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Old 09-29-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
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Any experiences with solar sails? Various air-pass-through mesh that partially shade?

I've also heard of people using layers of solar screening similar to that of horticultural applications so that high winds pass through easily (so strong bracing is not so critical) and that the multiple layers of shading can still eliminate a lot of direct sunlight on the RV.

I'm looking at my options in the hot Texas sun where I would take it all down in the winter for passive solar heating and then perhaps using solar screening or solar sails in various numbers of layers in the non-winter months.

I'm also curious how the UV transmission percentages might differ from the visible spectrum transmission percentages.

(I remember seeing some of the "solar architects" scientific journal articles on this back in the 1980's but have no idea what has transpired in that area after the green revolution hit. I assume the RV industry media deals with these topics nowadays but I've not done any research yet. Or did it not catch on?)
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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I've also heard of people using layers of solar screening similar to that of horticultural applications so that high winds pass through easily (so strong bracing is not so critical) and that the multiple layers of shading can still eliminate a lot of direct sunlight on the RV.

I'm looking at my options in the hot Texas sun where I would take it all down in the winter for passive solar heating and then perhaps using solar screening or solar sails in various numbers of layers in the non-winter months.

I'm also curious how the UV transmission percentages might differ from the visible spectrum transmission percentages.

(I remember seeing some of the "solar architects" scientific journal articles on this back in the 1980's but have no idea what has transpired in that area after the green revolution hit. I assume the RV industry media deals with these topics nowadays but I've not done any research yet. Or did it not catch on?)
Not sure, maybe this is just me not understanding. Why wouldn't you want to make use of solar year round? Are you talking about solar... wait I just re-read the question and you're talking about UV transmission so I'm just going to.. nope.. good luck I'm not getting this anymore than I got the Grand Piano..
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Not sure, maybe this is just me not understanding. Why wouldn't you want to make use of solar year round? Are you talking about solar... wait I just re-read the question and you're talking about UV transmission so I'm just going to.. nope.. good luck I'm not getting this anymore than I got the Grand Piano..
Sorry. I don't think I'm understanding your implied question. :-)

But if you're not familiar with solar sails or solar screening, you probably won't have any personal experiences to share about them. (Indeed, my last conversation with someone on this topic was an American teaching solar architecture at a university in Tibet! Of course, that's not to say that there aren't plenty of experts here in the States as well. But in his case, he got his Ph.D. in solar engineering in India.)

I've noticed that a lot of Americans hear the word "solar" and think only of electricity-producing solar panels. (Not sure why that would be but I've run into that on several occasions.)

[Of course, my casual use of "solar sail" is a colloquialism I've heard from engineers and it shouldn't be confused with the solar sails used for spacecraft propulsion---although the idea of solar sails for interplanetary RV travel certainly is an exciting prospect, LOL!]
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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If you are talking about solar shades or screens....yes they work. Check RV Toy
RV Accessory Store - RV TOY STORE - RV Windshield Covers, Tow Bars and more. For all your RV accessory needs, shop us and save!

You measure your windows and they send you the ready made shades (at a reasonable cost) with mounting clips or snaps. We had them on the last trailer and they were well worth the $$$$.

The new trailer has MCD shades which are more convenient, cost more and are not as efficient with blocking the heat.
MCD Innovations

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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Sorry - there are too many mixed terms in the question...BUT if I read your question properly...it is a good idea

Solar Sail: To the general public this is a space propulsion system:
Solar sail - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Solar Screen: Again to Wiki, usually a fixed panel application on a sky light, door or window to reduce UV transmission:
Solar screen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and
Exterior Sun Control

But, I am thinking you are asking about awnings and such to provide shade, but that allow wind to pass without tearing down the shade...right?

You should remember that most RV awnings are made for a broad market and that means the awning must stop rain as well as sunlight. These awning systems "should be" retracted in high wind/rain at the risk of frame damage. And some even have automatic retraction systems with built-in anemometers.

Here in SoCal, there are some uses of perforated materials for awnings in homes and business buildings...but they are not cheap. I like the idea, but with a perforated material, wouldn't a RV awning need 2 independent layers to block the sun and rain?

So...no, I have not heard about this technology rolling out to the RV market...maybe it should.

Safe travels
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for the helpful comments! I'm surprised how many solar engineering concepts have so little "market penetration" in the RV community.

I don't yet know how much of a wind issue (and dust problem??) I may have at my new RV site but I may have some fun with the solar engineering aspects...and dig out my old meters and sensors. (I've thought of putting my USB temp/humidity/dew-point sensors in the walls for 24/7 monitoring and perhaps compile spreadsheets of degree-days and my own telemetry and experiment with various solutions.)

