I think it's the best way, exposing it to the user ...no encapsulated stuff that can't be repaired. Then supply a "connector box" to facilitate serial/parallel and here is a good place to put the Schottky. Since Schottky comes in many different flavors ... it should be optional ( allowing the user to solder it ). Personally I prefer 95SQ015 Diode (a bit expensive...but well worth it's price ).
Modular - connector box
With this approach the "connector box" can be reused for other power sources like TEG ( https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/da ... table-gene
I have ordered a special version of the PPX where I can choose serial or parallel. It's also worth to note if the system is made in modules ...an failing part can be replaced by a working one from an other twin system.
Foldable cover ( protection )
I think it's use should be limited to just protection....( box could do the trick ). The main reason is solar panel will lose efficiency when hot ( increasing serial resistance ). A soft cover acts more like an insulator and does a lousy job for protection.
Cooling ( more efficiency and long life )
This puts the focus on how to best ( easy/fast ) mount it....and COOL it. My measurements indicate you could easily earn 20-30% by cooling the panel.
At least an aluminum-plate at it's back could be a start, but some kind of simple water cooling would be really nice...maybe a sponge sucking water pressed to the back.
"Screen" protection ( expensive but might be worth the trouble )
I have been using Copter Screenprotector on one panel for 6 months an no protection on it's twin...currently the one with copter protection performs slightly better.
I don't know if it will damage the PET once I choose to remove it...My Idea is this approach might increase the total life span of the panels ( take most of the beating from UV light )
I'm thinking glass fiber tent poles ...
Once the panels are placed in the sun ....it would be nice if they could shade the batteries ...since Ohms law is a heartless bitch
It might end up like charger fungus =)
This hardcase and it's simplicity is very very close ( except the most important part ..the panels are not modular like cottonpickers )https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/79 ... ar-charger