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How did the recent solar eclipse affect the output of the Atacama-158W solar kit?

September 18, 2017


On August 21, 2017, parts of the United States experienced a solar eclipse. We wanted to do something fun and measure how the Flexopower Atacama-158W holds out during the eclipse. Together with GFA trailers, we set up camp South of Raleigh, NC opened a cold drink and waited. For your information, the maximum eclipse in Raleigh was 93% at 2.44pm.

At full sun, we measured an output of 8,6 Amps and as expected with increasing coverage by the moon the output of the solar panels decreased.  At approximately 20% coverage we measured 6,5 Amps, at approximately 70% coverage a surprising 4,3 Amps, yet at 93% coverage a whopping 0,0 Amps.

The results were interesting because at almost three-quarters coverage the panels still delivered 50% of its rated output. However, it quickly decreased to zero the closer we approached the maximum eclipse of 93%. We did not expect that, as we projected a linear decrease and furthermore thought 7% sunlight reaching Raleigh would still move the dial a little bit.

The learning from this fun experiment is that no matter how overcast the sky may be, the thin film technology of our solar panels still absorb a considerable amount of sunlight generating output. However, if there is no sun, there is no power. The above experiment illustrated this fact of life in a fun way.

Flexopower solar panels explained in a nutshell

May 21, 2017

Thomas Pascua from mixflip has a chat with Werner Fischer about the flexible solar panels from Flexopower during the Overland Expo West 2017 in Flagstaff, AZ.

 

 

Measurements

November 18, 2016

Goose Gear chooses Flexopower

September 06, 2016

Goose Gear, Westminster, Los Angeles is building a signature vehicle ready to be shown at the upcoming Overland Expo, East. We are excited to be part of Goose Gears selection of suppliers. Here are the details of the project:

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4x4, double cab short bed.

Camper: Adventure Trailers, AKA “AT Overland”, Tacoma Habitat 

Suspension: Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 6 Suspension System

Armor: Pelfreybilt Offroad, bumpers, rock sliders and skid plates.

Winch: Warn Winch

Lighting: Baja Designs

External power source: Flexopower 79W Atacama Solar Kit

Switch control system: sPod

Battery: National Luna battery management and monitoring equipment.

Goose Gear storage solution to come

Internally, there will be a cassette Thetford toilet, hot water, shower system, sink, fridge and stove all in the 5’ bed. Sleeping capacity for 3 adults, internal camper seating for 4 adults (for inclement weather).

Propex Heatsource internal camper heating

Flexopower attends Overland Expo as exhibitor

May 08, 2016

Flexopower is very excited to attend the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, AZ 20. - 22. May. This event is a premier opportunity to introduce and showcase its Flexopower foldable solar panel and solar camping kits.

The Flexopower Desert series consists of the Namib-, Kalahari- and Atacama products as flexible glass free solar panels and as plug and play solar camping kits. Flexopower will be another South African brand to be introduced to the USA.

Partial shading, devastating for glass panels

March 31, 2016

In real life situations solar panels are often exposed to shading. The worst of them is partial shading, good examples are shading from tree branches, bird droppings, leafs, worst because you believe your panel is still charging the battery as there is sun on the panel. The reality is different. Partial shading affects glass panels the most, their output drops substantially. Flexopower panels are also affected, however their output from partial shading is miles ahead.

We compared a 85W SolarWorld and a 79W Flexopower panel. Both are high quality products and have similar power specs. We covered 10% of its surface to simulate partial shading. The results are stunning:

85W Solar World 79W Flexopower
Maximum current, rated at STC

4.7A

4.1A

Current measured, unshaded

3.2A

3.3A

Current measured, 10% shading

0.7A

2.9A

Output loss from 10% shading

-78%

-12%

In summary, 10% cover causes the glass panel deteriorating to a trickle charge, where we observe a 12% drop with the Flexopower panel. Next time you go camping, use a Flexopower product.

10% cover causes 78% loss in output10% cover causes 12% loss in output

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