Flexible Solar Panels Vs Rigid – Overall Comparison
There is no doubt that solar panels are a growing trend nowadays. This is because of the amazing benefits that it can give to both residential and commercial households. However, there is a huge debate on what’s the best type of solar panel to use. It will always go down to flexible solar panels vs rigid solar panels. Those are the two types that you can choose if you want to have a solar panel system. In this article, we will try our best to make a comparison of them.
Flexible Solar Panels
We can say that they are getting more popular these days. This is because they are more modern and looks super cool. Not only that, but it is also more prevalent as well compared to their rigid counterparts. They can be seen almost everywhere if you will try to shop on solar panel stores. In this part of the article, we will try to determine its advantages.
What are its advantages?
- Flexible solar panels can be easily placed on uneven surfaces. This is because their body is bendable which allows you to place it even in areas with awkward shapes. For example, your roof has areas that are not flat, you’ll not have any difficulties placing it there when necessary.
- They do not consume too much space because it is significantly thinner. As a result, you’ll be able to save space especially if you do not have that much space in your household. Mostly they have the maximum bent capacity of 30 percent which is truly extraordinary.
- They are also easier to install because they are lighter and have simpler mechanisms saving the installer a lot of time and effort when installing.
- It is more responsive to cleaning as it has no hard to reach areas thus you can clean it efficiently and quickly without any hassles.
What are its disadvantages?
Despite its great advantages, you’ll find some negative points on flexible solar panels vs rigid solar panels. We will try to tackle them in detail so that you’ll be able to figure out what to buy soon.
- They are less efficient compared to rigid solar panels. This is because they have thinner panels that can acquire lesser sunlight when necessary. As a result, energy acquisition is compromised.
- They are more expensive compared to their rigid solar panel counterparts. But this is acceptable because the materials that are used in creating them are highly delicate.
- It is more prone to getting damaged because of the thinner components that it has that is why you must handle it with thorough care when using it. Also, always perform proper maintenance on it for it to last longer.
Rigid Solar Panels
When it comes to solar panels, the rigid ones are more popular. This is where the solar panels started and the prototype used in making the more modern flexible solar panels. Despite its being a pioneer in the industry, they are still incomparable in terms of reliability. In this part of the article, we will try to enumerate its advantages and disadvantages.
What are its advantages?
- Rigid solar panels are more durable. Since they have harder casing compared to the flexible ones, they tend to have better durability. They do not deteriorate easily because its body is thick which will help protect the inner components of the panel effectively.
- They have better stability. Since they have more weight and thicker bodies, you can expect that it is more stable most especially on harsh weather conditions. This is why you’ll have peace of mind that it will not get destroyed easily.
- They are more efficient in terms of functionality. Since they have larger and thicker panels, you can expect that they can accumulate more solar energy without having a hard time. As a result, whenever you need off-grid power, it will never let you down as you will have a sufficient supply of electricity.
- These rigid solar panel systems are considerably cheaper compared to the flexible solar panels. This will still depend on the brand and the size of the solar panel that you’ll be buying.
What are its disadvantages?
- Since they have a solidly hard body, you can only place it on even areas or else it will fall or will not perform its functions.
- They are usually space-consuming this is because of its bigger body. This is why you should always consider the area where you will put it. You must consider the space because if it is not enough it might compromise the safety of your solar panels.
Which is better a flexible solar panel or rigid?
Well, the debate regarding this question will continue to run for many years to come. But the answer to this question will still depend on the buyers’ preference. You just have to take note of its advantages against its negative points. In the end, you will know the better choice to make, so you must make use of those points before you buy them.
Now you know the advantages and disadvantages of flexible solar panels vs rigid solar panels. It might be daunting at first to decide what to get but you now know the characteristics of both, you’ll be able to determine the best for you. It will allow you to have more efficient usage of your solar panel systems no matter where you will about to use it.
How Many Watt Solar Panel To Charge Deep Cycle Battery?
The use of solar panels in households is getting popular. This is because of the benefits that you can get from it. But not all its users have the complete knowledge to surely optimize their usage. People just love it mostly because of the freedom that it gives when it comes to having your source of electricity. It is so useful especially in situations wherein there is a power outage in your area. But the question is how many watt solar panel to charge deep cycle battery? Once you already know it you’ll be sure that you get the efficiency that you are looking for.
Why batteries are highly-important in solar panels efficiency?
By not relying completely on grids you’ll surely reach the goal that you want in having an energy-efficient home. In this article, we will prove it to you that a solar panel can work wonders especially if you know the complete details in charging a deep cycle battery.
This is because batteries are where the energy acquired is stored and it is only fair if you’ll use the one with fully-functional components. As a result, you’ll surely get the sufficient energy you need in case there is a power outage in your place.
The thing is for you to know if the battery will be efficient is by knowing more info about its batteries. This is why we have decided to write this article to you regarding deep cycle batteries.
Some professionals use second-hand forklift batteries because they are more cost-friendly and has huge energy storage. This is why knowing the watt requirement of a deep cycle battery charging is truly important. It will help you gain a very useful and efficient solar panel system in no time.
Learning the Calculation Process
Calculating the solar power requirements is easier than you think; you must just be keen on details. This will help you get results that are précised to your energy needs. So you’ll surely run your entire household with off-grid power without problems.
There is a formula that is used to calculate it. The battery’s storage capacity is the primary way that is needed to obtain a highly-efficient solar panel system.
The battery storage will be determined by the use of Ampere hours which will be turned into Watt-hours. Then it will be multiplied to the voltage. That is the main explanation for the formula beneath:
Power (Wh) = AH x Battery voltage
For example, you possessed a 20 Ah capacity 12v battery. You can transform its capacity using that formula into Wh. So if you will get the answer it would be 240 Wh for the given example above.
