Today, there are new developments in solar panel technology that have been released and improved upon. One of the latest inventions is flexible solar panels, which have a tangible difference from typical photovoltaic cells. Flexible solar panels are made of a polysilicon film that is patterned and produced on rolls. The roll provides a large surface area, making it ideal for vehicles or other objects that need to be used flexibly and often.
The retail price has dropped in recent years, and so the installation costs have decreased as well–making for a more competitive alternative to rigid silicon cells. Additionally, flexible panels have found their way into smart clothing designs-creating possibilities we might not have previously thought of!
Comparison Table of Flexible Solar Panels in 2022
|Top Top||Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 175 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid Charger for Marine RV Cabin Van Car Uneven Surfaces||Renogy||Flexible Solar Panel 175 Watt 12 Volt||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||Topsolar Flexible Solar Panel 100W 24V/12V Monocrystalline Bendable - 100 Watt 12Volt Semi-Flexible Mono Solar Panels Charger Off-Grid for RV Boat Cabin Van Car Uneven Surfaces||Topsolar||N/A||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||CZX 10W Portable Solar Battery Trickle Charger 12 Volt Waterproof Solar Panels kit Flexible Monocrystalline Emergency Charging Power for Batteries Car Homes RV Boat Cell Phone Camping Travel||CZX||N/A||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||XINPUGUANG 100W Flexible Solar Panel 12V System kit 10A Charge Controller Cables with Alligator Clip PV Connector Cables for Yacht, Boat, RV, Cabin, 12v Battery Charge||XINPUGUANG||N/A||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||DOKIO 300W 18V Portable Solar Panel Kit (41x21inch) Folding Solar Charger with 2 USB Outputs for Phones Work for 12v Batteries/Power Station AGM LiFePo4 BLUETTI EB240 RV Camping Trailer Car Marine||DOKIO||N/A||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||20W 12V Solar Panel Kit Battery Maintainer Trickle Charger Pro + Advanced 10A MPPT Charge Controller + SAE Battery Clip Cable for 12 Volt Boat Car RV Trailer Motorcycle Automotive Home Off Grid System||Allto Solar||AS-SP-20W-M||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||Newpowa 100W 100 Watts Semi-Flex Solar Panel 12 Volt Flexible Extremely ETFE Monocrystalline Ultra Lightweight Module RV Marine||Newpowa||NPA100S-12||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||SunPower 50 Watt Flexible Monocrystalline High Efficiency Solar Panel||SunPower||N/A||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||XINPUGUANG 50W 12V Solar Panel Flexible Battery Charger Monocrystalline with PV Connector for RV Boat Cabin Tent Car (50w)||XINPUGUANG||N/A||View on Amazon|
|Top Top||Topsolar Flexible Solar Panel 50W 24V/12V Monocrystalline Bendable - 50 Watt 12Volt Semi-Flexible Mono Solar Panels Charger Off-Grid for RV Boat Cabin Van Car Uneven Surfaces||Topsolar||N/A||View on Amazon|
Types of Flexible Panels:
The solar cells on most flexible panels are either thin-film or crystalline silicon. Thin-film is more efficient but less durable and cheaper. At the same time, crystalline silicon cells can be made virtually any size to produce incredible amounts of power without taking up a lot of space.
1. Crystalline solar panel:
Crystalline solar panels are a better choice for curved surfaces, such as RV roofs. The two types of crystalline silicon technology — polycrystalline solar and monocrystalline solar panels were initially too thick to be flexible, but arranging them in thinner layers made enough flexibility while retaining excellent solar properties. This allowed the material to become an ideal option for mildly curved surfaces like those on RVs!
2. Thin-film solar panel:
Thin-film solar panels are much thinner and more flexible than other types of photovoltaic cells. They can be easily stored since some come in a rolled-up form to fit into the palm of your hand for easy transportation. Thin film is also less powerful but has many advantages over thicker crystalline versions that still produce high wattage output with greater thicknesses.
When Are Flexible Solar Panels Useful?
In many situations, solar power is limited because the sun doesn’t always shine. But when you’re on a camping or hiking trip and need to charge your phone for emergencies, foldable panels are an excellent option since they can be deployed in inconvenient spaces like the inside of your backpack.
When you’re out on the trail, camping, or driving long distances, a durable and lightweight solar panel setup can generate enough free electricity from the sun to charge your smartphone.
