Picking a solar panel can be a tough choice, especially if you are unfamiliar with your options. One common misconception is that all solar panels are heavy and bulky. While that may have been true 15 years ago, that’s certainly not true today. With all of the advances in technology, its no wonder that solar cells have become more efficient and panels have become smaller and lighter. Renogy carries many different solar panels, and we’re sure you can find one to meet your needs and budget. Whether you’re docking, traveling, or just winding down in the yard, there’s a panel for you.
Renogy carries three kinds of foldable solar panels: rigid/suitcase-style, rigid, and flexible. Rigid suitcase-style solar panels are perfect for RV docking, as they are a bit heavier and bulkier than the flexible panels, though they are still easily portable and designed for frequent storage. These panels fold to close, and include comfortable carrying handles. Renogy also understands that repeatedly setting up camp can be inconvenient, so they designed the solar suitcases to include built-in stands so the panels can be tilted toward the sunlight. After the panel is done being used, it can be folded and placed in a storage compartment or closet. The solar suitcases come with protective carrying cases and may also include a built-in charge controller. All solar suitcases weigh under 33.6lbs.
Renogy rigid solar panels cannot be folded or bent and are generally designed for permanent or semi-permanent installation. Although all of the rigid panels include lightweight aluminum frames, they are still generally heavier than their foldable and flexible counterparts. Due to the larger size, they are more difficult to store and move, and you must bring your own stands to ensure that the panels are properly placed. The 100W Monocrystalline Solar Panels are a favorite for mounting to RV and van rooftops, and they can even be affixed to, or positioned next to a cabin. With the rigid panels, you can choose between monocrystalline and polycrystalline, as well as what charge controller you’d prefer (sold separately, unless in a kit). What’s truly great about using the rigid panels is that you can design your entire system from scratch, depending on power requirements. In sum, these panels are great for permanent installation and long-term camping.
The Renogy Flexible Solar Panel line is relatively new, but incredibly popular among camping enthusiasts. Perhaps it’s no wonder why these panels are so loved: even the 160W Flex Panel weighs only 6.2lbs, which makes these panels the lightest and most versatile of them all. Like all other panels, the Flex products include a junction box with MC4 leads, and they are wired in the same way as all other panels. Since these panels have laminated cells, there is no risk of glass shattering or cracking. They can even flex up to 248 degrees, making them great for irregular and rounded surfaces (think airstreams). Another great feature is that the entire power system can be customized with various wiring and a charge controller of choice. So far, Renogy carries the 50W and 100W Flexible Eclipse Solar Panels, both of which fold shut and include convenient carrying handles. When folded, the 100W Flexible Eclipse measures in at 21.5’x21.5’, making it the smallest and lightest, though it has the same efficiency as its rigid suitcase counterpart.
We’re always looking to meet customer needs. If you are looking for a panel that we do not carry, we’d love to get your input. Please reach out to our sales or engineering team so we could assist you further.