Best Flexible Solar Panels in 2023 & 2024
We have the perfect list of the best flexible solar panels that will adapt to all of your adventures. It doesn’t matter if you’re an off-grid enthusiast, a boating buff, a road trip warrior, or simply want to try out solar panels without spending too much. You will want to stick around and find the best option for you.
We did our homework so you don’t have to, and we can confidently say that these are the best flexible solar panels in 2023 and 2024! Read on about each solar panel and discover why they made our list.
Best Flexible Solar Panels
With its remarkable features, SUNTHYSIS has made it to the top of our list. Imagine having the power of the sun in the palm of your hand, or more accurately, on the roof of your RV.
Well, you don’t have to imagine it for too long because the company has found a perfect way to avoid being limited by rigid, flat solar panels.
The flexibility of SUNTHYSIS is unmatched – a whopping 240 degrees of it! That means you can install it anywhere you want, including on uneven surfaces. Plus it’s slim and lightweight. Weighing in at only 9.9 pounds and measuring a mere 26.57 inches wide, it’s 70% lighter and 95% thinner than traditional solar panels.
That means there’s no drilling! You can even install it at the top of your tent simply with silicone, glue, or double-sticky tape. It’s built to last so don’t worry about damaging it. You won’t have to lose sleep over the next heavy wind or rainstorm (plus it’s waterproof and dustproof).
SUNTHYSIS has a 23% conversion rate thanks to its honeycomb-covering film design that captures sunlight from various angles. It also has a 95% light transmission rate, making it incredibly efficient in partial shade or low-light conditions.
What we like
- Bends up to 240 degrees
- Slim and lightweight
- 23% conversion rate
What we don’t like
- Flimsy wire connections
SUNTHYSIS is a game-changer in the world of the best flexible solar panels, and it’s no wonder it found its place at the top of our list. Flexibility, lightweight design, and affordable price make it our number-one choice for flexible panels.
It may not be as strong as SUNTHYSIS, but we promise it’s worth your time.
Renogy Flexible Solar Panel offers 100 watts of power, which should be enough for various off-grid applications, including marine, rooftop, RV, and boat installations. The installation of this flexible solar panel is as easy as it gets. It comes with pre-drilled mounting holes, which gives you a bit more flexibility in how you mount it.
Now let’s talk about its slim profile. Renogy Flexible Solar Panels are incredibly thin, measuring just a tenth of an inch when laid flat, making it 95% thinner than rigid panels. Because of its build, it’s perfect for curved surfaces as well. Despite its build, it will withstand even extreme winds because of the durable materials used in production.
It’s a bit pricey because you’re paying for a brand that’s known to produce one of the best flexible solar panels in the industry. You’ll get your warranty for additional peace of mind with Renogy.
What we like
- Good power output
- Small and compact
- Popular brand
What we don’t like
- A bit on the expensive side
Although a little expensive, the compact size of Renogy Flexible Solar Panel is a great choice for those with space constraints. It will mount perfectly on your vehicle.
Here is another 100W flexible solar panel on our list with amazing performance. You simply can’t go wrong with DOKIO.
DOKIO is semi-flexible, so it’s not as versatile as the previous two. It can be bent up to a maximum of 30 degrees. That should be enough for your boat, trailer, cabin, or even a tent. This solar panel is also super light at a mere 2.3 pounds and boasts a slim profile of 0.03 inches.
Despite not having a robust build, the DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel goes the extra mile with its choice of ETFE material, known for its superior light transmission and durability. This ensures that you’re harnessing every available ray of sunlight efficiently. It should also be able to withstand high wind pressure, heavy snow loads, and extreme temperatures.
As with all reputable brands, DOKIO offers a money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty for your peace of mind. You won’t need it though because it’s a great product!
What we like
- Lightweight and thin
- Small and compact
- Quick installation
What we don’t like
- May not be enough in places with less sun
DOKIO Semi-Flexible Solar Panel is a great choice for those seeking a cheaper but good-quality solar panel kit that will power up their outdoor adventures.
Renogy made it to our list again! It’s one of the best flexible solar panels brands for a good reason.
