Solar panels are becoming more popular as an alternative form of generating electricity. In this post, I am going to compare flexible solar panels vs rigid solar panels and provide my opinion on which is the better option depending on your project.
Table of Contents
What is a Solar Panel?
A solar panel is a device that converts sunlight into electricity. It consists of a set of photovoltaic cells, each producing small but significant currents when exposed to the sun’s rays.
The cells are arranged in a series and linked together to form arrays within a rigid frame.
What are flexible solar panels?
Flexible solar panels are a type of solar panel that is made from a thin film of silicon. The technology has been around for many years, but the materials used in the creation of the panels have changed over time.
They are typically made from layers of different materials and can be produced on a large scale with little effort.
Are flexible solar panels better?
Flexible solar panels are gaining popularity among DIY experts because of their easy installation and use.
Unlike the rigid solar panels that need to be mounted on a frame, flexible solar panels can be wrapped around a pole or placed between rows of the garden without requiring extra tools or hardware.
Different manufacturers use different kinds of materials and adhesives to produce flexible solar panels.
The more advanced technologies used, the better the efficiency is, and the more expensive the panels become.
The more efficient your solar panels are, the more electricity you can produce from the same surface area.
The best option for efficient energy production is to use flexible solar panels made from high-quality materials or high-quality cells.
The more cells used in the panel and the more efficient it is, the more money you will spend on your solar panel system.
Are flexible solar panels less efficient?
Flexible solar panels are more efficient, but they will not generate as much electricity as rigid solar panels.
In general, the efficiency of a flexible panel is about three to four percent higher than that of rigid panels.
Different manufacturers use different materials and designs when producing flexible solar panels. This leads to a wide range of efficiency levels for each panel.
For example, Sunpower sells solar panels made from a combination of plastic and metal, which gives it a relatively high-efficiency rating of 15.5 percent.
However, they are extremely expensive and hard to find, as many makers prefer to use materials cheaper than metal.
The more efficient the material is, the more expensive your solar panel will be. In most cases, a low-quality flexible solar panel costs about $4 per watt of power.
Why do flexible solar panels fail?
There are some reasons why flexible solar panels fail. One of the most common reasons is a failure in the solar panel junction box. In fact, moisture can lead to the failure of any solar panel given enough time.
Water and heat can expand these cheap materials and produce cracks. The cracks do not cause any problems for the panel until the thermostat detects them. When this happens, an alarm will sound and your system will stop working.
When to Use Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels are ideal for smaller applications or spaces that are not in direct sunlight. They can also be used indoors if you have a few extra dollars and a few extra panels.
A flexible solar panel is ideal for small-scale applications. A solar panel that is not exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time will not be able to produce enough electricity to run appliances and electronics.
Types of Flexible Solar Panels
1. Monocrystalline Flexible Solar Panel
Monocrystalline PV panels are the most commonly used. They are made from the same materials used for rigid solar panels and are not as expensive, but they tend to be more fragile and less efficient.
2. Polycrystalline Flexible Solar Panel
Polycrystalline PV panels are made from the same materials used for rigid solar panels, but they are less efficient. Still, they are more efficient and less expensive than monocrystalline PV panels.
3. Thin-film solar panels
The most efficient and cheapest type of flexible solar panels is Thin-film solar panels. These panels are made from silicon, but the process is different from what is used in the production of crystalline silicon.
Advantages of Flexible Solar Panels
There are many advantages to using flexible solar panels:
1. Easy to install
You can mount them on walls, on roofs, or anywhere else without any tools or additional hardware. The panels are lightweight and designed to be easy to install anywhere.
2. Lightweight and portable
The solar panels are lightweight and compact, so you can take them anywhere without having to worry about carrying heavy items or drilling holes in things.
3. Attractive appearance
The panels are flexible and can be wrapped around poles or walls without any problems, so they look nice and match with any other solar panels in your yard.
Disadvantages of Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels are more expensive than rigid solar panels. With this, you should be prepared to spend a little bit more money on the panel.
Flexible solar panels are usually sold in groups of 6-12 but for the same price as one rigid panel.
Solar modules will not use all of the energy produced by the sun, so it is necessary that a certain amount of energy is collected to power your devices. In the case of flexible panels, this is not entirely possible.
3. More fragile
Flexible panels are more fragile and can suffer from damage or failure if they are not installed in the correct way.
They are designed to absorb as much stress as possible, so they can be removed without problems if they are not attached properly.
What are Rigid Solar panels?
Rigid solar panels are typically made from metal and glass. They have the same basic features as flexible panels, but they are manufactured in much more sophisticated ways.
Advantages of Rigid Solar Panels
Rigid solar panels have a longer life than flexible solar panels. When they are well maintained, they can last for decades without problems.
2. More efficient
Flexible solar panels are more efficient than rigid solar panels. They start out at about 10 percent efficiency and go up to 15 percent after they are manufactured.
3. More durable
Rigid solar panels are more durable than flexible solar panels. They can last for decades without any problems and they are less likely to fail or break.
Disadvantages of Rigid Solar Panels
1. Require the grid
Rigid solar panels use electricity from the grid, so you will need to install a grid-tied inverter that fits your panel.
It will convert the electricity from your panel into AC power and back into DC power for your appliances or batteries.
2. More expensive
Rigid solar panels are more expensive than flexible solar panels. The rigid solar panels have to be hand-made, and the process is more expensive than the one used for flexible panels.
However, if you want a sturdy panel that will last for decades, you’ll need to spend a bit more money on it.
3. Not easy to install
The installation of rigid solar panels can be difficult and require more tools and materials than a flexible system does.
In order to install your rigid solar panels, you will need more. It is possible to mount them on your roof or walls, but you will also need to drill holes for wiring, and you may need to use additional tools.
4. Difficult to transport
Rigid solar panels are heavier and more difficult to transport than any other type of solar panel.
They cannot be folded and carried around like flexible panels can, so they’re harder to move and store if necessary.
The panels are rigid, so you will need to install them in a permanent way. When that happens, you can easily break them or damage them if you do not follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Flexible Solar Panels vs Rigid Solar Panels: What is the difference Between them?
When it comes to flexible solar panels vs rigid solar panels, what matters more are the panels themselves. A flexible panel is different from a rigid panel, but they have one thing in common: they both capture and convert sunlight into electricity. The difference lies in the way they are installed and their use.
Flexible solar panels come with a lot of advantages over conventional solar panels. They are more efficient, require less maintenance, and can be moved easily to any place that is sunny.
On the other hand, rigid solar panels are more durable, easier to install, and require electricity from your house’s power grid, which can cause problems if there isn’t enough solar energy available.
Flexible Solar Panels: Is it a good investment?
Many people think that if you want to invest in solar panels for your home, you need to choose flexible panels.
It seems like the brand with the best reputation and price efficiency will be the best choice, but this is not true.
FLEXI-PANEL is one of those brands that have excellent reviews and both good quality and affordable prices.
That is it, that is flexible solar panels vs rigid solar panels comparison. Solar panels are a great investment that you can use not only to fuel your house with electricity but also to generate money.
Solar panels have several advantages over other power sources, such as wind or hydroelectric, but that doesn’t mean you should always choose a solar panel for your home.
The best choice depends on your needs and the budget you have for this investment.