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q about solar collector glass v polycarbonate - Page 2

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Posted by Gary on October 31, 2004, 2:51 pm
dan baker wrote:

dan baker wrote:
Hi Dan,
 > I am trying to decide which piece of the puzzle to do first. I need to
 > go a step at a time to kinda prove to the wife that it can be done and
 > still look "nice". We live in santa fe nm, which is ideal for just
 > about any solar project.

I'm very familiar with the "look nice" issue :-)

 > The roof on the patio is almost due for maintenance anyway, which is
 > why I might rip it off and turn it mostly clear first so I get some
 > winter gain thru the existing house windows, and then MAYBE enclose
 > the patio later. I am a little afraid that the polycarb or fiberglass
 > wont look good, so I might have to go to the expense of glass.....
 > still wondering if it should be tempered, and how thick. I am thinking
 > that maybe I can get a bunch of common sized bathroom tub door glass
 > (since they are tempered) and go the greenhouse route...  But if it
 > costs WAY more I'll come back to the polycarb probably.

Overhead glass should be tempered -- while you can bend some safety
rules a little bit, I believe this one is important.

Until you get the patio closed in, there would be no benefit to using
double pane glass on the roof panels -- in fact, it would be a bit of
a detriment, since you will lose some sunlight in the 2nd pane.
But, it you plan to enclose it later, the double pane is good for both
heat loss, and condensation.

You might check with your local glass companies.  They sometimes order
special sizes in tempered glass, and then find that either the
customer changes his mind, or the measurement was wrong and they don't
fit.  Since you can't trim glass after tempering, its not much good to
anyone, and they may give you a very good price.
One of our local glass suppliers offered me what must have nearly a
1000 sqft of double pane tempered glass panels that were cut about 1/8
inch to big for $00 -- he was very tired of looking at them :-)


 > I haven't started looking yet, but I am assuming I can find standard
 > sized flat panel like they use for the pre-fab sunrooms and use my
 > existing beams with a little bit of messing around.

 > thanks for the info,
 > d

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