Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible vs. Rigid Solar Panels?
A typical monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panel is constructed of silicon wafers that are generally a bit thicker than a strand of human hair. Although it’s relatively thin, the layer is rigid and easily broken, requiring most solar cells to be protected with metals and glass casings.
Flexible solar panels belong to a family of solar products called “thin film panels.” Flexible panels are constructed with silicon layers over 300 times smaller than those of standard solar panels, allowing them to be flexed and still retain their functionality.
The greatest obstacle for flexible solar panels is that they’re much less efficient than rigid panels. Today’s average rigid solar panels are about 16-20% efficient. Thin-film flexible solar panels, however, are only 7-15% efficient, meaning you’ll need more of them to produce the same amount of electricity a rigid panel would produce. They are also harder to install to traditional house roofs, however in some circumstances such as boats and motorhomes they are a good option