One of the best things about solar panels is that you can set them up anywhere you want. The only trouble is when you’re eyeing irregular and uneven surfaces. Straight, rigid solar panels will topple over these. So for convex surfaces and roofs, flexible, bendable solar panels are the way to go.
Of course, the best flexible solar panels have to be up to a certain standard. Keep an eye out for the following things to see whether you’re getting top-quality, high efficiency flexible solar panels:
- Flexibility: The main point of buying flexible solar panels is ensuring that they’ll be snug when mounted on curved surfaces, unlike conventional solar panels that are stiff and rigid. Flexible panels usually bend upwards of 30 degrees. If you go for one that is extremely durable and innovative in design, you can bend it at 248-degree angles.
- Lightweight: Flexible solar panels should be portable and easy to bring around, especially if your vehicle is small. Try looking for ultra-light panels that go from 3-5 lbs. You could also opt for slim ones, as thin flexible solar panels are likely to bend more. Plus, when your panels are light and easy to carry, the installation will be a breeze.
- Emits a good amount of solar power: While the design of your flexible solar panels is important, you can’t forget that its primary purpose is to provide solar power. Look for a flexible panel that gives off at least 100 watts of energy at a time.
There are numerous other factors you need to consider when buying flexible solar panels for car roof mounts or the top of your RV, which are usually curved to a certain degree. You can check them out in the buying guide later in this flexible solar panel review.
For now, here are the top-rated flexible solar panels for RV roofs, boats, and other curved surfaces people might want to set up their renewable energy source on:
Table of Contents
- Best Flexible Solar Panel Reviews
- 1. Renogy 175W 12V Flexible Solar Panel
- 2. Topsolar 100W Flexible Solar Panel
- 3. SunPower 110W Flexible Solar Panel
- 4. XINPUGUANG 200-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- 5. ECO-WORTHY 130W Flexible Solar Panel
- 6. HQST 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- 7. TopSolar 50-Watt 12-Volt Flexible Solar Panel
- 8. Lensun 20-Watt ETFE Flexible Solar Panel
- 9. POWOXI 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- 10. Newpowa 100W 12V Semi-Flex Solar Panel
- 11. Framy 200-Watt PET Flexible Solar Panel
- 12. Suner Power 30-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- 13. Winnewsun 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- 14. DOKIO Semi-Flexible 12-Volt Solar Panels
- 15. ExpertPower 110-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
- What to Look for When Buying Flexible Solar Panels
- How to Install Flexible Solar Panels
- Are Cheap Flexible Solar Panels Any Good
- Do Flexible Solar Panels Get Hot
Best Flexible Solar Panel Reviews
1. Renogy 175W 12V Flexible Solar Panel
In my opinion, this is one of the most flexible monocrystalline solar panels on the market. It’s designed to bend by 248 degrees, which is a far cry from other flexible panels that can only go as far back as 30 degrees.
This flexible panel is built to last. The sheets are laminated in multiple layers, allowing for extra protection of your monocrystalline solar cells. It’s also encased in a corrosion-free aluminum framing for even more sturdiness.
It boasts a back sheet that helps dissipate excess heat to avoid issues with overheating, which can render your solar panel useless.
I don’t have to worry about losing power in low-light areas with this solar panel. Because it’s made with bypass diodes, I can rest assured that there won’t be power drops even when my solar panel is in a shaded area.
Installation of this Renogy flexible solar panel is also a breeze, thanks to the pre-drilled holes on the back.
2. Topsolar 100W Flexible Solar Panel
This flexible panel by Topsolar is built with efficient monocrystalline solar cells. They amp up your system’s energy conversion rate by 50%, better than a standard solar panel.
The panel itself is made with ETFE material, which is durable and known to increase light transmittance. It’s also self-cleaning and dirt-resistant, so it’s excellent for lazy users.
To avoid overheating, the backplate is designed with TPT technology. This allows it to dissipate heat and prevent dreaded malfunction while in use.
What’s awesome about this flexible solar panel is that it’s ultra-thin and super lightweight. It stands at just 0.1 of an inch tall and 3.97 lbs in weight. That makes it easy to transport and set up when you’re on the road.
It’s also waterproof and resists high temperatures, so it’s well-suited for extreme weather. It would go great in marine settings, like boats.
3. SunPower 110W Flexible Solar Panel
SunPower’s flexible panel has solar cells uniquely fashioned with a solid copper foundation. This allows your panel to resist corrosion and impact, extending its lifespan significantly.
This solar panel bends up to 30 degrees. While it’s not one of the most flexible solar panels out there, it’s perfect for spaces and surfaces that are only slightly curved.
