ALUMINET (an aluminized shade cloth) is more expensive than black shade cloth. What are the benefits of this shade cloth, and do the benefits justify the increase in price?
ALUMINET reduces heat load in the greenhouse. Because of the highly reflective nature of Aluminet, radiation is reflected away from the net. With black shade cloth, the radiation is absorbed by the net resulting in hotter nets. The black net thus provides a heat source to the greenhouse at a time when the greenhouse should be cooled. If ventilation is adequate, temperatures in houses with black net can be maintained very near houses with ALUMINET, but the fans will be working more to achieve the result. In situations where the heat load is pushing the ventilation to its limits, actual temperature differences will occur, with the ALUMINET being cooler.
ALUMINET, when installed as a thermal blanket/shade cloth, reflects this radiation back to the plants maintaining warmer leaf temperatures. This decreases condensation on the leaves as well as helps to maintain warmer air temperature within the canopy. Because the net is open weave, air does pass through the net. While this tempers the thermal benefits to some degree (compared to a solid screen), this has distinct advantages, particularly with naturally ventilated houses. First, the open weave of ALUMINET allows better movement of hot air to roof vents when used as shade during the day, and second, it allows moisture to pass through to the peak of the house, maintaining lower humidity near the plants.
ALUMINET provides for more diffused light in the plant canopy. With black shade cloth, the net will absorb rays of light coming from low angles. Because ALUMINET is reflective, it will allow much of this low angle, (diffused) light to pass through the net into the canopy. In permanent installations, this can allow for more light into the canopy during the low light periods in early morning or late afternoon.
Aluminet may be more expensive than conventional shade cloth, but the benefits could be worth the investment. If you have any other questions about Aluminet, call our Commercial Service Team toll-free at 1-866-567-0813 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipping included anywhere in the Continental United States! Shipments to Alaska or Hawaii qualify for free shipping to any West Coast port.