Comparing Rigid vs Flexible Solar Panels
At Ijo Power we stock both mounted and flexible solar panels and will always advise on the right product for your requirements. We take a look at what considerations between choosing a rigid panel and a flexile panel.
With an average bend of 35%, flexible panels gives you more options on curved surfaces and with the ability to glue them into position, without mounting equipment, this makes it our preferred option for campervans and marine applications - we have even found it beneficial on flat roofs, with the 2mm thickness making it less visible and easy to install.
The cost of labour for rigid panels and the mounting kit can offset that saving and can cost £500 +, whereas a flexible panel can be easily installed with a tube of Sikaflex glue. The other benefits for using flexible panels on campervans is the reduction in weight and the resultant fuel economy savings. Customers have also reported the benefit of not having the same issues with height restrictions, as compared with a mounted, rigid panel.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found that between 2010-2019, the cost of solar PV globally dropped by 82%, making an investment in solar, an affordable option, whichever type of panel you use. However, you will find that rigid solar panels are up to 4 times cheaper to buy than flexible panels but you have to factor in the cost of a roof mounting kit for rigid panels, which could cost in the region of £300, plus the labour cost of installation.
With the development of technology in flexible panels over the years, we can now compare the efficiency of a 340W rigid panel at an average of 19-20% and compare that to Verditek's flexible panel, which compares favourably at the same rate. We have tested this for ourselves and found this to be correct.
A flexible panel can also prove more durable against low hanging branches and performs better in low level light conditions.
The warranty of rigid panels on a domestic or commercial property in a static environment is usually fifteen years but do keep in mind that rigid panels are not typically warrantied when mounted on a boat or campervan, whereas Verditek's flexible panel is warrantied for up to 5 years.
If you are looking at solar panels for an existing domestic or commercial property, we would recommend you stick with a rigid panel, mounted either on-roof or in-roof. The durability and warranty makes it the best solution. However, we recommend flexible panels for campervans, caravans, motorhomes, boats and yachts, as they are designed to be flexible and easy to install.
You can view our extensive range of solar panel options in our shop.