It weighs a mere 4.4 lbs, making it a good portable solar panel. Because of that, this SunPower flexible panel isn’t a hassle to bring around and doesn’t add extra weight to your travels.
Semi flexible solar panels like this one come with quick-connect cables that make them easy to set up, even for newbies without experience in solar panels.
For those buying flexible panels for the first time and who want to avoid getting a bogus item, don’t fret. SunPower offers a product warranty for up to two years. Plus, their warranty doesn’t have a saltwater exclusion, so the brand will always assist users no matter the issue with their flexible solar panel.
4. XINPUGUANG 200-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
This solar panel kit by XINPUGUANG is excellent because I don’t have to buy separate tools and parts to set up my flexible panel and power station. It comes complete with a charge controller, connectors, alligator clips, and other accessories to get me started right away.
The flexible solar panel is designed with five layers to enhance performance and extend its lifespan. These include a TPT backing, which protects your panel from overheating.
In the middle of the layers is the solar panel’s monocrystalline solar cells. These cells allow for a higher-than-usual conversion rate of 19.5%. The monocrystalline cells also work hard to perform well even in shaded and low-light settings.
The connectors and junction box are made with IP67 technology, making them waterproof. It’s fantastic since I often worry about water damage destroying my solar panel kit.
5. ECO-WORTHY 130W Flexible Solar Panel
This 130-watt flexible solar panel by ECO-WORTHY can generate up to 520 watt-hours each day, provided that the flexible panel is charged for four hours under bright, direct sunlight.
It’s built with advanced polymer, which is very sturdy but is more lightweight than a traditional solar panel or glass solar panels.
The flexible solar panel is easy to manage and install because it’s very lightweight and thin. It weighs only 4.62 lbs, so it’s not a hassle to lug around as you set it up. Its thickness is just 0.1 inch, so it’s never bulky.
There are four installation holes that are metal-reinforced on the frame of this solar panel. They’re perfect for screwing the panel into a more permanent area if you’re sure of where you want to set it up for the long term.
Because it’s designed with IP65 technology, your flexible solar panel can surely withstand tough weather conditions, be it harsh rains or intense snow.
6. HQST 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
Like most flexible solar panels, this one from HQST can bend 30 degrees. It allows for a snug fit that doesn’t move around or topple over on curved surfaces, like vehicle roofs and boat decks.
Since the flexible solar panel is made only with high-grade and top-quality materials, it’s able to withstand harsh weather. The solar panel is made with ETFE, a durable material that isn’t that heavy. ETFE also paves the way for more light energy transmittance in your solar panel.
You also have efficient monocrystalline solar cells to thank for the high energy absorption rate. This type of solar cell converts 50% more solar energy than other solar panels, assuring you of excellent power output levels.
This solar panel’s junction box is waterproof because it’s designed with IP65 technology. It’s one of the most important components of a solar panel system, so it’s terrific that it gets this extra protection.
7. TopSolar 50-Watt 12-Volt Flexible Solar Panel
This flexible solar panel by TopSolar can be bent into an arc to fit curved and irregularly shaped surfaces, like those on boats, RVs, trailers, and more. The arc can go up to a maximum of 30 degrees.
It’s extremely light at around 2.4 lbs, which is easy to hold and carry while you’re installing it. It’s also very thin at 0.1 of an inch. Because the design is slim and featherlight, set-up is very easy and relatively faster than with a conventional, rigid solar panel.
The panel is made with a special back contact technology that works to remove the electrodes blocking your solar panel from absorbing light energy efficiently.
You can charge the standard 12-volt batteries with this panel, since that’s what it was created for in the first place. But when you chain up multiple of these solar panels together, you can charge 24-volt and even 48-volt batteries with no problem.
These solar panels are resistant to water and high temperatures, lessening their chances of incurring damage.
8. Lensun 20-Watt ETFE Flexible Solar Panel
These flexible solar panels by Lensun are made with grade A monocrystalline solar cells, an advanced version of the usual mono cells. These cells increase the efficiency of your solar panel’s energy absorption by up to 22%.
This option’s also built with premium ETFE material, which is resistant to damage from harmful UV rays and corrosion. It also aids in light transmittance, giving you a shot at better power output.
There’s a unique fiberglass backboard in each of these solar panels. It works to dissipate excess heat on an extremely hot day, preventing issues with overheating.
This solar panel is also ultra-thin and super light by design. That way, it won’t add unnecessary weight and gravity to the roof of your car or boat deck.
Its junction box is resistant to weather damage because it’s built with advanced IP68 technology, keeping it waterproof.
