Guide To Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels are a promising new breed of solar devices. These panels are made of several layers of the lightest paper-thin conductive film (usually silicon) that is applied onto a flexible substrate. The advantages of flexible panels include: they come in any size and shape, they can be used to charge any low-wattage appliances, they are very affordable, as well as they are exceptionally space efficient (these thin sheets can be easily folded or rolled in tubes). Furthermore, they can be installed semi-permanently, as they are very easy to remove in order to install them elsewhere.
What can you use them for? You can use such panels to charge your mobile devices (laptops, cell phones, cameras, iPods, mp3 players), to recharge your batteries (regular batteries, RV batteries), or any other small voltage devices, including power tools, radios, small TVs, blenders, and many others. The panels usually supply up to 25 watts of power, which is enough to power 12V DC or 120V AC appliances.
While regular solar panels are often bulky, heavy, rigid, and fragile, flexible solar panels are lightweight, thin, and durable. These panels do not use any glass in their construction, and are quite easy to solder together (many of them have solder pads at their ends, making it easy to interconnect them.). Their construction eliminates the possibility of panels cracking while soldering them together, which is a common problem with regular solar panels.
Flexible solar panels can be purchased as individual panels or cells that a DIY person could interconnect, or as a part of a kit in combination with an inverter and a battery charger (you can plug into this solar battery charger just like you would plug into an electric socket on the wall).
These panels are an excellent lightweight portable power source. They are especially useful for cycling, trekking, climbing, and kayaking trips. They can be used on boats, yachts, caravans, or motor-homes, as an additional energy source. When you need to use your panel, all you have to do is unroll it and place it in the sun. Flexible panels that are currently available on the market are waterproof, weatherproof, and UV resistant. The panels generally come with a 1-5 year manufacturer's warranty.
The only drawback of these panels is that currently they can only power low-wattage devices. However, in the future we may see flexible panels that will also be able to power high-wattage appliances, such as a microwave, a refrigerator, or any other regular home appliances.
Flexible solar panels avail tremendous opportunities for the future. Even though the technology is not available yet, it looks like in the future one will be able to paint their entire home (walls, rooftops, or any other exterior surfaces) with conductive solar paint, or cover their exterior surfaces with paper-thin sheets of solar panels, turning their home into a power-generating solar factory.
Even though all solar panels are environmentally friendly (they do
not produce any pollutants in the process of generating electricity),
you can now find even more environmentally friendly cadmium free flexible
Want to know the secrets of building your own solar system?
Then I strongly recommend that you check out the guide from Earth4Energy.
It's the best step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to build and install your own solar panel system. Click here to learn more
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