Tip # 85 “Perspex” (acrylic) vrs. “Lexan” (polycarbonate) Carport or Skylight

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 08, 2006 at 01:51
ThreadID: 122463 Views:3778 Replies:1 FollowUps:0
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I get questions from people wanting to be self sufficient in storage on solar, in remote locations for carports or sheds with clear roofs or light panels… Being one of the first to experiment with solar under clear covers to protect them from damage of halyards and winch handles and whipping sheets and shackles on sailing yachts in the early 80’s, we soon found that the acrylic worked with only about a 5% loss, but the polycarbonate came with a huge loss of 25% to 40%. We were working with ARCO solar panels, on teak blocks, hinged to clean out the salt, raised up off about an inch for laminar air flow under and over.. Acrylic is OK, losses were minimal to nil. Just be aware that some of the exotic carport type plastic covers and shed light panels could be polycarbonate, and that is hopeless with solar if you are trying to leave equipment on like fridges and such. The losses are too great. Ask your Builder or Supplier...

By the way, my strong suggestion is that for long term storage, the fridge not be left on. Better to leave it off with the door open on fridge and freezer. In ideal conditions it would be OK, and is certainly OK for short term storage, but long term anything goes wrong and you can ruin batteries, or worse yet ruin a fridge full of rotten food that you can never get the smell out of… Leave it off. It also does have a certain undeterminable engineering lifetime, why run it when you do not need it? For instance my Danfoss Compressor in the horse truck, running 24/7 is on the second compressor in eight or nine years or.. Give it rest if you don't need it, and leave the door open to air it out when in storage.

Best Advice, from the Ranger….

Of course you are free to disregard it, but there will be a cost eventually, so smile when it happens!! Ha!
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Feb 08, 2006 at 04:23

Wednesday, Feb 08, 2006 at 04:23
We have got our van stored under a white lasorlite roof and the batteries seem to get enough solar energy to keep the batteries fully charged. It is a carport type structure with full length lasorlite roofing.
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