Adding flexible solar panels

I am looking a new trailer. I see some manufactures coming with GoPower flexible solar from the factory. Are these actually good panels? From my research they seem to be fine for a short time before they fail.

What recommendation do you guys on flexible panels. If I can get some that will last that would make it so easy to install!

I am pretty sure most of them are junk, I have never heard of anyone having long term luck. GoPower in general are kind of like Renogy. They are really just selling Chinese branded goods most of which are just ok in quality.

I will concur with the thread here, GoPower stuff is basically junk. As @UP844 noted it is imported goods that are rebranded. The flexible panels are at best only going to work for a few years. Read any number of reviews on any of the flexible panels. Among the problems:

  • Made from sub-standard cells to begin with.
  • The fuse box onto of each panel is prone to leaking and shorting
  • They plastic will warp and the cells will develop cups. Water/debris will collect and affect output.
  • Prone to scratching from branches on the roof, decreasing output
  • Lack of airflow cause the cells to heat up, decreasing output and longevity.

It’s such as great idea with a almost perfect form factor, so we keep seeing new versions of the same old junk being sold on Amazon, eBay etc. I would highly recommend you stay away from them. With that being said here are some better options if you MUST stick with flexible or thin-film panels:

  • Global Solar CIGS panels - These are not the monocrystalline solar panels that are sold everywhere cheep. CIGS are fantastic because of the properties of the cell, you get much much better performance in low light and non-direct sunlight.

  • Solbian solar panels - Italian company that makes very high quality flexible solar panels. You ARE going to pay for them but they are better quality then the cheep imports.

  • SunPower flexible panels - These are battery quality flexible monocrystalline panels. SunPower is a well known manufacture and many of the panels that can be had on eBay and Amazon are lower production quality SunPower cells.

SunPower cells assembled by a 3rd party:

Genuine SunPower panels (note the logo and the box design):
image

I feel like the best idea today is just to get a suitcase solar for most applications. It is even better then having to wire in solar to your rig. More important you can park your rig in the shade while putting the panel in the sun. I would highly recommend that you don’t get the model with the built-in charge controller.

Here is what I suggest for a monocrystalline glass panel:

Then get yourself a Morningstar Sunsaver MPPT controller. It will make a difference to get the MPPT vs the PWM controller. If you get two panels, wire them in series and increase the voltage. This will help make the charger more efficient.

I have been down this route before. At the @TheSpareTir3 said cheep monocrystalline panels are going to be crap. Everyone needs to stop buying them so they manufactures will start building a decent product. They are the definition of cheep Chinese garbage.

Later I went with another high end brand SoloPower with the SP1 line. These are CIGS panels, they are not as susceptible to shanding and they perform fantastic in low light (cloudy days) and when not aimed. I absolutely love these CIGS panels but I also went the suitcase route.