As far as greenhouse roof glazing material solutions go, Roehm’s ACRYLITE product carries a few key distinctions when it comes to helping growers produce healthier plants under cover.
“It is the only rigid and lightweight glazing material that allows for natural growing conditions in a controlled greenhouse environment,” says Sibylle Viz, business manager – building & construction markets for Roehm America. “ACRYLITE offers a premium greenhouse glazing material that enables a full natural light spectrum to reach the plants, resulting in increased plant growth.”
Between the product’s high light level transmission capabilities and its ability to withstand tough working conditions through the years, Viz says most growers that add the glazing product walk away more than satisfied, specifically noting the solution’s 89% of PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) transmission capabilities.
“Every additional percentage in light transmission increases the yields of the products grown in your greenhouse,” Viz adds.
ACRYLITE also features what the company calls its NO DRIP coating, which reduces or even eliminates droplets that can sometimes form on the roof and reflect sunlight off-target. This allows for a more uniform, consistent delivery of the daily light integral (DLI) the plants need.
Of course, with any product on the market, there will be those with critiques. A common critique of most greenhouse glazing material is that the material itself tends to “yellow” or change color overtime due to sunlight exposure.
“ACRYLITE is different because the product naturally resists degradation while exposed to sunlight and does not require any additional UV coating [to prevent discoloration],” Viz states. “We are so confident of this performance that we warranty ACRYLITE against yellowing for 30 years.”
Another performance attribute that can help many greenhouse growers, according to Viz, is that the company offers the product in both UV-blocking and UV-transmitting options. For crops that do not require higher UV light rates, the UV-blocking version is ideal, and for the plants that do respond positively to a little UV light stress, they can go with the UV-transmitting glazing.
“The UV-transmitting version of ACRYLITE, called Alltop, is popular in these applications, where it reduces the need to invest in and operate supplemental UV light and increases the yield of high-value plants,” Viz says. “Not only do many of these customers report increased yields and reduced growth cycles compared to growing under poly or glass, but they also find that with the natural light, the crops have enhanced colors, flavors and nutrient density.”
And, lastly but certainly not least, by applying what Viz describes as “thick top and bottom skins” that allow for longer unsupported spans, the product reduces the amount of metal structure components that can block sunlight entering the greenhouse, and it also slows heat transfer – which means energy savings during cold month production.
“The thick skins combine with a large dead air space to provide significant energy savings over the life of the greenhouse, resulting in up to 40% compared to single skin greenhouses but also in reducing a facility’s carbon footprint.”