However, the energy stored goes down over time that is why you need to use it. You must also be mindful that every appliance has a voltage requirement and to run them they must reach the adequate voltage required.
How to know the voltage requirement of appliances?
It is essential to know the individual pieces of appliances that you have on your home. By doing so, you’ll be able to have an estimate of how much battery power you’ll need. Aside from the mere power numerically, we will also have an idea of how long will they last if an off-grid situation happens such as power outages.
The formula is pretty simple and can be computed easily. You will just need to follow the given formula below.
Wh = Watts x Hours of Use
The watt-hours signify the appliance that you will be using. The computation can be done in just a few seconds but you must compute the appliance individually which is the one that consumes more time.
Also, the rating of the solar panel can be calculated. This will help you know if it can supply sufficient power to your appliance. The formula explains that you have to multiply the generated power of the panel by the amount of time it was exposed to solar energy.
Energy generated = power rating of a solar panel (watts) x time exposure (hours)
One concrete example is if you have a 10w power rating and it has a 6-hour exposure to the sun’s rays. You can multiply it to each other which will give a product of 60 Wh.
The Wattage Needed for Battery Charging
Now the big question is the wattage requirement for battery charging. With the factors that we have discussed a while ago, we can be able to determine that. The computation is very doable as it can be understood by normal people like us.
The prior step that you must undertake is by knowing the Ah or amp per hour of the panels and dividing it to the energy rating by the battery’s voltage. You should put up 10 percent charging time on the result. To make things simpler, the formula is given below.
Average charging time = max capacity of the battery (Ah) / Solar panel’s amp rating + 10% Charging time
It is quite complicated at first to compute for how many watt solar panel to charge deep cycle battery but if you will just use the formulas we gave a while ago it is possible. You’ll just have to find out the numeric factors correctly to get accurate results. Lastly, what can you get, by knowing the computation? You can buy reconditioned batteries for a low cost without compromising results thus giving you the grid freedom that you always wanted.
How to Use Solar Panels During Power Outage?
Aside from cost-saving capabilities, solar panels do have a lot of advantages. Most especially when there is a power interruption, they can be your lifesaver. In this article, we will discuss the topic of how to use solar panels during a power outage.
Why solar panels can be beneficial in power outages?
There is a significant advantage of using solar panels as your primary or even your secondary source of electricity. This is because they can continuously supply you with electricity despite outages. So on those types of situations having a solar panel is an advantage.
How will you use them?
You’ll need to know the basics for you to use the solar panels correctly on a power outage. This will ensure that no power will be wasted on the process which is mandatory in times that the conventional power isn’t present at the moment.
Usually, power outages happen when there is an onset of a natural calamity such as the following:
- Extreme snow
So most probably you must expect that power outages might occur anytime. There will be two scenarios either you’ll just endure the blackout or get yourself powered by your solar panels.
Things can get tricky because people have a misconception regarding solar panels. They thought that once you already have the panels installed, you’ll be automatically invincible from power outages. The answer is definitely NO. This is because you’ll need to have sufficiently stored solar energy for it to be efficient especially on lengthened periods of blackouts.
You Have Options
Well, it only comes to your options. Some households don’t contain a battery storage system because they are directly linked to the power grid. This is not the system that you want to have if you are aiming to have a good back up electricity for power outages. This is because the energy travels back to the power grid which only means that you’ll not be able to use it separately. As a result, when power outages strike then you’ll run out of power soon.
Net Metering: Why it is not advisable?
What we have talked about a while ago is net metering and it is simply not advisable if you want to be secured from power outages. Although it is proven to save satisfactory amounts of energy, it remains very impractical.
What you must do instead?
The next thing that you must do is to ensure that your solar system panel has a battery. This will help store extra energy that can be used well for power outages. But be mindful of the maximum capacity of the battery because everything is still reliant on it on how long it can supply you with electricity when a blackout happens.
Another option is for you to have an inverter system. It will allow you to utilize some solar power while the grid is still down. Although, this is only applicable for short term outages as it cannot handle a tremendous amount of power requirement.
If you are in an area wherein power outages usually do not last long then inverters are the way to go. You’ll be able to charge a significant amount of devices and use some of your appliances as well at a minimum.
What’s more efficient?
Well, it depends on the factors that you have in mind. If the budget is a factor for you then integrating a battery on your solar panel system will never be possible for you because it is extremely pricey. It is extremely comfortable to use and perfect for commercial spaces.
On the other hand, if you will just use it in your home then it is practical to use the inverter type. It is not only cost-efficient but will perform all the necessary things that will keep you ready whenever a power outage happens.
So it only denotes that off-grid solar panel systems which are composed of battery and inverter type systems can store solar energy. While on the other hand, the grid-reliant solar panel systems use the electricity directly on the spot upon receiving them without storing it for off-grid use. It only means that everything that runs on the system is already for disposal and any extra will be sent back to the grid.
Piece of Advice
After choosing the right type of off-grid systems to integrate on your solar panel, you’ll need to choose the brand correctly. You must read reviews only and do some research before you buy a particular brand. This will help you determine if that off-grid system will give you all that it promised. If so, you’ll get the best value for your money.
Good-quality brands usually last for a long time compared to the substandard counterparts. So you must choose the best one to ensure that it will meet or even exceed your expectations.
After discussing how to use solar panels during a power outage we have proven that you have two choices. You can either use an inverter or battery type. It just all depends on your capacity and needs. But the most important thing is, neither of the two will both help you to prevent the inconvenience of power outages.
Keep in mind that power outages happen from time to time that is why you must be ready. One way of being ready is by deciding what off-grid system that you’ll buy. It is one step away from powering your homes up even on untoward circumstances.