Difference Between Flexible Solar Panels and Traditional Solar Panels
The traditional solar panel has been the norm for a long time now. But for people who are bothered and disturbed by the cons traditional panels carry, flexible solar panels are the answer. Let’s start with the basic difference before we head into the depth of how a flexible solar panel is different compared to a traditional solar panel. Traditional panels are rigid, flat and heavy, whereas flexible panels are quite the opposite as they stand out by being lightweight and also bendable, which is evident from the name itself.
Traditional Solar Panels
Benefits and Drawbacks
The only reason traditional solar panels are used is their high-efficiency rates. That is the reason why they transform the maximum amount of the sun’s energy into the usable power, as compared to the flexible solar panels. Frequent power-cuts are what lead people to choose these options, due to the aforementioned reason, of course.
But the downfall of these panels is that they are quite huge, which in turn makes them heavy. They are also quite flimsy and that is another major matter of concern, which is not is reduced considerably in the flexible variants. Because of these qualities of traditional solar panels, it very difficult and inconvenient to shift, fix or transport them. Fair enough for the huge bodies they are. This is what turns out to be a challenge for the people living in remote areas, where the solar-power system is off the grid.
- High-efficiency rates
- Provides power for long intervals
- They are physically huge
- Heavy and hence not portable
Weight of Traditional Solar Panels
The weight of the product does not only depend on the fact of the different nature of traditional solar panels as compared to the flexible solar panels but also depends upon the company and manufacturer of the particular unit you are referring to. Speaking in general, the most basic kind of traditional panels weighs around 16 pounds.
Flexible Solar Panels
Benefits and Drawbacks
You can refer to these solar panels as the superior amongst both types because they go way ahead of the standard traditional panels in various ways. Let start with breaking and defining the components of its name. Flexible, just like the name states, these solar panels are actually quite flexible and have the ability to bend. Most of the commercial flexible solar panels can bend up to an angle of 30 degrees. These panels are the perfect fit for all such places where traditional solar panels are considered rather inappropriate and inconvenient. These panels are a perfect fit for places including homes and buildings, RVs and boats and also various off-grid applications. If you want a temporary or a short-term power supply, at certain compact places, these are the best panels because they are extremely lightweight and hence easy to carry.
While these panels are flexible and easy to use, they are actually less efficient as compared to the traditional solar panels. The way the panels are meant to be placed actually have an impact on the efficiency too. The traditional panels are placed a few inches off the surface, while the flexible ones are laid flat against the surface they are laid upon. This is because when the panels are placed a few inches higher, the air from the panels can pass easily whereas, it is the opposite in case of the flexible solar panels. This leads to diminishing efficiency, as due to low-passage of air, heat is not dissipated properly. Also, this is the reason why these panels aren’t durable and often come with short warranty periods. For example, a normal warranty period for a flexible solar panel is around 5 years, whereas a traditional solar panel comes with a warranty of around 20 years.
- Foldable up to 30 degrees
- Suitable even for compact places
- Less efficient
- Isn’t durable
- Has a short warranty period
Weight of Flexible Solar Panels
It has already been mentioned what impacts the weight of the solar panel, previously in traditional solar panels and considering that the weight usually varies. But flexible solar panels are generally 75 percent lighter as compared to the traditional solar panels. This means that a normal and generally flexible solar panel weighs around 4 pounds.
What’s Common Between Both the Types of Solar Panels?
Though they have many distinctive features, yet there is one thing which is common among both the panels. The price, yes the price of both the kinds of solar panels is almost the same, as they are sold as per their wattage in either case. This price is actually weighed up as per the present trends and market. But, economists predict, that in future with the advancement of flexible solar panel technology, the price of the flexible solar panels may hit the bottom edge and that, the flexible panel will be cheaper and easily available with a lot of options to choose from.
Although both the solar panels perform the same work of providing power supply; they still vary from each other in a lot of other aspects. All these factors have been clearly mentioned in the above article. Hence, make sure you weigh in on all the above-mentioned factors, which includes which areas solar panels are most compatible for. Check out the area you wish to put up the panel at and also the output you expect from it. Also, if you need more insights, they even vary in terms of sturdiness. That is, the traditional solar panel has glass faces which make them fragile and they can easily break off. Whereas, the flexible solar panels are easily scratchable and less prone to breaking as compared to the traditional solar panels.
For a better idea, the best kinds of traditional solar panels are manufactured by SolarCity, SunPower, RGS Energy, and Vivint Solar. As, for the flexible solar panels, the most reliable manufacturers of the same are, Go Power, Grape Solar, Eco-Worthy, and King Solar.