10 best flexible solar panels
1. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Extremely Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Renogy 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel is a lightweight, flexible solution for all your solar needs. The only exception it will not work on an incline of more than 30°. But with the ability to withstand intense wind speeds and snow loads, this panel stands up well! It is 95% thinner than conventional panels, which makes transporting and installing a breeze. And thanks to advanced polymer materials, it weighs 70% less!
Rockin’ the igloo this winter? Get out there and start saving up those precious electrons today! The Renogy 100W Lightweight Panel is perfect for mounting on your dome and soaking up rays while you wait out some sun-less days! From its ultra-thin frame to its featherweight guaranteed solar performance, get ready to ride off into that sunset with 394 watts of peak power.
- Up to 248 Degree Arc
- Weighs 70% less than regular solar panels
- 95% thinner to rigid counterpart
- Ideal for a stealthy solar setup
- For off-grid applications
- Installation a breeze
2. Topsolar Flexible Solar Panel 100W 12V Monocrystalline Bendable
High efficiency and an easy job make Topsolar Flexible Solar Panel 100W 12V Monocrystalline panel one of the best solar panels for your needs. This solar panel also comes with a sleek design, which makes it easy to install and fit anywhere you want or need it. It is perfect for any outdoor or indoor use, making this product versatile enough for just about any situation. Topsolar flexible panel reaches a radius up to 40cm (15.75 inches), giving you plenty of possibilities and freedom when choosing the space that you would like to maximize energy production with this amazing, groundbreaking product. Topsolar has been put through rigorous testing by independent labs to ensure its top-quality; you’re highly recommended.
- It can reach is 40cm (15.75 in)
- It is only 0.1 inches tall
- Easy to transport
- Unique back contact technology
- Higher light transmittance
3. CZX 100W Flexible Solar Panels Portable RV Solar Panel Battery Charger Kit
CZX 100W Flexible Solar Panels Portable RV Solar Panel is an amazing, easy to carry, and install a device for outdoor power solutions. We are happy to offer Inverter technology included with this package that works well indoors or outdoors! Make use of CZX when you embark on your next outdoor adventure! With a total output of 100 watts, the product is sure to meet many of your needs.
The Flexible Solar Panels are an outdoor power solution for explorers. With a voltage range of 12 to 24, these portable panels can be mounted on irregular surfaces where traditional solar panels cannot be used in locations with more frequent sun exposure changes, like boats and RVs. The CZX 100W Flexible Solar panel easily mounts onto your vehicle roof with quick lash points, and it only weighs 1kg with its lightweight aluminum construction.
These units come prepackaged with an 18mm wide pitch black silicon surface mount junction box, protofit connectors, MC4 adapters for wire connections from the module to the Controllers (optional), as well as included mounting hardware. You will also receive installation guide instructions along with this robust kit which includes everything you need for installation.
- Fits for 12v battery charging
- Fits a variety of DC applications
- Equipped with USB output port
- Fits multiple devices at the same time
- Environmental protection
- Better than conventional panels in warm temperature
4. XINPUGUANG 100W Flexible Solar Panel 12V System kit
XINPUGUANG 100W Flexible Solar Panel 12V System kit is the perfect go-to for any environment. Ultra-lightweight and flexible, it comes with everything you need to get your electricity on the road. Its water-resistant and durable design has made it the number one choice in solar energy use today!
Take a walk through time as you stroll down memory lane in this all-American (made) deck of playing cards! Inspired by vintage hand-drawn artwork highlighting memories of grandma’s house, hot dogs, baseball games, and summer days at the beach-this 54+ card deck will bring back memories of good times! You can have hours of fun with family or friends while reminiscing about their precious moments.
- Curve to a maximum 30 degree arc
- Sealed and waterproof junction box
- Semi-flexible solar panel
- Ultra-light weight
- Durable than glass and aluminum models
- Suitable for remote areas
5. DOKIO 300W Portable Solar Panel Kit (41x21inch) Folding Flexible Monocrystalline
The most powerful and portable solar panel there is, our DOKIO delivers plenty of electricity for charging all your mobile (and stationary) devices from a compact battery. With just one fold, the rugged and waterproof fabric bag is able to withstand light rain without affecting performance.
Outfitted with heavy-duty Velcro straps that are easy to attach or remove quickly when you need them, this kit also features an attachments-free buckle closure system with strong magnets which will prevent accidental release or theft while on the go.
