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Compass Marine How To | all galleries >> Welcome To >> Installing A Solbian Solar Panel > Very, Very Thin!
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Very, Very Thin!

Very, Very Thin!

As you can see by the photo the Solbian panel is very thin. Unlike previous armorphous "flexible" panels the Solbian's are a monocrystalline panel. This makes them about half the size of a comparable armorphous panel and very efficient for the real estate they take up.

The benefits of a Solbian panel can be unique and necessary for some installations. Are these panels more expensive than traditional panels? Yes certainly, $820.00 vs. approx $350.00 (for CP-125), but you can often save more money using a Solbian than by using a traditional rigid panel.

Things to consider:

#1 Light weight means it can be affixed to most any Sunbrella type bimini or dodger (consider shading on dodgers).

#2 This weight savings usually means the original bimini frame is more than strong enough for the added weight of the Solbian solar panel. The last rigid solar panel I installed, in the 125W range, weighed 28 pounds. This was just the weight of the panel alone and did not include the extra stainless tube, fittings & aluminum framing needed for attaching it to the bimini. When all was said and done this single 125W panel added over 40 pounds to the top of the bimini. The Solbian CP-125 added perhaps 6 pounds total. That is a huge weight savings.

#3 When fitting a traditional rigid panel to a bimini, a frame needs to be custom built at the expense of the fittings, stainless tubing and the aluminum support frame for the rigid panel. This can run into the hundreds of dollars in just supplies not including custom tube bending/crowning etc. etc..

#4 When fitting a rigid panel to a bimini the bimini often needs to be converted to a full strapless type bimini. The fittings and stainless tube for this add even more money to the install.

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