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  1. #21
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    Sep 2018
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    Thank you all for the suggestions.
    Will try duct tape but not optimistic because that stuff seems to be melted on.
    Q20 or any solvent based product risks damaging the panel itself because it is made of a material very similar to the protective coating.
    Will try on a small test area first if the duct tape doesn't work.
    Although I have been offered replacements, it's going to be such a mission to get them off (only way is to saw through the sikaflex with a hacksaw blade), then get the remaining sikaflex off the roof, then drive to Brackenfell and back, then remount, then crimp and solder the wires, I'd really rather repair and will do if at all possible.
    Will tackle it tomorrow and let y'all know how it went.

  2. #22
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    I also have badger panels but the foldable type.
    Now wondering if they are also covered with a plastic protective coating and will check before the next use.

  3. #23
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    Sep 2018
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    Thank you Dangermouse for the idea.

    What I did was completely cover the panels in duct tape, let it stand in the sun for a day, let it cool down overnight, then pulled off the duct tape.

    See photo for result - good as new!

    Also, kudos to 4x4 direct for their immediate offer to relplace the panels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    ---
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    2007 Toyota Prado VX V6 4.0
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  5. #25
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    May 2007
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    Langebaan
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    WOW, looks great. Glad you could get it sorted.

    The foldables do not have the protection on it neither does the new flexibles.

    It was only our first 2 batches where we imported the gloss finish. After that we switched to a non slip matt finish which comes without the protective layer.

    Thus the protective layer is not a problem no more.
    1999 Hilux Raider 4x4, 3.4 V6
    2012 Touareg 4.2 V8 Diesel.
    Series IIA Landy
    1963 Willys Traveller


  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Mooinooi
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    Hi LXV, I apologise for possibly hi-jacking your thread but I would like some more advise regarding the Badger flexible panel mounting. I am also not knocking down 4x4Direct as I always had excellent service from them and will continue to support them. However, I am still waiting for a reply from them and maybe Pietpetoors will also respond here. I installed two badger panels on a friend's hardtop roof top tent. Firstly, I installed a 10mm acrylic base on top of the hardtop (because of the ridges on the roof) and then fitted the two badger panels onto this base using double sided tape on the edges and about two to three runs of tape down the middle. So there was NO Flapping!! To make sure that branches, etc. does not damage the panels, I covered the panels with a 3mm transparent acrylic sheet that were screwed down to the base along its edges. The panels worked 110% for about 3 months and then both failed at the same time. After removing the black plastic (glued down) connection box, we tested the two tracks coming out of the panels and confirmed that there was no voltage. So it seems clear that the solar circuit went OPEN CIRCUIT. We are looking for answers of what the possible cause could be. Did the panels get too hot? Did temperature fluctuations caused the circuit to "break". Any advise on the correct installation or possible cause of failure would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    ______________________________________
    Jeep - it goes nowhere when it is upside down...

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    Firstly, the panels are within the warranty period.

    I will defer to Pietpetoors here but the panels are designed for high temperatures in full sun. I think it's unlikely that overheating would cause failure, especially not 2 panels at the same time.

    The acrylic sheet compensates for the unreliablility of double sided tape, so they probably were not flapping.

    There are some variables:
    Does the vehicle have a 240v inlet like in a caravan?
    Panels wired in series or parallel?
    Have you tested the alternator output voltage?

    Assuming you have a dc-dc charger or intelligent solenoid and an aux battery:
    Which charge controller (open circuit voltage, wattage ratings)?
    Is the charge controller still fine and protected by a fuse?
    Is the aux battery still fine and if more than one, how are they wired?
    Is there an inverter on the system?
    Any arc welding done on the vehicle?
    Any chance of a short-circuit on any of the batteries (live to chassis)?

    An auto electrician may find some of these questions irrelevant, these are just my (inexpert) thoughts...

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    Quote Originally Posted by Lxv View Post
    ........
    I will defer to Pietpetoors here but the panels are designed for high temperatures in full sun. I think it's unlikely that overheating would cause failure, especially not 2 panels at the same time...............
    On one of the Australian camper forums, many also complain about semi flexible panel failures, where panels are stuck to their roofs. General advice given is given not to use these as fixed panels on a roof. I did not follow these threads in detail to ascertain the actual failure. There are a few who also have no problems with these, but there is certainly a high failure rate.

    The temperatures below panels can get very hot. Not sure whether that would be cause for failure or not. I welded 50mm angle iron frames for my solid panels on my camper roof, and there is about 45mm gap between the panels and the roof. When I removed a panel for cable maintenance, I saw that the cables and back water proof housing had suffered heat damage. This was not from a short circuit, and cable used was the thick proper solar panel cabling. I did not realise that it can get this hot under the panels. I have since drilled a row of ventilation holes into the frames under the panels
    Mike Lauterbach

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Langebaan
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    As LXV pointed out, there are many variables which can play a roll and he has some valid points in his list which I did not even thought of.

    Especially if 2 panels fail at the same time it seems unlikely to be of overheating or manufacturing fault.

    Double sided tape or sikaflex are the most common ways to fix them to a roof as it will prevent flapping.

    If they are still under warranty we will have a look at them.

    At which branch did you buy them?
    1999 Hilux Raider 4x4, 3.4 V6
    2012 Touareg 4.2 V8 Diesel.
    Series IIA Landy
    1963 Willys Traveller


  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Cape Town - RSA
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    Surely the acrylic sheet covering it would trap in heat. Even fixed panels are normally installed with an airgap underneath to allow for cooling.
    2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0 CRD Overland - GDE Eco Tune + 2" Lift on 265/70/17 BFG KO2's
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    --
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  11. #31
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    Sep 2018
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    Default Re: Badger semi-flex panels

    All of this duscussion about the potential disadvantages of fixed mounting has been very interesing, thanks to all who contributed.

    It has got me thinking - I am not permanently overlanding so do not need the panels most of the time.

    So I have bought a full sheet of 2mm ABS (the plastic used for signs), it measures 2,500mm x 1,250mm.

    This I will cut to size and attach with stainless steel screws to the roof rack which sits about 20mm above the panels (which are attached directly to the canopy roof).

    It is bright white, so will reflect most of the heat and with a 20mm gap for airflow, the panels cannot get too hot when not in use.

    When I need the panels, a cordless and 2 minutes at home to remove the ABS does not seem like too much of a mission.

    Advantages are that the inside of the canopy is cooler, the panels are in the shade when not in use, even if the car is parked in the sun so they won't get too hot and it will keep the panels free of "spikkels" from parking under certain types of trees.

    I think that all of this is still preferable to packing, unpacking, unrolling cable and connecting up, then finding a spot to place them, worrying about the wind and people driving over panels and snagging cables every time I want to use them, and then all in reverse, each time.

    Will post photos when done.

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