Flexible Solar Panels vs Rigid : What You Need to Know?


Solar panels are no longer the same as they were ten years ago. Alternatives to rectangular glass solar panels are emerging as solar technology advances.

These innovative new types of panels meet both functional and aesthetic criteria. On the one hand, rigid glass panels are the most efficient. Flexible solar panels can be patterned to meet specific needs.

With the advancement of solar panel technology, there are more and more chances to move away from the classic rectangular glass panels. These imaginative uses generate new ideas for where and what this type of panel can power.

Flexible Solar Panels VS Rigid: 

Flexible Solar Panels:

Solar panels that are flexible or bendable are a very convenient way to generate solar energy. The majority of flexible solar panels weigh less than six pounds and have a thickness of less than an inch. Flexible traditional panels with high solar panel efficiency can typically be bent to roughly 30 degrees, allowing them to form a flat surface to any curved surface on a boat, RV, vehicle, or trailer.

Flexible solar panels are relatively simple to install, as most systems are taped or bonded to a surface with the provided adhesive.

This panel is a family of solar products called thin-film panels. However, the convenience of this technique has a disadvantage: the lack of space between a flexible panel and a roof may result in the formation of a heat sink, which can injure the panel and limit its lifespan.

    Flexible Solar Panels

Source : ecowatch.com

Rigid Solar Panels:

Most people consider rigid solar panels to be “classic” solar panels. The typical solar panel system produces electricity using polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar cells.

Traditional Rigid solar panels have an aluminum metal frame and a glass case to protect the solar cells from scratches, damage, and deterioration caused by the elements.

Rigid Solar Panels

Source : lightleafsolar.com

Although portable and folding “suitcase” alternatives are available, rigid solar panels are in a single location.

Because of the needed roof holes, permanent installation demands the need for a racking system, which some homeowners and RV owners are hesitant to install.

A permanent rigid solar panel system is more expensive and time-consuming to fix than a flexible solar controller system. But Rigid solar panels are generally more robust and provide more electricity.

Flexible Solar Panels VS Rigid: Which one is better?

As solar power becomes more popular, more individuals need flexible solar panels preferred than standard rigid solar panels. So, what’s the difference between Flexible and Rigid solar panels and how to Select Solar Panels

Both types of solar panels have advantages and disadvantages. Flexible solar panels are sometimes preferable to Stiff solar panels.

Are Rigid Solar Panels more efficient than flexible:

 Rigid solar panels have a five-fold longer lifespan than those that are flexible. The panels do not become obsolete when they reach their predicted 25-year lifespan; instead, their panel efficiency declines until they only provide around 80% of the power when first installed.

Are Flexible solar panels worth it:

Yes, flexible solar panels are a great, long-lasting alternative to rigid solar panels. They can withstand a lot of abuse, are versatile, and have enough power for small gadgets and batteries.

The only disadvantage is that they are not as efficient as rigid panels and may not survive as long.

Why do Flexible solar panels fail?

Flexible solar panels are what they sound like: solar panels that can bend. However, “flexible” does not fold. Instead, they can usually curve to some amount. The interior cells and electrical structure will still fail if bent too far.

Do Flexible Solar panels need an air gap:

The use of an air gap beneath solar panels helps to keep the Panels cool. Flexible solar panels can be applied flat to surfaces and don’t always have ventilation underneath them.

Best uses of Flexible Solar Panels:

Flexible solar panels are ideal for instances when solar energy must be transported or only used on a limited basis. Flexible solar panels are perfect for maritime, RV, and van use since they are lightweight and easy to install.

They can bend to suit a nonlinear roof and can be utilized and relocated with ease. When flexible solar panels may not be the best solution for long-term, full-time use, they are ideal for keeping undetected if seeking the most stealthy option available.

Best uses of rigid solar panels:

Traditional, rigid solar panels are suited for residential, business, and full-time mobile solar applications.

The efficiency, strength, and warranty that come with standard solar panels are unsurpassed by the technologies available in flexible solar panels if you expect to use solar energy for a long time. For any permanent solar panel system installation, we propose robust solar panels.

Pros and Cons of Flexible solar panels:


  • Adaptable to a variety of surfaces
  • Mounting and dismounting are simple.
  • Extremely Lightweight


  • Easily harmed
  • Warranty Periods Are Limited
  • Rigid Panels are often more efficient.

Pros and cons of rigid solar panels:


  • Highly Effective
  • Damage Resistant Design
  • There is no heat build-up beneath the surface.


  • Usually mounted in a single location
  • Flexible Panels are heavier than rigid panels.
  • It may have to drill holes in the roof.