I'm hoping to get enough wind-brake from an adjacent pole building that I might be able to use some less expensive shade/screen solutions by means of cables, building attachments, and stakes.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:49 AM   #7
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Sorry. I don't think I'm understanding your implied question. :-)

But if you're not familiar with solar sails or solar screening, you probably won't have any personal experiences to share about them. (Indeed, my last conversation with someone on this topic was an American teaching solar architecture at a university in Tibet! Of course, that's not to say that there aren't plenty of experts here in the States as well. But in his case, he got his Ph.D. in solar engineering in India.)

I've noticed that a lot of Americans hear the word "solar" and think only of electricity-producing solar panels. (Not sure why that would be but I've run into that on several occasions.)

[Of course, my casual use of "solar sail" is a colloquialism I've heard from engineers and it shouldn't be confused with the solar sails used for spacecraft propulsion---although the idea of solar sails for interplanetary RV travel certainly is an exciting prospect, LOL!]
I understood better after letting is percolate in the 'ol noodle a bit.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:50 AM   #8
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Thanks for the helpful comments! I'm surprised how many solar engineering concepts have so little "market penetration" in the RV community.

I don't yet know how much of a wind issue (and dust problem??) I may have at my new RV site but I may have some fun with the solar engineering aspects...and dig out my old meters and sensors. (I've thought of putting my USB temp/humidity/dew-point sensors in the walls for 24/7 monitoring and perhaps compile spreadsheets of degree-days and my own telemetry and experiment with various solutions.)

I'm hoping to get enough wind-brake from an adjacent pole building that I might be able to use some less expensive shade/screen solutions by means of cables, building attachments, and stakes.
I'm assuming you have a great deal of free time on your hands.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #9
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...

Solar Sail: To the general public this is a space propulsion system:
Man, you sure have a lot more confidence in the general public than I do.

H
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #10
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I have had the External Sun Screen for my windshield and pilot/co-pilot windows for years. And they work great. I have the 90% rated light and heat block. They will lower the inside temp. by 20 degrees, and eliminate the glare!

This summer I used the Patio screen that we bought at the same time, and never used, to make screens for the rest of the windows. My MH parking space at home gets broadside afternoon sun. The additional screening dropped the inside temps to around 90 from well over 100. I could go inside and do things for an extended periods without the AC. Co-pilot loved the idea of a screen over the bedroom window while she naps in the afternoon. I have been trying to find where to buy this stuff for years, but, google has failed me on this quest!

Only problem, the snaps I used were not that sturdy and broke the first time I removed the screens! I now have on order, waiting at the post office, after a train derailment delay in Amarillo, some of the twist lock connectors. Will get the new screens reworked this week, maybe.

Note *** Do not use the internal sun block film that glues to the inside of windows on dual pane glass! I will cause a heat build up and break the glass. I knew this, yet did not think about it, when Co-Pilot stuck some dark foam against the inside of a garage window above her work bench to block the heat and glare. When I removed the cover, guess what, the glass was broken!

H
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:06 AM   #11
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I read your question as a shade structure, not just window treatments. Regardless of the weave or density of the panel, I'd think you'd want to over engineer the anchoring method. I just returned from Wyoming where we endured 35 mph winds for days at a time. I'd think about screw anchors at least 2-3 feet deep and perhaps poles or pipes from the ground to higher than the RV to create a 'lean-to type shelter that would shade the south side and the roof. I'm not sure if the expense and effort would be worth the solar gain (or loss) from erecting such a shade. In my experiences with many solar shade table umbrellas, they seem to block visible light but allow the IF rays through, thus providing little relief from heat.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:08 AM   #12
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I think they have a smaller setup like you are talking about at the Pueblo site in (think is was) Phoenix. Very neat idea. They did have some cables that were rather taunt attached to it.
That is as far as my experience goes.
I may be able to find the picture of the manufacturer tag on it.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:13 AM   #13
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I read your question as a shade structure, not just window treatments. Regardless of the weave or density of the panel, I'd think you'd want to over engineer the anchoring method. I just returned from Wyoming where we endured 35 mph winds for days at a time. I'd think about screw anchors at least 2-3 feet deep and perhaps poles or pipes from the ground to higher than the RV to create a 'lean-to type shelter that would shade the south side and the roof. I'm not sure if the expense and effort would be worth the solar gain (or loss) from erecting such a shade. In my experiences with many solar shade table umbrellas, they seem to block visible light but allow the IF rays through, thus providing little relief from heat.

Thank you! You've confirmed some of my main suspicions. In particular, basic shades lack thermal mass and I had suspected that IR/heat would still radiate through.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #14
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Man, you sure have a lot more confidence in the general public than I do.

H
Really? Anybody seen a little movie called Star Wars?

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Safe galactic travels to all
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