The Greenhouse Effect, Greenhouses, and Polycarbonate sheets for Greenhouse

For people who do not understand how a greenhouse works, or even heard of the term greenhouse, they most certainly would have heard of the greenhouse effect.  The greenhouse effect is the process by which the Sun’s radiation travel towards the Earth, where some is reflected back to space, while the rest reaches the atmosphere and is absorbed by land and oceans, heating and keeping the Earth warm enough to sustain life.

The same goes for manmade greenhouses, which stems from the idea of growing plants in an environmentally controlled area.  Polytunnel, or hoop greenhouses became more popular after the mid 20th century after wider polypropylene films became more commercially available.

Gutter-connected or multi-span greenhouses became more prevalent after the 90’s.  Bays of greenhouses were interconnected by common walls or rows of support posts and are commonly covered with polycarbonate sheets or polyethylene films.

The main difference between a manmade greenhouse when compared to the Earth’s greenhouse effect is that a manmade greenhouse structures is not open to the atmosphere and therefore the covered area has to be either passively or actively regulated in order to keep temperature and humidity at an optimal level that promotes plant growth.

A successful greenhouse should be built in a way that has greater control over the existing environment and able to meet the desired conditions for optimal growth of plants.  Key components normally include temperature, ventilation, heating, cooling, lighting and shade, irrigation, and atmospheric humidity.

In terms of lighting and shade VULCAN Polycarbonate sheets can definitely help.  One of the main advantages of PC is how the material distorts light, creating what we called diffused light. Diffused light spreads evenly around the enclosed area as opposed to direct light, which can scorch or overheat plants. 

VULCAN offers multiple polycarbonate sheet solutions for greenhouse roofing or wall cladding applications, along with specialized fasteners and accessories for fixing.

Polycarbonate Corrugated vs. Flat Profiles for Greenhouse Applications

Now that you have understood the pros and cons of different glazing materials and have chosen VULCAN Polycarbonate sheets to build your greenhouse, the next step is to choose between our Corrugated or Flat profiles.

are suitable for standalone or multi-span tunnel greenhouses, and require only light duty building structures.  They’re generally less expensive to construct as it requires less internal structures, and normally made up of curved bows and simple purlins.  Arched roof also creates flat spots where snow and ice can accumulate, which makes it more popular in tropical and subtropical regions.

are more suited for A frame type roofing greenhouses, which requires medium to heavy building structures, normally consists of welded or bolted trusses, designed to withstand high wind, hail, or snowy conditions.  The added strength of the A-frame design can support systems such as boom irrigation, monorails, curtains among other equipment.  An A-frame roof also offers good angles for capturing light during winter, a very important factor in norther climates.  They are also less prone to drip condensation compared to an arched greenhouse structure.

The Do-it-All Solution

Customers who are looking for the best balance between light penetration, diffusion, with additional heat reduction and solar selective properties can choose the VULCAN Pearly Series Polycarbonate sheets.  With VULCAN Pearly, there is no need to add additional shade net coverings, which lowers the overall building and construction costs.

Areas with less sun exposure, stable climate and require maximum sunlight penetration.

VULCAN Valuview Series Polycarbonate Clear sheets. VULCAN polycarbonate clear sheet offers maximum visible light penetration while retaining the original haze of PC, a property which glass or other glazing materials require additives to achieve.

Areas with ample sun exposure, stable climate, and requires soft diffused lighting conditions

VULCAN Valuview Series Polycarbonate Opal sheets.  VULCAN polycarbonate Opal material is not your typical white color additive just for aesthetic purposes.  Our Opal master-batch includes light diffusers, similar to the material used on LED panels, which disperses light evenly.

Please for more information.  We’ll be more than happy to provide more information and suggestions.