Let’s start with the star of the show – monocrystalline technology. Monocrystalline panels are revered for their ability to convert more sunlight into electricity, which means you get more power from less space. Renogy is the king of this game.
This solar panel is not as flexible, though, and it can bend up to a 30-degree arc. That should still be enough for an airstream, a marine vessel, an RV, or other uneven surfaces. Its ultra-thin lamination makes it extra slim and lightweight, but it can still withstand extreme winds and snowloads.
As we said earlier, it may be slightly more expensive because you’re paying for a well-known brand, so you shouldn’t expect any issues with this flexible solar panel!
What we like
- Great power output with 175 watts of power
- Small and compact but durable
- Renogy is a popular solar panel brand
What we don’t like
Renogy 175 Watt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Solar Panel is one of the best choices you can make if you’re looking for a strong solar panel with monocrystalline efficiency and a lightweight design.
The XINPUGUANG 50W 12V Solar Panel is a great choice for those looking for a budget-friendly solar panel option.
It is designed to be a battery charger for various applications such as RVs, boats, cabins, tents, cars, trucks, and trailers. The 50 watts of power will be enough for your basic needs. The panel can be curved up to a maximum of 30 degrees, so it’s practical as well.
With a weight of about 2.5 pounds and a thickness of 3mm, this flexible solar panel is significantly lighter and thinner than traditional panels. This, combined with its flexibility, makes the XINPUGUANG solar panel a breeze to install on any uneven surface.
The XINPUGUANG 50W 12V Solar Panel is a great starter choice for those who are only getting into solar panels.
While the XINPUGUANG 50W Solar Panel has received some mixed reviews, with a few customers experiencing lower output than expected, many users have found the panels to be reliable and efficient for charging batteries. If our other four best flexible solar panel picks are not for you, XINPUGUANG will definitely do the trick.
What we like
- Thin and lightweight
- Sealed and waterproof junction box
What we don’t like
- Mixed reviews
The XINPUGUANG 50W Solar Panel Flexible Battery Charger offers flexibility, a lightweight design, and decent performance for various outdoor applications.
What are Flexible Solar Panels?
If you’re new to solar energy, chances are you have heard about flexible solar panels but you’re not quite sure what those are. Let’s try to keep it simple.
Flexible solar panels are a bit different from the usual flat ones you might see on rooftops. They’re like solar stickers that you can put on curved surfaces, like the roof of a camper or a boat. Instead of being hard and rigid, they’re made from thin and flexible materials.
Think of them like a bendy piece of plastic. These special solar stickers are great for when you need to use solar power on things that aren’t flat, like vehicles. Unlike regular solar panels, which are made of hard and solid materials, flexible panels can bend and adapt to different shapes.
But what are the best flexible solar panels made of to be that versatile?
They are usually made from a few different materials, such as amorphous silicon or a material called CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide). These materials were chosen because they can be flexible and are good at capturing sunlight and turning it into electricity.
Obviously, because of their build, flexible solar panels may have a lower efficiency compared to their rigid counterparts. But they do have their own set of advantages like lower prices, lightweight, and easy to install. Flexible solar panels come in various sizes and power ratings, so you get to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Types of Flexible Solar Panels
Flexible solar panels come in three distinct types:
- Monocrystalline Panels – Monocrystalline panels are crafted from single, pure silicon cells, enabling superior sunlight absorption and conversion into electricity. These panels stand out for their remarkable efficiency and power generation capabilities, surpassing other solar panel types. While they deliver exceptional energy production, they come at a higher cost.
- Polycrystalline Panels – Polycrystalline panels also use silicon wafers in their design but are composed of fragmented silicon cells, which introduce some imperfections and reduce overall panel efficiency. While they are more affordable, they provide slightly lower power production compared to monocrystalline panels. To meet your energy requirements, you may need more of these panels in your installation.
- Thin-Film Solar Panels: They represent the most cost-effective option among flexible solar panels, although they offer the lowest power production and efficiency. Plus, they have a shorter lifespan. Thin-film panels use thin layers of photovoltaic material in place of silicon wafers.
Are Flexible Solar Panels As Good As Solid?