I’ll never have to worry about malfunctions with my flexible solar panels because Lensun offers a 24-month warranty for their products.
9. POWOXI 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
These solar panels by POWOXI have cells made of monocrystalline silicon. This material allows for a higher light transmittance rate, pushing it up to about 95%.
Because this solar panel flexes and bends in an arc when positioned, it has multiple refractions of light. This allows for a faster charge of your batteries since you’re getting solar energy from different angles.
The panel is built with durable yet featherlight ETFE material, which is known to have a lifespan of up to 15 years. That means your flexible solar panels will last you quite a while without needing to be replaced.
It’s made with IP67 waterproof technology, so the solar panel will be sturdy enough to survive the toughest weather conditions.
Installation via screwing is very easy with this flexible solar panel. It has four holes on the corners of the frame so I can do it quickly, no drilling needed.
10. Newpowa 100W 12V Semi-Flex Solar Panel
Unlike most flexible solar panels, this one by Newpowa bends more than just 30 degrees. It goes to a maximum of 248 degrees, so it’s beneficial for roofs and surfaces that are extremely convex.
This solar panel is slim and featherlight. It weighs 4.2 lbs and is a mere 0.08 inch in thickness. That makes it fit on any surface, like a second skin. It’s never bulky and is easy to transport.
It’s designed with a high-efficiency combo of monocrystalline cells and top-notch ETFE material. Both work to give our solar panels a higher energy conversion rate to maximize solar power.
This solar panel is also made with IP68 technology, one of the most advanced waterproof grades. This allows it to survive even the heaviest rain and snowfall.
The solar panel has six holes in its frame that are reinforced with metal rings. This makes mounting with grommets or screws quick and complication-free.
11. Framy 200-Watt PET Flexible Solar Panel
This Framy solar panel is semi-flexible, meaning it can bend only to the usual 30 degrees. That said, it’s perfect for irregular yet smooth surfaces on your boats, cars, or motorhomes.
It’s designed with ETFE material on the top layer, as well as four EVA layers throughout the panel. This gives your solar panels added durability so they aren’t too fragile.
These solar panels charge 16-volt batteries. That’s a bit more powerful than other solar panels that can only charge 12-volt batteries.
Plus, this option is designed with a Schottky diode—a device that prevents the panel from experiencing reverse currents, which can render it useless or unhelpful.
Users also get a waterproof junction box. That way, it won’t be susceptible to moisture damage from the harsh weather or when we’re traveling near bodies of water.
12. Suner Power 30-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
This flexible solar panel by Suner Power is made with polymer instead of glass. This makes it 30% more lightweight than traditional rigid panels.
It has an ETFE lamination to make it extra sturdy. There are also unique Suner Power cells that increase light energy absorption by up to 24% compared to other solar cells in the market.
The panel comes with a smart charge controller with a unique algorithm designed to generate up to 20% more power than regular ones. This controller also protects your batteries from overcharging, short-circuiting, and other disasters.
An LED monitor visually displays all the pertinent information about your battery. It tells you its condition and current charging levels.
The solar panel is IP65 waterproof, preventing damage from rain, snow, and other bad weather conditions. It’s perfect for traveling to places where the weather is unpredictable.
13. Winnewsun 100-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
This solar panel by Winnewsun is unique because it’s bifacial, which means both sides of the panel (front and back) can absorb solar energy and store it.
It weighs just 4 lbs, so it’s super light and easy to carry around when you’re traveling. It also doesn’t add unnecessary weight to your load as you drive around.
It has solar cells that convert up to 22% of the light energy it absorbs into stored energy for your use. That’s pretty high compared to flimsy solar cells.
Unlike other solar panels that drop 10% in power over time, this one loses less than 3% of its power in ten years.
Another great thing about this panel is that it works well in shaded and low-light areas because it’s sensitive even to dim sunlight.
14. DOKIO Semi-Flexible 12-Volt Solar Panels
These DOKIO panels have a protective ETFE layer. This allows for greater light transmittance when exposed to sunlight. It also adds extra sturdiness to my panels so they can have a longer lifespan.
Each panel has eight holes evenly spaced throughout the frame. These little rings make screwing the panel with grommets during installation much easier.
It also comes with a junction box and a few connectors—all of which are IP65 waterproof. I don’t have to worry about damaging these accessories even when the weather is undesirable.
The panel weighs only 4.9 lbs, so it’s never a hassle to carry around and install. It’s also extremely flexible; I know that it will fit snugly on any curved surface.
15. ExpertPower 110-Watt Flexible Solar Panel
This solar panel is made with top-quality Maxeon solar cells made of monocrystalline. These cells boast a high energy conversion rate, ranging between 22% and 25%.
