Yuma 100W CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panel by BougeRV

BougeRV’s Yuma 100W CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panel with Tape: An Honest Review

Written by: Niki Thorne
Photos by: Dan Kellar

Note: This item was sent for complimentary by BougeRV for honest review.
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BougeRV’s Yuma CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panels can be found here.
Use the discount code “AFF18” to get 18% off site wide!

Quick Description & Technical Specs

BougeRV’s Yuma CIGS flexible solar panels are marketed as effortless to install and super lightweight, showcasing the most advanced new solar technology. Constructed with copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), they’re ultra sensitive to light, durable as heck and can bend to any curved surface. This durability is backed by a 10 – 25 year warranty from BougeRV. We reviewed the Yuma 100W CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panel (compact with adhesive) which retails for 279.99 USD / 389.99 CAD.

In terms of technical specs, our shiny new 100w CIGS solar panel weighs less than 5 pounds and measures 42.6 by 26 inches. The solar panel is designed to operate in temperatures as low as 40 degrees (where Celsius and Fahrenheit intersect) up to 80 degrees C (or 185 degrees F).

Full disclosure: We are solar newbs, and this review is written from a beginner perspective. There are many specifications that I don’t fully understand, so I have copied and pasted them from the manual for your perusal (see below).

tech specs

Unboxing & Installation

The BougeRV CIGS solar panel arrived in a tall skinny box. Opening the box revealed a shiny black cylinder, reminiscent of an oversized paper towel roll except fancier. The flexibility of this solar panel was not overstated. Lifting it from the box, I noticed that it was lighter than expected. I peeked into the box again and found only the manual. All one piece, nothing to assemble.

I resolutely set to studying the enclosed manual, and waited for early spring to grace us with a clear dry day to proceed with preparations.

in the box
how to use

First, I washed and painted the roof. Painting is not a required step for the functioning of the solar panel. But if you’re at the same phase in conversion as us, consider that painting would be more tedious after solar installation. Either way, you will want to make sure the surface you’re attaching the solar panel to is clean and dry.

Rooftop installation was as easy as promised. I gave the roof a quick wipe to clear the usual leafy debris, and, with attention to the order specified in the manual, I peeled the protective film off the first strip of tape on the back of the solar panel. I pressed the edge of the solar panel onto the curved surface of the bus roof.

I peeled the protective film off the remaining tape, and smoothed the panel down, shining fingerprints off with a soft rag while firmly pressing the solar panel onto the roof to ensure thorough adhesion. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as they say. No drilling or screwing or caulking, just adhesive. I didn’t time myself, but I think the entire process took less than a minute.

I positioned the solar panel on the fibreglass front of the bus roof offset towards the passenger side, with the cables dangling just above the passenger door. We already have a small hole above the passenger door, and we figured the cables could be easily threaded through to the inside of the bus.

installation peeling the tape
installation smoothing it down - Yuma 100W CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panel by BougeRV
installation almost done

To our slight misfortune, the pre-existing hole was too small to fit the connectors. Undeterred, we shifted to our imperfect and temporary backup plan — passing the cables directly through the passenger door, which has a bit of a gap even when closed.

I already have power station with a built in charge controller that includes a connector /plug, so there was no need to wire up a separate charge controller. We lined up the positive and negative cables and clicked the connectors together.

8 plug and series connection voltage

Unfortunately, we did not accurately assess the length of cable needed to reach the power station. My partner hoisted the 48.5 pound power station up towards the roof as though it were a 12 pound boombox so we could check the solar input. Only two watts. Hmmm…. Not what we expected.

Several days later, armed with new 20 foot 12 awg solar extension cables, we tried again. We connected the various connectors and plugged into the power station. It was a bright sunny day, with excellent light on the panel. But the power station was only soaking up two watts. Surely we were doing something wrong.

We checked the various connections and confirmed all the positives and negatives. We reread both the power station and solar panel manuals. Everything seemed right.

