The advent of lightweight, affordable, and efficient solar panels has been a real game-changer for recreational vehicle owners. In the past, if they wanted to add solar power to their camper, it typically involved mounting large heavy panels to the roof. But now, a company called Sunflare came up with a new lightweight and flexible option that can still generate plenty of energy from the sun.
The breakthrough that Sunflare has delivered begins in the manufacturing process, which the company says is the cleanest and most environmentally friendly in the industry. Using what it calls Capture4 technology, the new Sunflare solar panels are created on a cell-by-cell level, which improves both durability and performance. This also allows the manufacturer to do things like add bypass diodes to each individual cell as well, giving them the ability to turn themselves off when shaded without negatively impacting the performance of any unshaded cells around them. The result is better energy production even in shady conditions.
Sunflare says that its panels are also much more efficient in low-light conditions, such as those found at dawn and dusk. They can even produce more power on overcast days, and thanks to a low-temperature coefficient yield more energy in extremely hot weather too. Best of all, the panels are 75 percent lighter and 95 percent thinner than traditional crystalline silicon models. And since they are made from a flexible material, they can be applied to just about any surface, including the roof of an RV.
Camper trailer manufacturer Vistabule lists the Sunflare solar panels as an optional add-on for its teardrop model. The panels blend directly into the roof of the RV, matching the exact curve of its design. This not only eliminates drag while driving down the road but adds electrical power without increasing weight.
So just how well do the panels perform? Apparently, they are extremely efficient. Vistabule claims that they can charge two cell phones fully, run the interior lights, a fan, and the fridge all day long. Additionally, users can recharge a laptop to 30 percent power and run the heater for three hours a day, for 2.5 sunny days before needing to recharge the camper’s battery.
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