Pool Enclosure Primer and Aquaponic Greenhouse Guide:
Whether you are replacing the covering material on a greenhouse, pool enclosure or designing a new one there are some guidelines that are worth following.
The thicker the polycarbonate, the less likely that condensation will form on the inside surface of the polycarbonate. This is especially important in colder climates where the difference between the cold outside air and the warm and moist inside air causes condensation to gather. Bodies of water, such as swimming pools and fish tanks, significantly increase interior condensation and increase the importance of high insulation polycarbonate. A sacrifice of light transmission (a feature of thicker polycarbonate) and the added cost often pays for itself in heat and maintenance savings. High moisture and condensation eventually will lead to mold, mildew and maintenance.
Aquaponic greenhouses are typically covered with Clear or Softlite (100% diffusion) polycarbonate.
Pool enclosures can easily become very hot inside. We always recommend the white/opal polycarbonate. Bronze typically lets in 30% more heat than white. The light transmission is greater, plus the dark color causes the sheet to get hot in direct sun. By special request we can provide you a low light white, 20% light transmission, that provides a cooler environment.
Cross ventilation air flow in a pool enclosure or greenhouse is important. A typical pool enclosure design is sliding glass doors around the perimeter and exhaust fans high in the gable end to dump out hot air. For greenhouses use inlet shutters, for cool air inlet, on gable end opposite from exhaust fan.
A slick way to heat a structure and/or circulate air, plus help eliminate condensation, is to have a forced air system. Run a spiral duct at eave height. Install registers so air washes the wall and roof glazing, reducing condensation while circulating air and heating as needed.