Okay, now you know what flexible solar panels are, but how do they compare to traditional panels in terms of efficiency?
Truth be told, flexible solar panels have their own advantages and disadvantages, so let’s get over them quickly:
Advantages of Flexible Solar Panels
- Versatility: Flexible panels are more adaptable to curved and irregular surfaces, so they’re better suited for RVs, boats, other vehicles, and tents.
- Lightweight: Flexible solar panels are always much lighter than regular solar panels because of their build.
- Durability: They can endure some bending and flexing without breaking, which can be an advantage in certain situations, like on a moving vehicle.
- Price: Flexible solar panels are typically priced lower compared to solid panels.
- Easy to install: Flexible solar panels are simple to install, while solid panels require professional installation, adding to their overall cost.
Disadvantages of Flexible Solar Panels
- Lower efficiency: Flexible solar panels cannot generate the same amounts of energy as solid panels. This means they convert less sunlight into electricity for the same surface area, so think about what you’re going to use them for.
- Shorter lifespan: Solid solar panels tend to last a few years longer compared to flexible solar panels because of their sturdy build.
Are Flexible Solar Panels Worth It?
Yes, flexible solar panels are absolutely worth it! They’re the next big thing in renewable energy and they’re here to stay.
We already discussed all the amazing advantages of flexible solar panels. But who would benefit the most from them? Flexible panels are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, campers, and adventurers who need a reliable energy solution on the move. They’re a perfect “off the grid” companion.
If you own a boat, flexible solar panels are your must-buy. They will give you a reliable power source to run essential equipment such as lights, GPS systems, radios, and refrigeration. That way, you can extend your time on the water and won’t need to cut your trip short anymore.
Also, if you’re working on a DIY project and need a cheap source of renewable energy, go for flexible solar panels. We tried them; they work. They shine on projects like creating portable solar chargers for your devices or crafting solar-powered garden lights.
So yes, flexible solar panels are very much worth it and they have various real-life applications.
What To Look For in Flexible Solar Panels
Efficiency ratings for flexible solar panels typically range from 10% to 20%. Monocrystalline panels tend to be on the higher end of this range, while thin-film panels may fall toward the lower end. Consider what you’re going to use the panels for, and think about how the panels will benefit you in the long run.
Durability (IP Rating)
Look for Ingress Protection (IP) ratings, which indicate a panel’s resistance to dust and moisture. For outdoor use or marine applications, consider panels with an IP65 or higher rating. The more durable, the better.
Size and Wattage
Make sure the dimensions of the flexible solar panels fit your space. Typical dimensions for a 100W panel might be around 47 x 21 inches. Measure your space before buying. The weight of flexible solar panels can vary significantly, so make sure to get something you can handle for installation.
Flexible solar panels can range in price from $1 to $5 per watt. High-efficiency monocrystalline panels are usually at the upper end of this range, while lower-efficiency thin-film panels are at the lower end. Consider your budget and compare prices within the same efficiency class.
Manufacturers may offer warranties ranging from 1 to more years. Longer warranties are typically a sign of the manufacturer’s confidence in the panel’s durability.
Make sure you’re comfortable with installing the panels yourself. Otherwise, the cost of professional installation will add up. Panels with pre-drilled mounting holes or adhesive backing can simplify installation.
Make sure the solar panel you’re looking for is portable and can be taken on your adventures. Portable solar panels are usually compact and lightweight for easier transport. Some models even come with carrying bags.
Does the solar panel you’re interested in come with a built-in charge controller? If not, maybe you should reconsider it. Charge controllers help regulate the voltage and current to prevent overcharging and extend the life of your battery.
Make sure to read reviews on Amazon or any other website where you’re planning to purchase your solar panel. Amazon usually has the most genuine reviews, and you can get feedback from other customers who have purchased and used the same panels.
Reliable brands tend to consistently produce high-quality products. Only stick to reputable brands if you want to find the best flexible solar panels on the market. Check the manufacturer’s reputation for customer support in case you run into any trouble.
Best Flexible Solar Panel Brands
SUNTHYSIS is widely regarded as one of the best and most popular flexible solar panel brands on the market, known for its high-performance panels suitable for various applications, from marine to camping.