Encased in robust 600D weaving nylon material casing, DOKIO has been designed as if it were James Bond’s gadgetry kit, but don’t worry; it has less than 2 pounds, is ultra-lightweight, and lighter to use.
- 18V optimum power voltage
- Best for all 12V batteries
- Greater power efficiency
- Protection against overcharging & short-circuit
6. 20 Watt 12V Flexible Solar Battery Charger & Maintainer – 20W Ultra Lightweight
Never worry about running out of battery again. With this 20 Watt Flexible Solar Battery Charger, you get reliable charging no matter what the weather or time of day!
Stay out in the sun and keep your car charged with this product! With a smart 3-stage charging algorithm, you can rest assured that your battery will be charged and maintained efficiently. The durable solar cells are built to last under any condition, but if anything goes wrong, reverse polarity protection protects against accidents.
When it starts raining or too cold out, just leave the charger on top of your vehicle no matter what type of surface it is sitting on (metal, grass, water!) for maximum effect.
Maintaining an automotive battery has never been easier! This 20 watt 12v flexible solar-powered charge controller comes equipped with LED indicators that help visually monitor its performance from afar and provide more peace of mind than ever before.
- Built-in MPPT charge controller
- 3-stage charging algorithm for performance
- Colorful LED indicator
- Improved performance for 12v battery in all seasons
- Waterproof and spark proof
- Up to 24% more efficient
7. Newpowa 100W 100 Watt Semi-Flex Solar Panel
No matter where you live, the Newpowa 100 Watt Solar Panel packs a powerful punch to provide reliable solar power anywhere and anytime. Designed with an IP68 waterproof rating, these panels are made for all-weather problems: high winds and snow loads; as well as being lightweight, just 4.2 pounds worth of sleek design, this solar panel is easy to install on just about anything and everything! This package comes with 2ft (Male) + 3ft (Female) MC4 cables pre-attached, so setting up your new product is an absolute breeze!
- Flexible Up to 248 degree
- Advanced ETFE Surface
- IP68 Waterproof Rates
- Versatile use for RV, camper & curved service
- Higher sunlight penetration rate
- Perfect to install on marine
8. SunPower 50 Watt Flexible Monocrystalline High-Efficiency Solar Panel
There are a few reasons why SunPower is the world leader in high-efficiency solar panels. First, we use our proprietary Maxeon cells–over 20% more efficient than standard cells–that provide unbeatable performance. Second, since each panel has four micro-themes (cells), it’s a good idea to make sure those little guys can hold up to being hauled off-gassing onto metal roofs and sunbathing on asphalt.
That’s why we’ve designed them with durable coatings that resist scratches, dents, and UV radiation while also providing heavy weather resistance, so your investment stays protected even if roof edges blow in hurricane-force winds or freezing cold hail strikes it down.
- IP67 protected micro junction
- Easy to stow
- Produce more power in less space
- It works better than expected
9. XINPUGUANG 50W 12V Solar Panel Flexible System kit Battery Charger
XINPUGUANG solar panels are made up of our long-lasting and efficient monocrystalline cells. These small yet powerful panels are lightweight and thin, so they can be mounted anywhere, weighing only a quarter as much as traditional 50W counterparts. The backing has a flexible foam that is perfect for any surface you want; curved, straight, or anything in between.
This shapeshifting panel can be installed for many places like RVs, boats, Caravan and more. The high efficiency of the solar cells coupled with a four-part connection system makes this 50W 12V Solar Panel Flexible System kit Battery Charger great to combine with any type of battery. The Solar Panel comprises a monocrystalline cell with a top-ranked PTC rating of up to 19.8% conversion efficiency while being fast and inexpensive.
The thin and lightweight at 1.2 kg (4.19 lbs) makes it another perfect choice when installing small areas such as boats or cars because it only weighs a quarter of its traditional counterpart! Coming with all the cables, you’ll need.
- 8% Conversion efficiency
- Curve to a maximum 30 degree arc
- Low endurance installation
- Used as emergency power
- Great solar panels to setup in places
- Inexpensive solar panel
10. TP-solar Flexible Solar Panel 50W 12V Monocrystalline Bendable – 50 Watt 12Volt
TP-solar Flexible Solar Panel is the industry-leading in lightweight, high-efficiency solar technology. This panel perfectly balances weight and strength, making it perfect for charging your 12-volt battery when you’re off the grid! Add multiple panels together to charge larger batteries too! What’s so special about this TP-SOLAR product? Let us break it down: Weighing only 1.2 lbs, it’s light enough to mount on rooftops, RVs, boats, and more, thanks to its bendable aluminum frame. The backside also features “nonskid” mats, which self-clean quickly – a must-have every time there is any water around!
