Meet Polycarbonate: An Energy Efficient Alternative to Glass

Looking for an alternative to glass that’s cost effective and energy efficient? Solar Innovations® offers polycarbonate as a durable alternative to glass for skylights, greenhouses, conservatories, doors, sunrooms, and more. While it has been around years, polycarbonate is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity in the building industry.

Polycarbonate is virtually indestructible; not even bricks can break it. It’s an excellent choice for high traffic and high wind areas. Also, testing is complete for Florida Impact ratings.

If you are trying to achieve a modern appearance, polycarbonate is one of the easiest ways to meet your goal. There are several different colors available including: clear, blue, green, opal, and bronze. It also comes in a variety of thicknesses. 8mm is comparable to single pane glass, 25mm is comparable to insulated glass, and 60mm is comparable to triple pane glass.

Polycarbonate Custom Skylight

Lumira Aerogel

Solar Innovations® offers Lumira® aerogel, previously known as Lumira® Nanogel, to fill our polycarbonate. Lumira® aerogel’s main purpose is to increase thermal performance ratings, but it can also greatly reduce sound transmission. Lumira® aerogel consists of small, clear, hydrophobic particles, which  create an R-value of 6.3 for a 25mm unit compared to an R-value of 2.9 for an unfilled unit. After it is added to the polycarbonate, the thermal transfer of heat is greatly reduced, minimizing energy costs for buildings.

In certain applications, Lumira® aerogel aids in LEED certifications. Lumira® aerogel assists in the achievement of LEED points for sustainable purchasing, optimum energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and low emissions. Another benefit of incorporating Lumira® aerogel is glare reduction. If harsh glare is a problem, it can be used to diffuse incoming rays, creating a soft light effect.

Still undecided? Solar Innovations® can incorporate both glass and polycarbonate into your doors or structures. This allows a clear view through the glass on one side and to block out less appealing scenery on the polycarbonate side. Contact us today for more information or to order.