Renogy is a leader in the flexible solar panel industry, offering a range of top-tier panels with impressive efficiency and durability, making it a brand you can’t afford to miss when considering solar solutions.
DOKIO, a Chinese manufacturer, offers budget-friendly flexible solar panels. While their panels may be more cost-effective, they are well-suited for simpler operations and applications, making them a practical choice for those on a budget.
XINPUGUANG also provides budget-friendly flexible solar panels, making them an attractive choice for straightforward applications.
What is the highest wattage of a flexible solar panel?
Flexible solar panels with the highest wattage currently on the market can reach up to 200W or more. These powerful wattages are designed for applications where space is limited and higher power output is required. Depending on your personal needs, you might not need that much and 100W will be enough.
What will a 200-watt solar panel run?
A 200-watt flexible solar panel is good enough to run small to medium-sized appliances, such as lights, fans, smartphones, laptops, and even some smaller refrigerators or freezers for short periods.
However, real efficiency will depend on factors like sunlight, battery storage, and energy consumption. It is a great wattage when it comes to flexible solar panels.
Can a 200W solar panel charge a 100Ah battery?
Yes, a 200-watt solar panel can charge a 100Ah battery. The charging time will depend on several factors, like sunlight intensity, the efficiency of the charge controller, and the state of charge of the battery. Please use a compatible charge controller for a better flexible solar panel performance.
How much power will a 100W solar panel produce?
A 100-watt solar panel can produce around 400-600 watt-hours of electricity in a day, depending on factors like sunlight duration and intensity. This panel can typically generate enough power to run small devices, charge electronics, or maintain a trickle charge on batteries.
This is also the most common wattage for the best flexible solar panels currently available on the market. Most people find that 100W is enough for their basic charging needs.
Will a 100W solar panel run a fridge?
A 100W solar panel may not be the best choice to run a fridge, at least not for prolonged periods. Most refrigerators require more power, especially when the compressor starts up. To run a fridge, it’s advisable to use a 200W solar panel or a stronger one. A 100W solar panel will be enough to run smaller appliances and electronic devices.
How good is a 50W solar panel?
A 50-watt solar panel is usually the weakest one on the market, but it’s still good enough for some basic applications. It can efficiently power small devices, charge batteries, run fans, or provide lighting in off-grid or portable setups.
Its effectiveness will further depend on intended use, available sunlight, and energy consumption needs. You will likely need to buy a few of these solar panels.
How do I maintain flexible solar panels?
Maintenance of flexible solar panels is usually minimal. You just need to keep the panels free of dust and debris. Periodically check if there are any traces of damage or wear, and make sure electrical connections are secure. Doing this can help maintain panels’ efficiency.
Are flexible solar panels suitable for all climates?
Flexible solar panels are suitable for all climates, but their efficiency may vary depending on where you live. They perform best in moderate and temperate climates with consistent sunlight and moderate temperature ranges.
In hot and arid climates, flexible solar panels can still function, but they may experience reduced efficiency. The same goes for cold and snowy climates.
For adventure-seekers craving the best flexible solar panels, this is our list of must-have products for 2023 and 2024 are here to light up your outdoor experiences.
SUNTHYSIS leads the pack with unbeatable flexibility, ultra-lightweight design, and an attractive price point. Renogy may not match SUNTHYSIS’s strength, but it packs 100 watts of power for various off-grid adventures. With pre-drilled mounting holes, installation is a breeze, and its slim profile makes it perfect for curved surfaces.
Renogy’s 175-watt panel stands out with monocrystalline efficiency. While it might not bend as much, it’s ideal for airstreams, marine vessels, RVs, and uneven surfaces. It’s a bit pricier, but the brand’s reputation makes sure you get a little peace of mind.
DOKIO and XINPUGUANG both offer a budget-friendly option, great for beginners. They’re designed to charge batteries and fit well on RVs, boats, cabins, and more. Despite some mixed reviews, they’re a solid choice for simple outdoor applications.
Now that you know everything that you need, it’s time to go shopping!