Renogy 50-Watt 12-Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel Review
Renogy has done a good job with its line of standard monocrystalline solar panels, but this is the most interesting one. This panel weighs only a fourth of a traditional 50W panel. It can also bend to an astounding degree. The lack of glass and frame make it incredibly durable and easy to handle. Hang it on the side of your tent or paste it on your roof’s curvature; it is a versatile contender.
The 50-watt rating ensures charging of small to medium sized batteries or appliances. MC4 connectors and water-resistant junction boxes make connecting and disconnecting a hassle-free affair. This flexible panel is a great buy for anyone who prefers ultra-light panels. In this Renogy 50-watt 12-volt flexible panel review, we will discover all its pros and cons.
Despite of being significantly different than its more regular counterparts, the flexible panel is fundamentally a lot similar to them. It comes with MC4 connectors on the positive and negative wires that supply power to the charge controller like any other panel. At 18.5V and 2.71A, the panel is capable of powering an array of small devices or small to medium batteries. For example, it can fully charge a Renogy Phoenix in 4 hours.
Durability is undoubtedly the greatest trait of the Renogy 50W 12V flexible panel. The absence of brittle materials such as glass make it multiple times stronger. Theoretically, it can sustain most physical assaults such as a fall from hundred feet or a truck going over it, albeit not the junction boxes. Normal cells are brittle and shatter even with the tiniest shocks, but the flexible cells ensure there is no chance of breakage. It thus comes with a fantastic wind and snow loading rating 2400 Pa and 5400 Pa.
Ease Of Use
At barely 3-pounds, carrying or mounting this panel is a breeze. It is more of a sheet than a panel, and it can be partially rolled to store in smaller spaces. As far as the more regular parts are concerned, it has standard MC4 connectors that can be plugged into batteries or other devices in moments. There are copper eyelets on all four corners that help secure it using ropes where it is to be hanged, such as on the side of your truck.
Even if we choose not to mention the greatest feature of this product – its flexibility — we still have a lot to describe. The panel has A-grade solar cells that perform without complaints in almost all levels of radiation. The IP68 rated panel is weatherproof despite having the junction boxes on the front side, unlike traditional panels. A tiny weight of less than 3 lbs. makes it a genuinely portable device. The only downside is probably the lower efficiency in comparison to crystalline panels.
In the aesthetics department, the panel is more or less same as other common panels worldwide, except for its attractive flexibility and super-thin laminated section. The junction boxes are on the front, which is there to allow wrapping of the panel to any form or shape such as airstreams or curved roof sections. The positive cable is only a third of the negative one in length.
What We Like
The area of flexible solar panels is a very different arena and Renogy has ventured into it with considerable attention to quality. The thin section and the 248-degree flexibility are amusing and useful at the same time. At a weight that is equal to a 2-liter bottle of coke, the Renogy 50-watt 12-volt module is a super-portable solar panel to have.
- Highly flexible body
- Ultrathin section
- Higher cost of flexible cells