Did you know that flexible solar panels are the most space-efficient and more resistant to high temperatures?
That’s not all. Flexible panels are made with pure crystalline silicon and have an efficiency range from 19% to 21%
Despite all these features, this type of solar panel is much lesser known than other categories of PV panels available.
Flexible solar panels are particularly perfect for consumers who need a portable solar device for generating power, campers, and boaters.
These types of solar panels can be folded completely and even rolled up, are made with thin-film solar cells.
In this post, we will talk about the top flexible solar panels available in the USA, and the companies that produce them.
SunPower® Flexible Solar Panels for Home and Outdoors
The first in the list are SunPower® flexible solar panels produced by SunPower Corp., a leading global company in providing solar energy solutions.
From the space technology, residential households to small and large commercial buildings, SunPower has served with its solar technology in nearly all kinds of ventures.
So far, the company has generated more than 18,000,000 MWh solar energy.
The flexible solar panels that SunPower® manufactures are lightweight and easy to carry. It means you can take the panels along on outdoor trips.
Also, the flexible panels have the highest efficiency in this category of panels available in the market.
A brief about all the SunPower flexible solar panels are below:
Maxeon® Flexible Solar Panel
- A light panel, weighing in at 5lbs.
- Each panel has a top-grade and lightweight polymer material.
- 46 inches tall and 22 inches wide.
- Flexible, up to 30 degrees (110-watt panel).
- The thick copper foundation in the panels makes them resist harsh weather conditions.
- Each panel comes with MC4 connectors that can connect easily to solar compatible devices.
SunPower® flexible panels can be paired up with compatible batteries for outdoor trips, RVs, boats, or used as a backup power source.
PowerFilm Flexible Solar Panels
PowerFilm specializes in designing, manufacturing, and assembling custom solar solutions.
The company has completed 30 years in business and is one of the few US-based solar manufacturing companies operating today.
PowerFilm is a global leader in proprietary, custom manufacturing of flexible amorphous silicon (a-Si) material. The company provides solutions from uW to kW, from mV to 30V, from panels an inch square to many yards square.
Also, the company custom designs and assembles semi-flexible crystalline silicon (c-Si) solutions, from 20W to 200W.
Some of the flexible solar panels that PowerFilm produces are listed below:
- 5 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F15-300N)
- 10 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F15-600)
- 20 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F16-1200)
- 30 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F16-1800)
- 60 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F16-3600)
- 90 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F16-5400)
- 120 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (F16-7200)
- 220 Watt Foldable Solar Panel (FM16-14400).
The listed foldable solar panels are lightweight, durable, and truly portable. The solar panels are mounted to weather-resistant fabric that can be folded for storage and unfolded for use.
In addition, PowerFilm also produces rollable solar panels, which are flexible, lightweight, and can withstand harsh conditions.
Ascent Solar Technologies Flexible Solar PV Modules
Ascent Solar was founded in 2005, and since then has been producing a wide range of solar panels by using CIGS PV technology.
The unique monolithic integration process enables the highest level of efficiency, and durability of solar modules. Ascent Solar’s Research and Development and its 30 MW production facility is located in Thornton, Colorado.
Ascent’s innovative, high-performance, flexible thin-film solar panels are applied in both existing and emerging defence, consumer electronics, space, and aerospace.
The company produces the following flexible solar modules:
- The Ascent WS™ 50 Solar Blanket: A lightweight and flexible solar module developed for integrating into the most demanding environments. The module’s capacity is 50W power that can meet a large variety of charging needs.
- Ascent Bare Modules Mini-Scale Group: These mini-sized modules are perfect for integrating into small sensors and other electronic devices. The available models are B-003-018-026, B-004-033-021, B-004-036-031, B-007-050-055, B-008-071-046, and B-010-083-048.
Ascent’s other products are Ascent XD™ 12 USB Solar Charger with 12 watts solar power and a 2.0 Amp smart USB output and Ascent XD™ 48 Solar Charger with 48 watts solar power.
Global Solar Energy PowerFLEX® Modules
Founded in 1996, Global Solar Energy delivers lightweight and portable photovoltaic (PV) modules for integration in commercial, residential, off-grid, and mobile applications.
Currently, the company operates a Tucson, Arizona facility with a production capacity of 50 megawatts per year.
GSE is the first manufacturer that has a full-scale production capacity of lightweight and highly efficient PV cells and modules.
The company produces PowerFLEX®+ modules for residential, commercial, and off-grid usage:
- 4.5% higher energy output per year (kWh/kWp)
- Lightweight, weighing 3.0 kg/m2 (0.68 lb/ft2)
- 90% more efficient than flexible a-Si
- Durable and non-breakable
- The modules fit any roof type.
Besides producing solar modules, GSE is also known for contributing solutions for the Building Applied Photovoltaic (BAPV) and the transportation markets.
The company also partners with other industry leaders to create more innovative, efficient, and effective products.
MiaSolé Hi-Tech Corp. FLEX Series Solar Modules
Established in 2004, MiaSolé has evolved from a small Silicon Valley start-up to one of the global leaders in producing highly efficient and lightweight thin-film flexible solar panels.
In its Sunnyvale, CA facility, MiaSolé has tested 17.5% module efficiency in production and 19.4% cell efficiency.
The innovative solar cell the company produces is based on the highest efficiency thin-film technology available today.
MiaSolé manufactures the following series of solar modules:
- FLEX-N Series
- FLEX-M Series
- FLEX-W Series
- Custom Modules
All the listed solar modules are lightweight and have 17% cell efficiency.
