98. How Well Do Flexible Solar Panels Work On A Canal Narrowboat?

Rigid Solar Panels? Angled Solar Panels? How well do flexible solar panels work on a canal narrowboat? We installed our flexible solar panels when we built our narrowboat in 2019 and now have a full year of data to share with you.

We’ll also show you our flexible solar panel set-up, how we installed them, wired them up, which solar controller we use, and how well they’ve performed in the last twelve months.

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#solarpanels #narrowboat #solar


  1. I fully understand that when you build such a beautifull boat you don't want to destroy the slick looks with these rigid panels! And the flexibles you have work fantastic! Well done!

  2. Hi, would you mind letting me know the supplier of these panels. so many suppliers, so many good reviews and we trust you guys over anything : )

  3. One thing to consider. The solar panels are working at it best within a narrow band of temperature. If they get too hot you get lower effeciencies off them.

  4. Excellent video and I am seriously considering installing these panels myself.
    However the one thing that puts me off is if I have to remove a panel.
    Will the adhesive take the paint off the roof or will it be quite straight forward in getting the roof back to its original condition by removing the adhesive.
    Thanks guys

  5. First vlog without any jokes, but verry interesting. I took me many vlogs before I notice that you have solarfilms. I am planing to put some on my summer cottage, but I need to study more about this
    Excellent vlog

  6. Hello again . I'm just about caught up with "all " the Vlogs but I still haven't seen this item addressed anywhere . On the roof of the boat , where a sixth Solar Panel could have gone , there is an item with two barge poles . It looks like a short ramp but I've never heard you mention it or seen you use it . What is it ? Cheers . /SRK

  7. Thank you soooo much for a very informative video. I am trying to DIY convert a transit bus into a tiny house and this could be PERFECT! Also the composting toilet vlog helped me out…. a brand I've not heard of.

  8. Given the success of the panels, are you thinking of a hybrid set up for Silver Fox II where the shaft is driven by an electric motor and your engine and pannels either directly power the motor or charge the batteries? Like a submarine?

  9. My husband says that 318kWh would be the equivalent of us charging our electric car (e-Golf) 10 times, or 1400 miles of driving. He's impressed!

  10. If I were to visit/rent for about 2 months would you recommend spring or fall? Summer is out, too hot, expensive and especially, busy. Cam

  11. Thankyou for sharing that, very useful point with the power they generate, like the fact they are streamlined and lie flat.

  12. Well done Colin, explaining in your usual entertaining fashion. Very interesting boys.
    I may not be getting a narrow boat here in Thailand, but I'm now educated about solar. Cheers!

  13. If you want to get power during winter research thermal generators that install on the back of you stove. Since your heating with solid fuel anyway it may help produce power.

  14. Will I be able to run like a Xbox x console off this type of setup? For long periods of times?

  15. Brilliant explanation. So clear and concise, that I , as a young spirited wrinkly , understood! Thank you.

  16. Like you I have flexible solar panels on my boat (6x100w in three parallel pairs). On a sunny summer's day the leisure battery array is fully charged by late morning. Usually the solar controller would float the solar voltage and chuck the excess power away. So I installed a programable relay (an Eazy VLC 12v) to monitor the solar voltage and when it starts to float, I divert the power to a 200w emersian heater in my boats calorifier.

  17. Great video, very professionally done considering solar panels for my boat and your video swayed me to think of the flexible panels … but my question is what are you going to do with them when the time comes to paint the top again?
    will they come off so you can reuse them? or is this a one way trip

  18. We want to put a hybrid engine in our boat and obviously add solar panels, we are very interested in your system, can you please tell us where you got them from. We are also interested in aThermodynamic hot water system. Love your vlog, watch every Friday.

  19. What an another amazing video as you know I'm still in Spain researching my boat. Is the bowthruster ran from batteries? Or you can get hydraulic ones? Much love from scorching andalusia x

  20. Amazing video as always and easy enough to understand, question though, does the single panel and controller go to your leisure batteries aswell or just your starter battery? as midsummer advertises it as if its solely for your starter battery. If its just the leisure bank wouldn't a bigger charge controller do the same thing as the two seperate or would it have the same negative effect on the volts as you explained?

    take care and hope to meet you at crick! 🤞

  21. great video, I'm in Australia and have a caravan, I'm soon to be traveling , sort of silver fox on bitumen, I'm in the process of upgrading my solar system from AGM battery's to lithium , guess what , everybody i know is suddenly an expert, you are so right, find something that works and as long as it works for you, its the right one, I've planned a system that should work and after a month or two refined it , got a shake down run soon to iron out the creases, was so good to see a honest non expert report that confirmed my belief , learn the basics then custom it to work for you., take care., best wishes from Oz

  22. I'm curious, do you have an idea of what percentage of your electrical power over the year comes from solar, vs the engine or perhaps even mains power? Our house has solar and currently we produce about 88% of what we need for our home each year. Like on the boat we generate more than we can use in the summer and less than we use in the winter. Where we have our advantage is during the summer when the demand for power is high we are able to sell our excess production to the local utility at their highest rate for buying in the winter when we don't produce enough we buy back at a lower rate. In an odd way we use the grid as a long term battery of a sort. Enjoy the vlog. Hoping to get current with you in about a month. Many thanks and fair wind and calm seas.

  23. Brilliant! Great explanations and it's certainly given me a head start, on thinking about what I'll want on my boat. Thanks 🙂

  24. I really enjoy the vlogs! Been watching to catch up to almost real time.
    Now you have a year with the solar, what about the batteries? Any battery maintenance or issues with storing electricity? Also, did you consider a wind generator? Thank you!

  25. Super informative guys, I found that really interesting, apart from anything else, your panels are really non-obtrusive, and fit in with the Silver Fox overall profile.

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