Flexible Solar Panel product testing
Date Posted:17 January 2014
Monocrystalline product testing - with or without an air gap?
PV Panels are typically installed with an air gap underneath, so that natural air flow dissipates heat. However, Monocrystalline semi-flexible panels are intended to be mounted to an underlying solid surface using polyurethane adhesive which results in higher module temperature.
Prior to offering the panels for sale to customers, Solar 4 RVs conducted testing with two identical flexible panels mounted next to each other directly onto a simulated caravan roof; one panel having an air gap underneath and the second with no air gap. The testing under extreme summer sun with an air temperature approaching 44°C showed the efficiency of the panel with no air gap was reduced by approximately 9% compared to the panel with an air gap. This is an extreme worst case, and normal weather conditions will not result in much or any power loss. With the sun at a lower elevation later in the day the temperature difference was reduced. Given that surplus power is typically generated in summer, the reduction in power is not significant and confirms that the semi-flexible panels are suitable for mounting directly onto RV and caravan roofs.
Read the full report here