View Single Post
Old 05-16-16, 08:58 PM   #6
ctgottapee
Helper EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Central IL
Posts: 94
Thanks: 33
Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Default

The 'very' flexible solar strips are very expensive and only worthwhile if you can't get the juice from other sources and just can't work with a rigid panel.

The 'semi-rigid' panels seem to boil down two kinds, the no longer produced UniSolar and the semi flexible mono crystalline glued to bendable plastic.

I have two strips of the Uni Solar panels I have run for years to play with and test out. They work and output as advertised. You can find them being sold on ebay and such via liquidators.
They are not all that practical for typical installations - you won't get rebates or incentives, and if you go for a full install, you'll blow the budget.
A good example of semi-rigid would be a rubber semi truck mud flap, or a thicker rubber floor mat. It bends but it's thick and sturdy.

I'm using them as a phantom/base load set off, with a micro-inverter. I don't have grid tie access in my area, but on the down low, I can generate no more than what my home uses with all the non-essentials off, to offset use and generate it more environmentally friendly. If I'd generate more, I'd run the meter backward and trigger a visit. The micro-inverter handles are the details so nobody is the wiser and few recognize that they are solar panels, they look like long mats.

Before setting it up, I determined that I could get down to approx 250watts and hour while away from home, so I sized accordingly.
My payoff is break even if the panels hold up and I keep using them. Without incentives, rebates, and tax credits, solar is still tough to make money, even if you do your own work, especially in lower cost areas such as mine with lots of cheap nuclear and dirty coal, and generation during winter hours is almost nil.
Not sure what you want to know
ctgottapee is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ctgottapee For This Useful Post:
jeff5may (05-25-16)