The panel is built with high-grade yet lightweight polymer, which is easier to work with than the traditional glass used to fashion solar panels.
It can be flexed and bent up to 30 degrees. That isn’t as flexible as the other panels on this list, but it’s enough for slightly curved areas.
There’s a copper foundation under this panel. The copper allows the panel to resist corrosion and other signs of damage, such as cracking.
What’s more, this panel will come with pre-drilled holes to make mounting much faster and easier. There are also MC4 cables included in the set so that connecting the panel to our controllers or batteries is a walk in the park.
What to Look for When Buying Flexible Solar Panels
- Made from durable material that withstands tough weather conditions
Look for the best flexible solar panels that are made from sturdy, top-quality materials like ETFE, aluminum frames, and monocrystalline solar cells. Because these materials are durable, they’ll increase the longevity of your solar panels.
Conventional panels are usually made of thicker, heavier materials, like glass. But for a thin film solar panel, you need lightweight materials.
You should also keep your eyes peeled for waterproof solar panels designed with IP65-IP67 technology. This prevents water damage to your flexible solar panels when it’s raining. It also keeps it resistant to impact from heavy storms or snow. This is vital if your travels require you to pass through areas with unpredictable climates.
- Contains bypass diodes to keep your energy from dropping in low-light areas
Bypass diodes allow you to keep using your photovoltaic cells even when your solar panels are exposed to areas without direct sunlight. Most conventional solar panels will experience power drops when sunlight isn’t available to them, but with bypass diodes, that won’t be an issue.
If you’re looking to use your flexible solar panels for home energy but live in a cloudy city, getting panels that operate efficiently even in the shade is extremely important.
- Can provide an adequate amount of power for your needs
Solo or small group travelers who need flexible solar panels for boats, trailers, or cars will probably consume less energy than an entire household. Purchase a flexible solar panel with a power output appropriate for your need.
For example, a 100 watt flexible solar panel might be suitable for quick camping trips with one or two people. However, for a family living at home, a collection of 200W or 300W flexible solar panels might be more apt.
If you want something more intense, go for 400W flexible solar panels.
- Manufactured by a top-notch brand based in countries known for quality products
Don’t go for just any flexible solar panel kit. Make sure the new solar panels you purchase are from a renowned brand known to make excellent flexible solar panels that last a long time. Go for those of top brands, such as the Renogy or Sunyee flexible solar panel.
One easy way to tell that your solar panels are high in quality is to check which country they were designed and manufactured in. Some of the most efficient flexible solar panels are created in countries known for quality tech and renewable energy products, like Canada, Australia, and the UK.
How to Install Flexible Solar Panels
Installing flexible solar panels is very simple. It’s quite similar to traditional solar panels. All you have to do is lay them down on the surface you want to mount them on. Then, you must screw on the grommets or use an adhesive to stick the clean flexible solar panels down properly.
If you go with the latter, make sure your solar panel is stuck tight to your surface, so it won’t wobble or come loose. You also need to keep an eye on your adhesive placement. It should never cover your panel’s flexible solar cells, or the blockage might not allow any light absorption.
It’s easier to install flexible solar panels vs rigid ones because they’re so versatile.
Are Cheap Flexible Solar Panels Any Good
Most solar panels that are extremely cheap might not perform up to standard. However, flexible solar panels need not be expensive to be effective.
There are many solar panel brands out there that come up with excellent, durable panels for an economical price tag. So yes, there are many flexible panels that come at a reasonable price.
That said, if you want the best flexible solar panel available in the market, you’ll need to invest more than a couple of bucks. Bigger, more expensive name brands utilize innovative technologies and extra sturdy materials to create top-class solar panels.
Do Flexible Solar Panels Get Hot
Unlike typical panels that aren’t as bendable, flexible panels don’t often get hot to the touch. That’s why they don’t require extra air space to cool down. If they do get too hot, they face the risk of overheating, so that’s something you must watch out for regularly.
Several solar panels in this review have TPT backing, which helps dissipate heat and prevents overheating. This solar technology is beneficial if you travel to hot, tropical areas.
If you’re planning to set up your solar projects on a curved area—say, a roof or on your RV—don’t settle for those rigid, traditional panels. Go instead for those in this flexible solar panels review that will have a snug placement, so they won’t come loose easily.
Plus, because the best flexible solar panels absorb solar energy from multiple angles, you’re likely to get more power than you would with traditional panels. Who can say no to that? Buyers should check out any of the above flexible solar panels for camping, traveling, or even just at home.