7 Major Problems with Flexible Solar Panels and Their Solutions

Have you made up your mind to install a flexible solar panel?

Are you apprehensive that you will face problems with flexible solar panels?

You need to make your choice with a realistic bent of mind so you cannot afford to go wrong here.

To give you a realistic picture we will explore the issues with the flexible solar panels in detail. As a result, you will have a clear idea of what is coming your way.

flexible solar panels


They Are Expensive

When you compare rigid and flexible panels, then flexible panels make use of less material in comparison to rigid panels. However, the issue is that the flexible panels are far more expensive in comparison to the rigid solar panels.

The watt price of the flexible solar panels is higher than the rigid panels. Now, what you need to keep in mind is that the flexible solar panels make use of monocrystalline wafers. The transfer rate of the flexible solar panels is also about 23% that is high when compared to traditional panels.

On the contrary, the rigid panels have a conversion rate of about 18%. Well, we can reach one conclusion here, and that is flexible solar panels have a more efficient design. The design also plays a significant role in increasing the price of the flexible panels.

Flexible Panels Can Get Cut by The Sharp Objects

When buying the flexible solar panels, remember that they do not use tempered glass or aluminum frames. The setback here is that the flexible panels can get cut by a sharp object.

When we talk about flexible panel plastic laminate, then it is superb when it comes to solar cell protection. However, the plastic laminate is unable to hold well against the pointed material.

Now, you cannot ignore this problem by any means at all. The reason is that the flexible panels get installed on the RV roofs. If there are low hanging branches in your vicinity, then they can scratch through the laminate. Additionally, the branches can cause damage to the solar cells.

Can Become Very Hot

Another essential aspect that you need to keep in mind is that the flexible solar panels can get very hot. The reason is that they get installed on the roof. The RV surfaces make use of metal, and this is why they get very hot.

The metal used in RV roofs is conductive, and this is why it can transfer heat to the solar panels. In most of the cases, mounting racks get utilized for installing the panels. The objective of installing the panels on the mounting racks is to facilitate the airflow underneath the panels.

However, the flexible panels do not get this airflow because they get installed on the roof. What you need to keep in mind is that when the temperature is hot, then solar panels convert less energy.

If the temperature is too hot, then it can burn the plastic laminate of the flexible solar panels as well. The result is that the functioning of the solar panels encounters a hindrance.

It Is Not Possible to Tilt the Flexible Solar Panels at A Specific Angle

There is another setback of flexible solar panels that you cannot overlook. The installation is such that the solar panels get glued on the top of a surface. Sometimes the solar panels get installed through the mounting holes. Well, this is a flat installation, and this means that you fixed the flexible panels. As a result, it is impossible to tilt them at an angle.

The problem with this installation is that you will not be able to achieve efficient charging. The efficient charging is possible by tilting the panels at an appropriate angle.

An Impact Can Break the Solar Panels

If the solar panels make use of tempered glass or aluminum frame, then it is a major plus. The reason is that both these materials are durable, but flexible panels fall short here. An impact can break the flexible panels in no time. For example, if there is a hail storm, then it damages the flexible panels. Secondly, if you accidentally step on the flexible panels during installation, then this can also damage them.

Quality Issues

Here it is essential to discuss yet another problem. There are many manufacturers currently operating in the market that produce low-quality flexible panels. If you do not have adequate knowledge, then you can end up buying the wrong panels.

Warranty Limitations

When a customer buys a solar panel, then he is keen to go for a safe investment. The warranty introduces the element of security. Most of the solar panel manufacturers promise a warranty of about 25 years. Well, this is why as a customer you are not reluctant to buy the panels.

The tragic part is that you are in for some disappointment when you opt for the flexible panels. The reason is that you get a warranty of about 18 months to 1 year only for the flexible panels.

Now, most customers are hesitant to go for a limited-time warranty. The reason is that it becomes difficult to get the repair done after this time frame. Somehow as a customer, you lose trust in the solar panel manufacturer also.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that limited-time warranty panels have poor quality. Well, this means that they will not last for long.

Final Verdict

Now, that you are aware of the problems with flexible solar panels, it is time to look for a solution. If you are desperate to go for flexible panels only, then we suggest an approach to follow. Before buying flexible panels, make sure that you have a look at the manufacturer website. Go for the top manufacturers. After the looking at the site, prepare your set of questions.

Only buy flexible panels from a manufacturer that makes use of good quality material, and offers an acceptable warranty period.  As a result, you will be able to get a smart bargain.


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12 thoughts on “7 Major Problems with Flexible Solar Panels and Their Solutions”

  1. Robert, hi, Im in UK (Wales) and have just read your excellent advice on flexi solar panels. I am having great trouble finding a manufacturer here who can sell me the sort of very long, thin panels you are pictured with at the top of your piece. From the pictures it looks like yours are at least six foot loing and only one foot wide. Can you point me in the right direction please? Also, are you able to cut to length these panels? Thanks John V

  2. Hi Robert,
    This is a very useful article, thank you! I have a question if I may…
    Do you think it would be possible to fix a 100w panel to the top of my car’s roof box? I’m going on a road trip to the Nordic lands and it seems mad not to make use of the midnight sun to power my cooler and lights via a leisure battery/inverter when I am not actually driving. My original plan was to mount a solid panel on a roof rack, but that will mean having all of the rest of my camping gear etc inside the car so if I can make it work with the box it would be awesome. The box is made of pretty heavy duty reinforced plastic (ABS?)…would it melt with a flexible panel glued to it? Would it stand up to road travel (including very fast on the autobahn)?. I suppose that the biggest worry would be damage from branches as you said above, so perhaps it is a bad idea? Any brainwaves would be gratefully received!

  3. Thanks! I’ve been giving it some thought and I think I will try mounting a solid panel on the box. I found a diagram online (after a lot of searching) and if properly mounted it should do the job well. I tend to go to some fairly remote places, on roads that barely justify the term, so a flexible may be asking for trouble. Mounting a solid frame will cut the overheating issue too so it seems the more sensible option.
    I learned a lot from your article so thanks again!

  4. Thanks for this article. My flexible panels are overheating in the midday sun here in Mallorca. I think they are producing too much voltage and causing my mppt controller to switch to night mode. I wasn’t sure why it was happening but am now fairly sure this is the case thanks to your article. Thanks again


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