The flexible cell architecture is perfect for a wide variety of solutions starting from commercial roofing solar panels to flexible mobile energy devices.
MiaSolé continues to increase cell performance as well as develop new applications for its technology.
The company has more than 200 invention patents and patent applications worldwide.
Solarmer Energy, Inc. OPV Solar Modules
Solarmer Energy, Inc. is a leading global company in organic and printed Electronics.
The company was founded with the vision to offer renewable, affordable, and clean energy to people, particularly to those 2 billion people who do not have access to electricity.
Solarmer has been developing organic photovoltaic or OPV technology for markets such as wearable technology, portable power, off-grid power, and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
Solarmer Energy specializes in producing OPV, which are third-generation PV cells containing an organic polymer layer to convert light into electricity.
Advantages of OPV:
- OPV is the first of its kind technology that can generate electricity at a cost on par with conventional fuels.
- These organic photovoltaics are easy to manufacture by roll-to-roll processes.
- OPV has better performance in low light compared to other PV modules.
- These modules are lightweight and flexible.
- OPV can be transparent and colourful.
Solarmer uses its materials, devices, and roll-to-roll process technology to produce OPV modules with strategic partners all over the world.
Renogy FLEX5/FLEX 10 Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panels
Renogy is a renewable energy company that produces and supplies high-quality solar products.
Renogy supplies solar products for residential, commercial, recreational vehicles (RVs), boating, and virtually any application that can be imagined.
Renogy produces a wide range of efficient as well as affordable solar panels. Some of the solar panels are listed below:
- FLEX5 Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel with USB Port
- E.FLEX5 Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel with 2500 mAh Power Bank
- E.FLEX 10 Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel with USB Port
- E.FLEX10 Monocrystalline Portable Solar Panel with 5000 mAh Power Bank
- 10 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 30 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (New Edition)
- 50 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel (New Edition)
- 80 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 50 Watt 12 Volt Polycrystalline Solar Panel
Over the years, Renogy has received several awards and recognition, including a spot in Inc. 5000’s top 500 fastest-growing private companies in 2016.
WindyNation 12V Flexible Solar Panels
WindyNation produces a diverse range of high-quality solar products, including flexible solar panels, monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, solar trackers, solar generators, inverters, MPPT solar kits, and many more.
WindyNation manufactures 100 watts 12V flexible solar panels with monocrystalline solar cells. This solar panel has the following features:
- Excellent flexible solar panel made with monocrystalline flexible solar cells.
- This solar panel can be flexed to mount to curved surfaces.
- Very lightweight. The solar panel weighs only 5 pounds.
- The panel can be mounted using the six pre-drilled holes.
- The panel can withstand 1-inch diameter hail travelling at terminal velocity.
- The panel comes with a 1-year warranty on material and workmanship.
Besides selling solar panels, WindyNation also offers its customers useful tips, insights, and practical ideas on how to implement a clean, affordable alternative energy solution.
RICH SOLAR 50-100 Watt 12 V Flexible Solar Panels
RICH SOLAR is a leading manufacturer and supplier of flexible solar panels, off-grid solar equipment for RV, agriculture, off-grid housing, marine, and light industrial and heavy equipment.
Some flexible solar panels RICH SOLAR produces are below:
- RICH SOLAR 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
- RICH SOLAR 50 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
- RICH SOLAR 50 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Polycrystalline Solar Panel
- RICH SOLAR 50 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- RICH SOLAR 80 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Solar Panel
Apart from flexible solar panels, the company also manufactures and supplies rigid solar panels, MPPT solar kits, flexible solar kits, RV solar kits, PWM solar kits, MPPT solar controllers, PWM solar controllers, solar lights, inverters, and accessories.
The company welcomes partnership or distributor inquiries from solar solution providers. You can lead your industry and increase product value by adding solar or making it solar-ready.
Related article: Top DIY Solar Panel Kit Manufacturers
4thD Solar XP160 and XP80 Portable Solar Panels
4thD Solar supplies customers solar panels for their overlanding and camping needs.
In association with the California-based Merlin Solar, 4thD Solar manufactures portable solar panels.
The prototypes of portable solar panels XP160 and XP80 were made testing for nearly six months.
Based on performance, these portal solar panels are among the best in the market, especially for outdoor use.
In addition, 4thD Solar also produces solar panels for RVs/trailers, rooftop tent panels, battery charging and monitoring equipment, solar controller, inverters, lithium batteries, and AGM batteries.
The objective 4thD is to bring about innovations into the outdated solar industry by delivering world-class solar solutions. The solar panels company produces are ultra-lightweight and can withstand the harsh dynamic applications.
Related article: Top 10 Residential Solar Panels in the US 2019
According to solar industry experts, the future of the solar industry will depend on lightweight solar technology. This is why scientists and leading solar panel manufacturers are developing flexible thin-film solar panels with high efficiency and sustainability.
The flexible solar panel industry is growing fast in the USA due to consumers’ demand for this type of solar panels for camping, boating, and other outdoor activities.
As a solar installer, it would be a great idea if you get into partnerships with any of these listed manufacturers, and supply flexible solar panels to your consumers. These low-cost and high-efficiency solar panels can provide more momentum to your business, keeping up with the growing demand.
Since the early days, Sumit has been deeply concerning for the climate crisis and always felt hurt seeing how the human intervention is disrupting the ecological balance. He 100% believes that solar energy is the missing puzzle to our energy transition, and we have to go all out to implement this energy solution all over the world.