We metaphorically scratched our heads and pondered. Eventually Dan caught sight of small orange writing below the power station outlet. 32 – 95 volts… The panel output was 24 volts. Could this be the issue? That the voltages do not match? Isn’t 24 volts a common voltage for solar panels? Why would my (different brand) power station lack the capacity to receive a singular 24v solar panel?

Setting the last question aside, we stretched our unexpert brains into the realm of electrical tinkering. It felt like trying to catch hold of hazy memory through the fogs of time. Logically…. If we connected any second panel to the first… it should put out the combined volts, right? Using this method we could make the output fall within the 32 – 95 volt range required by the power station.

Dan unearthed our spare solar panels from the depths of the seacan storage workshop and we tested our hypothesis.


We connected the BougeRV 100w CIGS panel to an extra100w rigid monocrystalline panel and plugged the pair of them into the power station. Logically the combined volts should be flowing through the wires now, and therefore be suitable for the outlet voltage range.

cigs plus rigid

Success! If I owned a confetti cannon, I would have used it (Happy to be sent a confetti cannon for review btw ;). Testing both solar panels combined yielded promising results. Within seconds, the solar input sprinted from 2w to 142w.

BougeRV’s Yuma CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panels can be found here.
Use the discount code “AFF18” to get 18% off site wide!

We measured solar output over a couple days with varying weather conditions. The BougeRV CIGS panel was already mounted on the roof, and we tried several different positions with the rigid panel to find the best angle for the sun. Results are noted in the table below.

Table 1: BougeRV YUMA CIGS 100w + (unspecified brand) rigid monocrystalline 100w

DateTimeWeather ConditionsWatts
May 21 20243:35 – 3:40pmMostly clear, light clouds. CIGS on hood, rigid propped up by door.129 – 142w
May 22 20243:15 – 3:20pmMixed sun and cloud, rigid panel on the hood.50 – 167w

6:45pmCompletely shaded by neighbour’s house, both panels receiving indirect sunlight only9w
May 23 20241:40pmMostly direct sun, some clouds in the sky. BougeRV panel on roof, rigid panel on hood140-171w

3pmHeavy cloud20w

3:10pmSun out again176w
May 25 20241:10pm- 1:20pmRain, lots of clouds31 – 137w

Considering weather, altitude and angle, both solar panels seemed to be performing excellently. To find out how much of the combined solar power was from coming from the BougeRV CIGS panel, we wanted to test the rigid monocrystalline panel alone for comparison.

We separated the two solar panels, connected the just the rigid panel, and eagerly examined the power station display. Two watts. Cue confusion.

The confusion dissipated as a thought flickered across my mind. Could this be the same issue we had with the flexible CIGS panel on its own? Maybe this panel alone also lacked the voltage required by the power station outlet?

We checked the information on the back of the panel (probably should have done this beforehand), and discovered that the rigid monocrystalline panels did in fact operate at 24 volts. Not enough volts to function properly with our power station outlet on its own.

Our revised plan was to add more panels. As soon as we were able to procure another new 12awg solar extension cable, we resumed testing.

both rigids on the ground

Heavy clouds rolled in as we positioned the rigid solar panels on the ground, angling them towards the sun, and connected all three. Together, they yielded a combined solar input of 165 -171 watts. Considering the heavy cloud cover, this seemed quite good.

We monitored the power station display for a minute and then disconnected one of our 100w rigid monocrystalline panels. We connected just one rigid panel with the BougeRV CIGS panel. Solar power hovered around 116watts.

We disconnected the bougeRV panel and reconnected the two rigid monocrystalline panels. Together, the two monocrystalline panels rested around 135 watts, dipping as low as 60 watts, and briefly reaching a maximum of 138w.

