What is Polycarbonate?
Polycarbonate is the material that the panels are made of. It is a very strong and resilient material. It doesn”t crack or break like acrylics (i.e. plexiglass). You can actually bend polycarbonate over a press and it won”t break. Having said that, it is a high energy material like aluminum. This means that it takes a lot of energy to produce it. Fortunately, polycarbonate can be recycled and we intend to use recycled polycarbonate for the panels we utilize.
Will the panels fade or turn yellow?
Since most of the panels are shaded by the roof and by themselves, they shouldn”t fade or turn yellow for some time. There are inherent UV stabilized properties in today”s polycarbonate. See web site below for more information.
www.sheffield.com (i.e. product information, Makrolon GP)
What can I build with these panels?
It is our intent to have these panels used for all sorts of structures. We will soon demonstrate other uses for the panels in upcoming blogs. There will be some limitations in terms of height and weight loads. Since we are architects we can help you with the design and advise you as to what is possible.
Do I need a solar carport?
If you drive an electric/hybrid vehicle you might want to consider a solar carport. Adding an electric vehicle to your electrical bill is equal to adding another house to your neighborhood grid. Even though your electric/hybrid vehicle is no longer emitting CO2, you still might be polluting. See web site below for more information.
Where can I put a solar carport?
First of all, make sure there is direct sun. Plan on placing your solar carport on a level surface like a driveway or parking lot. Check with the city you live in for your particular building setbacks.
What use is a carport in snowy climates?
One way to keep out snowdrifts and cold wind would be to cover the walls with a translucent material like boat wrap. You may have seen boats wrapped in white or blue material when stored for the winter. We intend to design the carport so that you can use the same inexpensive boat wrap (or something more permanent like a canvas teflon material) to enclose it. Thus the carport in the winter becomes more enclosed like a garage.
How will I clean the panels?
Cleaning the solar panels is easier than you might think. Your house gets dirty just like a carport. You might not notice that your house is dirty unless you have white paint, but over time it does. The easiest way to clean your house is to wash the exterior with soap and water. This would be true of the panels as well. The majority of panels are either colored or have a sanded translucent finish. Neither shows dirt like a clear panel (or glass) would. So as a result, much of the dirt is hidden like the dirt on the siding of your house.
How do I put the panels or carport together?
We will continue to add photographs and information to our blog that will clearly show how the carport is put together. The solar carport is a modular building system that is designed to be constructed like a bookshelf. If you can put together a bookshelf, you probably can put together the carport. We can also install solar carports locally in Minnesota or find a contractor for you in another area.