From pv magazine global
Arizona-based startup New Use Energy Solutions has unveiled SunTarp, a new line of portable frameless solar PV panels for off-grid and residential applications.
“We found that adhering multiple modules to a custom vinyl tarp allows the user to reconfigure the modules strings to accommodate 12, 24 & 48V off-grid systems all the way up to residential type all-in-one inverters that require over 120 Vdc to charge batteries. ,” the company’s COO, Lee Feliciano, told pv magazine. “Our module provider is US-based Merlin Solar.”
The flexible modules provided by Merlin Solar are based on monocrystalline solar cells with an efficiency of over 25% provided by US manufacturer Sunpower. Their power output ranges from 50 to 150 W and their weight spans from 1.2 to 2.68 kg.
Their open-circuit voltage is between 20.8 and 21.1 V and the short-circuit current is from 3.12 to 9.10 A. The modules can be curved to a maximum 30-degree arc and can be affixed by adhesive or grommets. The junction box is sealed and waterproof. Holes on panels are pre-drilled for fast mounting.
New Use Energy Solutions’ PV array is available in three versions; the TriFold SunTarp array, which combines three solar modules, weighs 6.8 kg and has a power output of 210 W; the 320 W FourFold SunTarp model that integrates four panels and weighs in at 10.8 kg; and the six-module HexFold SunTarp which has a power output of 410 W and has a weight of 20.4 kg.
“They store easily even in the trunk of compact cars, and we can scale them into larger arrays,” the company’s CEO, Paul Shmotolokha, stated. “Our modules are 30% lighter than traditional monocrystalline solar panels and easy to fold, carry and stow.”
According to the company’s website, the TriFold SunTarp array is sold at $906.53, while the FourFold SunTarp and HexFold SunTarp have a price of $1,318.45 and $1,806.13, respectively. “They provide way more power than the rather small tiny panel kits that small portable power stations provide,” Feliciano stated.
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I hooked up 5 semi-flexible 3 pound 100-watt solar panels to both a PWM charge controller (2) and a MPPT charge controller (3) and they worked as well as the 20-pound fixed glass with aluminum frame solar panels and could be mounted on the sunward side of a canvas W/ aluminum frame storage/garage unit. They are strong enough to provide a patio canopy just by themselves with some mounting hardware and ropes. Used on window awnings to stop excess sunlight from coming into a home could use these in place of the fabric covers and generate electricity as well. They could also work on the recommended south side mounting of on-grid solar inverters controllers as sun light/ heat protection for inverters and power a second landscape lighting 12-volt system as a bonus.
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