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Author Topic: polycarbonate roof panels  (Read 481 times)

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Offline D6c

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polycarbonate roof panels
« on: March 14, 2019, 11:39:52 AM »
It looks like most solar kiln builds are using the Tuftex polycarb panels, but the 12' sheets don't seem to be available in my area so I was looking at the AmeriLux panels that Menards has.

In reading the specs. from the manufacturer, I see that AmeriLux panels have a UV coating.  Is that going to cut down the kiln's ability to collect heat?

I don't see any mention of UV coating on the Tuftex panels.

Offline WLC

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 02:54:02 PM »
I wouldn't think it would.  It should help the panels last longer though.  UV is what breaks down most plastics.  My panels came from Home Depot.  Suntuff was the trade name.  Same basic stuff I figure.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 05:09:39 PM »
For my last three solar kilns I sourced 8mm double pane poly carb panels from greenhousemegastore.com

Ive been very pleased with them.  They work much better than my older kiln with the Lowes single pane panels.  Basically I can get 2 more months of effective drying from the double pane kilns versus the single pane one.
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Offline D6c

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2019, 10:29:58 AM »
For my last three solar kilns I sourced 8mm double pane poly carb panels from greenhousemegastore.com

Ive been very pleased with them.  They work much better than my older kiln with the Lowes single pane panels.  Basically I can get 2 more months of effective drying from the double pane kilns versus the single pane one.
Looks like that would make a much stronger, better insulated roof and not much more expensive.
My kiln roof will be 16' wide.  How do you seal between the edges of the panels to keep rain out?
All I see on the site are foam strips for the edges.

Offline btulloh

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 10:48:32 AM »
I ordered T-strips from the same manufacturer that were made for joining panels.  I also used their screws that were similar to those used on metal roofs only larger.  I think most of the panel suppliers offer various things that are specifically designed for their panels.  I was going to use a bead of silicon where the edges of panels butted together, but after reading the lit, that didn't seem like a good idea.  There is some thermal expansion/contraction that occurs with these panels and it needs to be accommodated.  Usually there are some guidelines and installation instructions available.

For my kiln, I sized it down a little and used the 8ft long panels just to get around the need to use the longer panels.  I altered the framing a bit to make this work.  For my situation it worked, although I wish I hadn't narrowed the kiln.  Still happy with the results though.

HM126

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 08:43:19 PM »
Any exterior panel of this sort needs to have a uv absorber to prolong the life of the plastic.

The double wall does limit the solar input a few percent, but the clearness helps quite a bit as well as the insulation value of two layers with an air gap  (20% less heat loss at least).  Then there is the strength, ease of installation, replacement, repair, plus the foam and the nice screws.

Basically, you cannot go wrong.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2019, 07:14:10 AM »
For my last three solar kilns I sourced 8mm double pane poly carb panels from greenhousemegastore.com

Ive been very pleased with them.  They work much better than my older kiln with the Lowes single pane panels.  Basically I can get 2 more months of effective drying from the double pane kilns versus the single pane one.
Looks like that would make a much stronger, better insulated roof and not much more expensive.
My kiln roof will be 16' wide.  How do you seal between the edges of the panels to keep rain out?
All I see on the site are foam strips for the edges.
As Butulloh stated, I used the aluminum strips that the greenhouse company sells for that purpose.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline btulloh

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2019, 08:44:01 AM »
Here's what I bought.  Got it from HD, ship to store, so they didn't charge for shipping.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/LEXAN-Thermoclear-48-in-x-96-in-x-1-4-in-Clear-Multiwall-Polycarbonate-Sheet-PCTW4896-6MMCL/205202473

Joined the edges with this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/2-in-x-96-in-x-1-4-in-Thermoclear-Polycarbonate-Multi-Wall-H-Channel-PCTWH-6MM/205202532?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal3_rr-_-205202473-_-205202532-_-N

Probably not as good as the aluminum version, but worked fine.

Used these screws: 
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Woodtite-2-in-Fasteners-50-Pieces-92523/100095071


The open ends need to be sealed per the instructions to create the dead air space.  I used foil tape instead of the more expensive stuff that's made for that purpose.  Works fine.  Punched a small hole in the foil tape every few inches to relieve condensate.  
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Offline D6c

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Re: polycarbonate roof panels
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2019, 05:17:33 PM »
Here's what I bought.  Got it from HD, ship to store, so they didn't charge for shipping.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/LEXAN-Thermoclear-48-in-x-96-in-x-1-4-in-Clear-Multiwall-Polycarbonate-Sheet-PCTW4896-6MMCL/205202473

Joined the edges with this:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/2-in-x-96-in-x-1-4-in-Thermoclear-Polycarbonate-Multi-Wall-H-Channel-PCTWH-6MM/205202532?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal3_rr-_-205202473-_-205202532-_-N

Probably not as good as the aluminum version, but worked fine.

Used these screws:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Woodtite-2-in-Fasteners-50-Pieces-92523/100095071


The open ends need to be sealed per the instructions to create the dead air space.  I used foil tape instead of the more expensive stuff that's made for that purpose.  Works fine.  Punched a small hole in the foil tape every few inches to relieve condensate.  
Thanks for the links...that seal strip looks like it would work just fine.
I started putting together a base for the kiln yesterday.  I'm building it on 6 x 6 skids so it can be moved around. I downsized the width to 80" to more closely match the optimum 10:1 ratio of board ft to collector area.  The plus side is, it's now narrow enough to fit on my car trailer if need be.
As I get going I'll start a new thread and post pictures.


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