Flexible solar panels VS rigid: features comparison

Solar panel manufacturers have continued to increase their innovativeness to develop solar panels that meet everyone’s needs as more people switch to solar power to save the earth from pollution.

We examine the features of flexible VS rigid solar panels in the list below.

  •  Areas of Application

Flexible solar panels may be curved to fit a variety of surfaces, allowing them to be in a wide range of locations. These solar panels ease installation in your campervan, trailer, or wherever else you desire when traveling.

Rigid solar panels, on the other hand, have a limited application.

  • Convenience

Foldable Solar Panel Kit DOKIO 200W

Solar panels are flexible panels that are lighter and more portable than rigid panels. A 100-Watt panel may weigh roughly 20 pounds, whereas a flexible solar panel of the same power may weigh around 5 pounds. As a result, foldable panels for lightweight RV roofs.

As a result, flexible solar panels are lightweight and movable, but rigid solar panels are bulky and inconvenient to transport. Furthermore, Rigid solar panels are put in by a specialist.

  •  Price Thin-film solar panels are a low-cost option.

These Lightweight panels are less expensive and require less labor to install than standard solar panels. A 100W flexible panel purchase for $100 on the market.

Rigid panels are expensive due to the high-quality materials used in their manufacture and the efficient electricity they supply. Installing them is also time-consuming.

  •  Transparency

Flexible solar panels, which allow light to flow through, can be put on glass surfaces or even windows. They have a semi-transparent appearance.

Rigid panels are opaque and used on rooftops.

  • Effectiveness

Flexible solar panels are inefficient. Flexible solar panels have a lower efficiency rating than rigid solar panels, but they provide consistent power generation for consumers.

Rigid casings have a power efficiency of 7 to 13% in most glass casings.

  • Life Expectancy

Flexible solar panels have a shorter lifespan. Despite their resilience, flexible solar panels have a shorter lifespan than regular solar panels. That is why they have such a short warranty duration.

  • Longevity

Rigid solar panels are, as their name implies, strong. Of course, if not cared for, they can be damaged by dirt, water, or debris; these panels fix to last.

Your sturdy framed solar panel should survive for more than 30 years. Flexible solar panels, on the other hand, aren’t as long-lasting. Flexible ultra-thin silicon cells can often last up to ten years.

  • Guarantee

With decent flexible RV roof solar panels, the extended guarantee you can get is usually around ten years. After all, you can’t keep a recreational vehicle for more than a 5-year warranty.

Solar panels made of stiff polycrystalline and monocrystalline cells, on the other hand, can have a basic warranty of up to 30 years. Furthermore, this warranty period does not imply that your panels will cease to function after the 30th year. These solar panels have a sixty-year lifespan.


The amount of time that utilizing the solar energy system ultimately determines whether flexible or rigid solar panels are best.

Flexible solar panels are an excellent low-cost and simple-to-install choice for generating remote solar power if users have a boat, camper, or RV use for the occasional weekend escape.

Flexible panels are ideal for weekend warriors because they are lightweight and easy to install.

Rigid solar panels are generally better than flexible solar panels if users plan to generate and use solar energy daily.

Traditional solar panels with higher initial costs are the better option for their longer lifespan and efficiency.


1.What are rigid solar panels?

Most people consider rigid solar panels to be “classic” solar panels. The typical solar panel system produces electricity using polycrystalline or monocrystalline solar cells.

Traditional Rigid solar panels have an aluminum metal frame and a glass case to protect the solar cells from scratches, damage, and deterioration caused by the elements.

2.How efficient are Flexible solar panels?

Thin-Film Flexible solar panels have a lower efficiency than regular solar panels in direct sunlight. They may convert 15% to 20% of the solar energy solution compared to the 20% to 22% efficiency of standard panels.

 3.Do flexible solar panels overheat?

Semi-Flexible solar panels might overheat if they get too hot. When a solar panel overheats, its efficiency plummets, causing it to lose a significant amount of the energy it would normally collect from the sun.

Used to prevent heat dissipation. The efficiency and performance of a flexible panel will degrade if it overheats.

 4.Can you walk on rigid solar panels?

Although our solar panels are fixed to survive strong wind of up to 2400 Pa and snow loads of up to 5400 Pa, we do not encourage walking on them because this could cause internal damage to the solar cells and soldering.

5.Can you walk on flexible solar panels?

These flexible panels can be walked on without damaging the solar cells and conform to a slightly curved roof’s surface (up to 5 degrees) thanks to its sturdy aluminum backing and extra-thick ETFE laminate non-skid surface.

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