Choosing the right grow space is an important decision for any grower trying to produce on a commercial scale. With many operations electing to grow in greenhouses over indoor facilities or outdoor fields, it’s essential they choose a structure that takes advantage of all a greenhouse’s capabilities.
That’s where a polycarbonate greenhouse comes in. Polycarbonate offers greenhouse growers a cost-effective cladding that can help them produce at the highest level. However, before diving headfirst into a greenhouse purchase, it’s important to understand exactly what a polycarbonate greenhouse kit brings to the table, and which kit is going to provide the best growing environment.
WHAT IS POLYCARBONATE?
Polycarbonate is a fairly common material and can be found in everyday items like auto parts, electronics and eyeglasses. It is a naturally transparent thermoplastic that can transmit light on a similar level to glass, but with the added benefit of being far stronger and resilient than other types of plastic.
This makes the material valuable across multiple industries, but its benefits translate especially well to greenhouse cultivation, making a polycarbonate greenhouse a unique growing environment.
EFFECTIVE INSULATION AND LIGHT TRANSMISSION
Two of the most important factors in greenhouse cladding are its ability to retain heat and the level of light transmission and light diffusion it provides. A polycarbonate greenhouse offers growers both excellent thermal efficiency and ample amounts of diffused light.
Heat retention, or thermal resistance, is measured by a cladding’s R-value. Heat loss can be calculated by using the equation, Q=A(Ti-To)/R, which results in the amount of heat lost in BTUs per hour. In the equation, A is the area of the greenhouse, while Ti and To are indoor and outdoor temperature respectively. The R is the R-value of the cladding, and with a higher R-value, Q equates to a lower number, meaning fewer BTUs lost per hour.
A polycarbonate greenhouse provides growers with a higher R-value cladding than both film and glass, particularly with thicker twinwall polycarbonate. Although there are several sizes, a popular choice amongst greenhouse growers is 8 mm polycarbonate, which offers strength and durability while still being extremely lightweight.
8 mm twinwall polycarbonate maintains an R-value of 1.72, compared to just 0.83 in single-layered film and 0.95 in 3 mm glass. It also weighs 1/12 as much as glass, which makes a polycarbonate greenhouse kit easier to install and maintain. The air pockets between polycarbonate sheets act as an internal buffer against severe weather, helping growers retain heat in cold temperatures and withstand intense heat during the summer months.
In greenhouse production, light transmission of 80 to 90 percent is considered an ideal range for cladding to fall within. Some crops may have different light requirements, but an 8 mm twin-wall polycarbonate greenhouse has a light transmission rate of about 80 percent.
The thicker material also acts as a natural ultraviolet filter that shields plants from undue exposure to harmful radiation. This gives most plants access to sufficient natural lighting while still protecting them from destructive UV rays.
Other cladding options can provide higher light transmission than a polycarbonate greenhouse, but growers lose out on the valuable light diffusion that 8 mm twin-wall sheets offer. Plants often grow better with diffused light because it’s able to reach all around them, supplying light evenly rather than majority going to the surface or top of the plants. Direct light can also overheat or scorch plants, which can hinder growth or outright ruin a harvest.
Sign Up For more information now
WHY A POLYCARBONATE GREENHOUSE KIT MAKES SENSE FOR GROWERS
While effective insulation and stable lighting conditions are important when deciding on cladding, a polycarbonate greenhouse kit gives growers more advantages for their operation.
Polycarbonate greenhouse kits are cost-efficient structures that help growers lower expenses and increase profits. Their thermal efficiency and ability to retain heat allow operations to save money on heating costs and grow year-round, regardless of where the structure is located.
Effective insulation and light diffusion create superior growing conditions to produce higher-quality crops as well. Longer growing seasons, coupled with improved crop quality, help growers sell more plants for a higher price, leading to a potential dramatic increase in profits.
A polycarbonate greenhouse also mitigates concern over having to perform maintenance or replace cladding. Polycarbonate is both flame-resistant and shatter-resistant, so growers know their crops are always well-protected. This maintains a polycarbonate greenhouse’s professional appearance and helps the structure require little maintenance or cleaning, even years after it has been erected. 8 mm twin-wall polycarbonate comes with a 10-year warranty, ensuring the cladding will go years without breaking down or showing discoloration.
With polycarbonate greenhouse kits, there is a more streamlined process for installation. Since polycarbonate sheets are lightweight, they are easier to maneuver, and can be installed in larger sections. This leads to quicker installation and keeps growers from having to worry about their polycarbonate greenhouse cracking when it’s being transported, a concern that’s all too relevant with glass panels.
Purchasing a kit can eliminate the burden of measurement and manually cutting pieces to size. Polycarbonate greenhouse kits are designed to fit together perfectly and can be installed in almost any environment. If needed, GrowSpan can handle polycarbonate greenhouse installation, and depending on size, the process can be finished in just a few days.
TYPES OF GrowSpan Twinwall polycarbonate KITS
GrowSpan offers a collection of polycarbonate greenhouses that can help take production to the next level. With varying designs and a number of custom features, growers can acquire a polycarbonate greenhouse kit that’s tailored to their specific needs. Regardless of growing technique, crop type or business model, a polycarb greenhouse can help growers prosper in their commercial market.
To find out more about Polycarbonate Greenhouses, call or REQUEST A QUOTE today.