companies and third party sellers who distribute flexible solar panels.
Each of them may vary in the quality of what they offer. Differences in quality might involve:
The manufacturing process,
Performance of the panel,
Length and guarantee of the warranty,
Level of customer service and tech support if you have any issues with the panels
6) Flexible solar panels are more vulnerable to rough or sharp objects
This one is fairly straightforward – a laminate film panel will be more vulnerable to scratching or ripping than a hard rigid panel.
Basic Flexible Solar Panel Kits: What Should Be Included?
Flexible solar panel kits are a type of off grid energy system.
A simple 100 Watt, 18 volt, 1 panel set up has proved very useful for users looking to charge 12 volt batteries across a range of applications.
Camping, RV’ing, boats, home and even remote cabins can use flexible solar panels to drip feed/charge DC batteries from the sun’s light.
But, if you’re new to this type of technology, what do you look for to get started?
That’s what this guide is for – to give you an idea of what you’ll need (apart from the panel) to get up and running!
Below is a list of what should be included in a kit (whether you buy it all together or separately) to get your flexible solar panel set up:
1. The Panel
Flexible solar panels come in standard sizes of 50, or 100 watts.
Generally, 1 x 100 watt flexible solar panel will be enough to charge 1 x 12 volt DC battery – as long as you are getting plenty of sunlight during the days.
From a compatibility perspective, you want to make sure the panel is at least an 18 volt panel, as a a standard 12V re-chargeable battery needs roughly 13.6 volts to charge.
If you want more information on how to estimate the amount of Watts and number of panels you will need for your battery set up – you can read more in this guide.
It’s worth noting with a flexible panel – they come with pre fabricated metal ring mounting holes that you can apply most types of fixings through.
2. Junction box and connectors
The junction box is usually built into the panel and comes with diodes on either end. Check that the junction box is sealed and waterproof.
The connectors are usually MC4 connectors (but can be another type).
MC4 connectors make it easy to connect from the panel to other connectors when you are connecting more than one panel together (as long as you have male and female connectors).
You can also connect from the panel to a solar controller if you are just using one panel.
3. Solar controller
Without getting technical – a solar controller balances/regulates the charge coming from the panel/s into your batteries.
There are two types of solar controller’s – the PWM type, and the MPPT type.
9 times out of 10, for a basic solar panel setup with 50 or 100 watt panels, you’ll be fine with the cheaper PWM controllers.
They usually are rated for somewhere up to around 400 Watts, or 4 x 100 Watt flexible panels – but check with the controller you get what the Watt, Amps and Voltage ratings are.
Two other things with the solar controller to look out for:
They usually come with some type of LCD display to measure the panel performance. You may choose to get a separate display device to track panel and battery health and performance, as these controller displays can be basic
You may choose to have several panel connected together that funnel into the one connector, OR, you can choose to have each panel connected up to their own solar controller
4. Cables – trey cables or extension cables
Cables are pretty self explanatory – they connect the controller to your batteries, wherever they are located.
Make sure you look at the length of the cables that come with the solar panel (if they come with any).
Also, look at the distance between where your panels and controller are located, and where your batteries are that you want to charge.
You want to have long enough cables to span this distance.
Batteries are not a part of what you usually get with a solar kit, but they are the end part of the system where the solar power travels to.
We are talking RV batteries, camper trailer batteries, marine batteries, cabin batteries etc.
Usually, they are 12 volt batteries assembled in a bank of batteries – so, you need to make sure that the total voltage of your solar panel bank is enough for the total voltage of your battery bank.
6. Setup tools and accessories
You will need basic tools and accessories like:
A solar panel assembly tool (like the Renogy assembly tool), or a tool suitable for the fixing you choose
Fixings or adhesive of your choice – people have used zip ties, silicon, metal fixings – it depends on what you are fixing or hanging the panel to
7. AC Inverter (optional)
If you want to convert the DC energy your solar panel produces into AC household energy for household items – you’ll need an inverter.
8. Regenerator (optional)
A regenerator is a box or device to store the DC energy from your solar panel.
The panel sends energy to the regenerator – which stores the energy – so that you can use it whenever you like, for example, at night or when it’s a cloudy day.
*NOTE: you should always read the manufacturer instructions to make sure you are using the solar panel in the way it was intended
Bendable Solar Panels: What Are Your Options?
What Are Bendable Solar Panels?
Bendable solar panels are relatively new in the solar field compared to rigid solar panels.
Bendable solar panels are actually flexible solar panels
Bendable solar panels are solar panels that can bend up to a certain degree or curvature- with the average curvature being around 30 degrees.
What Are Bendable Solar Panels Used For?
They are mainly used for off grid applications, but can also be used for the home.
A big advantage of having bendable solar panels is that they can bend to fit on curved or uneven surfaces – take for example a curved RV roof, or curved boat deck.
Other benefits of bendable solar panels are:
They are usually lightweight
They are usually very thin – made from plastic laminate
They are usually very portable – being able to be temporarily installed, laid out, or hung up on a range of surfaces – and then very easily detached and used elsewhere
This is in comparison to a rigid solar panel – which is stiff and won’t bend or curve to fit an uneven surface. If you are interested to read more about this comparison, we have published a flexible solar panel vs. rigid solar panel guide.
Folding solar panels also do not bend, but rather fold into each other, or fold out when you want to use them.
Bendable vs Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels should not be confused with folding solar panels – if you are confused, you can read guides about each here:
Are There Flexible Solar Panels That Don’t Bend?
Yes there are, so always check whether the solar panel is just lightweight thin laminate film, or whether it’s thin and lightweight but also bends or curves.
For example, the HQST flexible solar panels are lightweight, but do not bend.
Examples of Bendable Solar Panel Options
Two of the more popular bendable solar panel options are the Windynation and Suaoki brand flexible solar panels.
Both solar panels are:
Good for off grid applications like camping, RV’ing, cars and vans, marine use/boats + more
Come in 50 Watt and 100 Watt models
Are for 12 volt charging purposes
Come with pre-drilled mounting holes
Come with a junction box and MC4 connectors
To give you an idea of dimensions:
- The Suaoki 100 Watt panel is 43.3 length x 22.4 wide x 0.1 thick in inches
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