Table 2: Comparing solar power performance

DateTimeWeather3 panels1 bouge RV + 1 rigid monocrystalline2 rigid monocrystallines
May 26 20243:01 – 3:05pmHeavy cloud cover165 – 171w116w60 – 138w
Possible confounding Factor: BougeRV panel at a disadvantage with angle to sun

The rigid panels seemed to be at a more optimal angle to the sun, so we adjusted our conditions to measure again, hoping for a more accurate comparison.

We carefully placed one of the rigid monocrystalline panels on the roof next to the BougeRV CIGS panel. Although we couldn’t recreate the exact same conditions (impossible to curve the rigid panel to the roof like the flexible CIGS panel), at least the angle to the sun would be more similar than previously. We ran our comparison again.

Table 3: Comparing solar power performance again, but better

DateTimeWeather ConditionsBouge RV CIGS on roof + 1 rigid monocrystalline on ground1 rigid monocrystalline on roof + 1 monocrystalline on ground
May 26 20243:10 – 3:15Heavy cloud cover98 – 99w62 – 109w

Based on this comparison, it seems as though the rigid panels give slightly higher maximum values, but the bougeRV CIGS panel gives consistently respectable values, especially considering cloud cover. This is impressive considering how much lighter and thinner the CIGS panel is compared to the rigid panel.

Is it safe to drive with the solar panel only taped on?

Ever the cautious driver, I also wanted to know more about adhesive performance and safety. I emailed BougeRV for reassurance. They promptly replied (yes it is safe to drive if you installed it properly) and gave me additional safety instructions accompanied by an infographic. For maximum safety, a specific edge should face the wind / the front of the vehicle. Oh no! We failed at maximizing safety. This wasn’t in the manual!

max safety install instructions

Nevertheless, we had no issues running errands within city speed limits. I examined the solar panel when we returned: still firmly stuck on.

Because we love to overbuild and experiment, we may place additional tape along the windward edge to maximize safety before longer drives and higher speeds. We figure this should reduce wind shear / lift pressure along the leading edge of the solar panel.

Who is this product for?

BougeRV’s YUMA CIGS thin film flexible solar panels are for people who want solar power in addition to:

  • the latest, most efficient, durable, and flexible solar technology
  • the flexibility to install on curved surfaces
  • the easiest possible solar installation, or for those who don’t want to drill holes in the roof
  • And for people who can afford the price tag, particularly if you need multiple panels for your power needs (the model we reviewed retails for 279.99 USD / 389.99 CAD)

Final Thoughts

I do have one particular note on how BougeRV can improve: by making the installation instructions more clear on how to maximize safety for adhesive versions of the solar panel. Information about optimal safety orientation was not included in the manual. I was only able to discover this information by reaching out to BougeRV by email.

BougeRV includes a disclaimer in the solar panel manual about potential power station issues due to mismatched voltages, so our initial confusion is down to our own inexperience. If you’re using a power station, I recommend checking to ensure it will work properly with your solar panels before purchase and installation.

Do also note that the adhesive backing sticks best to smooth flat surfaces. I don’t think it would work as well on brick on concrete, so you may way to consider whether the adhesive version will suit your specific project’s needs.

Overall, we like the BougeRV Yuma thin film flexible CIGS solar panel and will continue to use it. We were impressed by its performance, especially considering how much lighter and thinner it is compared to rigid solar panels. I also appreciated the ease of installation and not having to drill more holes in my roof.

About the author

Niki Thorne (she/her) is an autistic chronically ill writer and PhD dropout who dreams of becoming an animal behaviourist. Primarily of settler descent, Niki was born in Newfoundland and grew up in Sipekne’katik, Nova Scotia before moving to the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Neutral peoples.

She always loved the school buses parked next door when she was a kid, and she is converting her very own skoolie so that she can spend more time with loved ones scattered across Turtle Island. She can frequently be found with her sweet doggo, her partner (this review’s photographer) and his kids.

BougeRV’s Yuma CIGS Thin-film Flexible Solar Panels can be found here.
Use the discount code “AFF18” to get 18% off site wide!