The Benefits of ETFE Technology
When comparing portable solar panels there are many obvious things to consider, such as size, weight and how much power the panel produces. But there are additional factors that make a big difference in how happy you will be with your purchase. One such factor is exterior coating technology. SunJack portable solar panels are made with ETFE, which makes them a cut above and superior to many other brands of solar panels in the market. A solar panel’s performance ultimately comes down to its materials and construction, and ETFE technology should be at the top of your list of things to consider.
What is ETFE?
ETFE is short for Ethylene TetraFlouroEthylene. It is a high strength fluorine-based polymer that is used as a coating on our foldable solar panels. The ETFE molecule is made of hydrocarbons having a double covalent bond between two carbon atoms. Because it is a fluorinated polymer, most of the chemical bonds are Carbon-Fluoro which is one of the higher energy covalent bonds. These factors lead to a very stable molecule that is more durable than other polymers.
How Does ETFE Make a Portable Solar Panel Better?
The strong chemical bonds within ETFE give solar panels the qualities that make it the best choice for rugged outdoor activities. ETFE is the ideal protective coating for solar panels for several reasons:
- ETFE provides resistance to high levels of thermal stress, allowing the panels to perform extremely well in hot and dry environments.
- Increased life expectancy. Panels constructed with ETFE have an average life expectancy nearly double the length of the average portable solar panel.
- ETFE is extremely durable – they are shock proof, drop proof, waterproof, weatherproof, heat resistant and corrosion resistant. In other words, panels constructed with ETFE an ideal choice for outdoor activities and emergency preparedness.
- ETFE has total UV-ray permeability and is 95% transparent to the entire spectrum of visible light, allowing the maximum amount of solar energy to reach the panels and the device you are charging. This means a solar panel with an ETFE coating is extremely efficient, and even able to produce some power on a cloudy day.
- Panels constructed with ETFE are generally maintenance free. ETFE is a non-adhesive, stain resistant surface, and dust and grime are easily washed away from the panel’s surface.
- Most importantly, ETFE is composed of sustainable material and is 100% recyclable, making these panel’s truly a source of renewable “green” energy.
The Competition - What Are Other Portable Solar Panels Made With?
Many other brands of flexible and folding solar panels are made with PET coatings instead of ETFE. PET is a polyester-based plastic that is not very durable and is susceptible to corrosion. PET coated solar panels tend to discolor and crack. When exposed to UV for long periods of time, their layers often peel apart in a process called delamination. A solar panel has to be in sunlight to operate, so having one that degrades easily with sun exposure defeats the purpose.
The bottom line is that solar panels with PET coatings are often less expensive but will typically have half the life span of a solar panel with an ETFE polymer coating.
Why We Use ETFE Coatings on SunJack Solar Panels
Here at SunJack we are committed to quality. We do not cut corners and do not simply sell you the cheapest solar panels. Do not be fooled by flashy graphics and clever marketing gimmicks used by many solar panel manufacturers. Whether you are participating in rugged outdoor adventures or just spending a day outside, you want a solar panel that won’t break if you drop it or be damaged if it starts to rain. If you want a compact, durable, weatherproof solar panel with a long life span, you need ETFE technology.
SunJack’s durable folding solar panels are perfect for any outdoor activity under the sun: camping, backpacking, hunting, hiking, bird watching, boating, float trips, kayaking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, working on a construction site, farming, landscaping, horseback riding, traveling, spending time at the park, site seeing, hanging out at the beach, relaxing at the swimming pool, jamming at a music festival, enjoying a theme park, animal watching at the zoo, emergency preparedness