- Great for 24 48 volt batteries charging
- Monocrystalline solar cell
- Made of advanced water resistant material
- Efficiency up to 50%
- Easy to transport and mount
- Durable than traditional models
Things to Consider Buying the Best Flexible Solar Panels
Solar panels come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most important thing to consider when choosing one is the wattage it can put out because that determines what you can plug into it and how long your devices will stay powered for. For example: if you’re treating yourself to some time on board a boat or RV with an electrical system–which are usually designed with low-watt solar power systems–you’ll want something like 100 watts; but if you’re looking at going off-grid (or simply have higher electricity demands) then 200-300 watts should be enough!
Forget shoddy plastics and thin films. If you want to ensure your solar panels last as long as possible, buy a crystalline panel that is both dust-resistant and water repellant. Manufacturers like Dow Chemical make their photovoltaic cells with ETFE plastic with high light transmission rates, among other benefits over cheaper PET or PTE materials used in less expensive products. You don’t have to be on the open seas anymore either – these tough polymers are also available for use near marine environments!
You can easily install flexible solar panels yourself, and some even come with adhesive tapes or velcro. If you’re looking for a high-quality product, make sure the company provides detailed installation instructions in its manual.
Pros and cons of flexible solar panels
Flexible panels can be shaped to fit whatever space they are installed on, making them an excellent choice for various solar projects. For example, suppose your roof doesn’t have the structural integrity to support traditional solar panels, but you still want clean energy to save as much money and protect our environment.
In that case, lightweight, flexible thin-film may be just what you need! Not only do these innovative forms of photovoltaic cells offer great performance – generating up to 60% more power than silicon-based modules – but their durable construction means that it is possible for homeowners with challenging roofs or surfaces such as carports to install without compromising structure.
Flexible panels are the wave of the future when it comes to solar energy. They’re cheaper, lighter, and easier to install than their traditional counterparts, in addition to being more durable.
Financially speaking, flexible/thin-film panels will likely reduce installation costs for your array, which is always a good thing! As opposed to typical heavy-duty materials that require laborious installations on roofs with mounting systems (which can be costly), these new thin films allow you to take them anywhere without worrying about damaging anything or getting injured from lifting all those bulky pieces around as they weigh less than 10 lbs per square foot!
Thin-film solar panels have a lower efficiency than classic panels, which is why you will need more of them to produce the same amount of energy. This can be an issue for people with limited roof space and not enough room for installation.
Flexible solar panels are perfect for these smaller, mobile devices that don’t need large amounts of energy. And because they can be moved and positioned to get the most sun exposure possible, you have more options when it comes to where your project will reside!
Our Flexible Solar Panels Any Good?
Thin and flexible solar panels are not the best option for many homes. They have a lower efficiency than standard solar panels because of their more complicated structure.
Additionally, these types of the panel may be too large to accommodate on your roof without interrupting any other parts that you need or want there such as rain gutters or skylights which makes them unsuitable for use in some common residential rooftop projects like power-to-go systems with storage capabilities where space is limited.
Do Flexible Solar Panels Last?
As flexible solar panels are much more delicate and less durable than rigid ones, they’re not expected to last as long. The most common lifespan for a panel is 15-25 years, but their low efficiency means that once power output drops off significantly, the panels won’t be usable anymore.
Can you walk on a flexible solar panel?
The answer is ‘yes!’
If a solar panel is rigid, it will need to be connected to the ground with steel anchors. But if a solar panel is flexible enough, it can bend and stay inside pipes or tubes. These devices are only useful for stationary applications, not mobility solutions such as walking or roller skating. But they do have their space in indoor agriculture and greenhouses in controlled environments.
A solar panel is a big investment in terms of both time and money, so it’s important to do your research and only choose the company that will provide you with the best deal for your needs.
On Amazon, there are high-quality customers like you. We have qualified professional products from that marketplace so that people can customize their installation based on what type of property they own – whether residential or commercial, new construction or retrofit project (to name just a few).
When deciding which flexible panels suit your budget most comfortably, consider how much space each one has available at different times throughout the year.