Solar Panel + DIY Light Reflectors = More Power? Renogy vs Rich Solar vs Flexible Panel

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Retard Retard says:

My experience with plastics says it’s fine unless overheated . Like anything else exposure to radiation degradation with length time of and temperatures being your catalyst . Cooling the sub straight with misters and air is not for getting more output , it’s too save the panel from total failure . Thanks

Andrew McAllister says:

Is this project farms son? Always reminds me of him lol.

Todd Parker says:

Keep up these videos where you work through comparisons, they are super useful.

Daryl Stokes says:

any information on amorphous panels like Harbor Freight setup?

pixel fairy says:

this brings up another question, is there a difference in durability or how long mono or poly panels last? are there conditions where mono panels perform better?

Lex10999 says:

Great video. You’ve sold me on Poly Solar Panels. 🙂

Jrotor says:

Interesting test that basically disproves that mono is better. I’ll be picking up a few Rich Solar Polys. Thanks Will!

csquared says:

That polycrystalline panel still producing more than 100 watts even after the drop from heat is a great testimonial! You really do seem to have found your niche on YT, Will. Your videos on this stuff are fun and helpful and your enthusiasm for science is delightful.

Clint Johnson says:

Love you vids, but hated the hat. Now back to your test… thanks so much. Went out and ordered Rich Solar.


Just so you know that I find your videos quite instructive and I have watch you evolve over the years…. Greeting from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria. Keep breaking it down!

Kevin Roberts says:

Just picked up more rich panels using your link! I hope they hold up!

Travis Cosentino says:

I never would’ve thought of this lol. You’re such a genius!

WTF BBQ says:

I noticed that when the individual cells on the panels are “full size”, they tend to output more power than the ones who are only half size……. My only guess is that the full cells requires less connections / Soldering which means lesser resistance. I was really impressed with that poly panel. It’s really the best bang for the buck.

Claude Desaulniers says:

Oh well, use the reflectors in winter.

Conservator says:

By tilting the panel so that it’s perpendicular to the sun, the panel will receive more sunlight. (It will create a bigger shadow). It should produce about the same amount of energy as it receives.
It’s also true that the sun’s position in the sky, or the amount of atmosphere the sunlight has to travel through determines for a large part the amount of energy of that sunlight received by the panel. So at noon the energy should by at its peak.
To combine the two statements: to get the most out of your panels without too much trouble, it’s smart to tilt the panels in such a way that they are perpendicular to the sun at noon. When further away from the equator this becomes more important.

Benjamin Lewis says:

White is much more reflective than tinfoil. I knew a guy who lined his paint shop with reflective foil thinking it would light up the place well. It ended up being too dark to work in, so they had to tear it out and pain the walls white.

wu ming says:

Yep – Now its time to test a mono panel with 36 cells and same area. Although, when shopping panels all I do is look at watt rating, cell count and panel size. Also, a mono will not last any longer than a poly crystal. Life is mostly determined by the quality of the frame, backing, glass and diodes.

Louix Griego says:

Have you considered using smart engineering + light/sun tracking + reflectors? Imagine combining all of your panels with aluminum arms to a single light/sun tracker so they are all at the optimal angle. Using only one motor/light sensor. And then do the same to reflectors targeting the light to the panels. I could definitely see this as something you would put the time and effort into doing each time you stop at a new location if you are going to be there for now then a few hours. Or if you have enough solar/battery to make it worth it…

Ben Martin says:

Really interesting how well the rich solar panel is doing for its price. Do you have any idea if the company actually stands behind their warranty?

RV with Tito DIY says:

Funny. I came to the same conclusion a few years ago while playing around with reflective insulation panels and PVC…just add another solar panel. BTW: Pretty awesome results with that poly panel.

NomadicRev says:

Nice! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Double D says:

Nobody with a decent mind wants any janky tin foil crappola laying around their camper. I am sure the people around you don’t care for it either.

Richard Owens says:

Reflectors to increase light on the panels is likely to shorten their lifespan, as well as be unwieldy and inefficient to continually change position.

j j says:

100 watt flex panel is only $ 80 us. But mine lasted two years in Florida. I replaced with aluminum frame mono.

George says:

Hi Will, great presentation. As the panels got hot, did the wires also get too hot to touch?

Richard Carlson says:

Love watching your videos. I have a Kodak being powered with 100w poly solar panel. Would like to insert a watt meter between the solar panel and Kodiak to determine wattage into Kodiak. I heard you mention your watt meter brand but couldn’t find it on the internet. Could you give me the name of your recommended watt meter. Thank you again….

curtschannel says:

Nice vid bro!


Fun to play with theories. It’s how you get better mouse traps.

jodeluna62 says:

Maybe If They Were Some Who Water Cooled Panel It Would Get Them Cooler? Sort Of A Hybrid Panel.

Panic Industry says:


Abunai One says:

You should drive on Hwy 15 near Las Vegas and look at that gigantic mirror reflecting sunlight on that solar farm. It looks like some science fiction movie set.

Pat Black says:

Will Prowse cutting through the marketing hype with a real world experiment! Thx.

bonsia trees/seeds and plants for beginners Paton says:

Great video I’ve always wondered why they don’t have fan under the solar panel to keep it cool

Lyfan Deth says:

The sun moves 15 degrees per hour (360/24) and yes, there will be a 10% power drop in any solar panel, as it gets 15 degrees away from being aimed directly at the sun. Physics, repeated in labs. Not an opinion.

SJ R says:

I’m lost, so Renogy is the most cost effective?
Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel is 128.00 

Richsolar 100 Watt Polycrystalline 100W 12V Solar Panel High Efficiency Poly Module RV Marine Boat Off Grid (1pc) Amazon is 80. as i type

Liam Clancy says:

Thumbs Up²

Martin Espinoza says:

Good job! Wonder what happens if you put a aluminum plate on the the back, and use Peltier modules ti cool it….

mrmomb says:

Fantastic data!!! Now to tickle your well schooled scientific brain, because the panels differ in physical size and that you already have the data points, how does poly and mono compare based on square foot surface area throughout the various lighting conditions? Second question, When comparing the different panels, do you believe that the charge controller presents an equal and stable load to the panels? Understandably, we are not looking at hi precision tests to a fixed high tolerance resistive laboratory load. Keep up with your videos, this old man enjoys them very much. de K2LED

btmoores says:

Metal and mirrors provide a specular reflection, that tends to need to be precise in order to be effective. Using bright white creates a scattered or diffuse reflection, that may be more effective. The most diffusely reflective material I tested was Tyvek. Japanese farmers put it under orange trees to enable the oranges lower on the tree to ripen at the same time as those on top of the tree. Like polar bear fur and titanium dioxide crystals, I think the PET fibers are clear when viewed up close, which causes light to scatter diffusely when hitting it. Highly reflective.

Levi k says:

Why does your buddy dave2d loves fat women?

Matt Moore says:

Super awesome video!

MsSomeonenew says:

Well at the top end a good reflective system will get you 60% extra power out of a panel, but at that point water cooling is critical and your panel will have a shorter lifespan because of the extra photon bombardment.
Ultimately it comes down to calculating what the extra power will cost you in additional panels vs reflective or even tracking system.

Quinton P. Young III says:

you always do such a thorough job on these solar tests. Im very impressed and wouldnt know about the Rich Solar Panels without your video information!

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