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High Performance Solar Screen- Beat the Heat and Get in the Silver Sweet Spot!

SilverScreen EnviroScreen Performance Data

Hot enough out there for you? Get in the Silver Sweet Spot! Insolroll’s high performance, silver backed fabrics change the whole equation when it comes to fabric color and performance.

Conventional solar screen fabrics have some predictable performance characteristics- if you look at the chart above, you’ll see that typical light colored screens perform well at keeping a room cooler, with a lower shading coefficient overall, but they also fall to the right on the graph with a higher Visible Light Transmission.

Conventional solar screen fabrics in darker colors fall  far to the left, with very low VLT values, meaning that they reduce glare very well, but they also fall in the upper portion of the graph, showing higher shading coefficient values.

Shading Coefficient & Visible Light Transmission

If you’d like a refresher on SC (Shading Coefficient) and VLT (Visible Light Transmission), we try to explain it as simply as possible on the back of our fabric sample cards. Shading Coefficient is the percentage of solar heat gain through a combination of glass and screen. (Note that we always print values for screen with single 1/4″ clear glass in the window, for consistency in comparing values). An SC value of .36 (meaning 36% solar heat gain) represents a 64% reduction in solar heat gain, so the lower side of the chart shows greater cooling capacity. Note that white solar screen falls into this range, as do lighter colors.

Visible Light Transmission, or VLT, is a measure of glare, indicating the amount of visible solar energy that passes through both the glass and screen fabric together. Higher numbers mean more visible light coming through the fabric, and lower numbers mean less. So in our chart, from left to right, the VLT factors increase. You’ll see that typical black screen falls on the left side of the chart, allowing less light to pass through, and typical white screen falls on the right, allowing a great deal more light to pass through. The more light you have passing through the screen, the less clear the view through the screen will be, so we are not only thinking glare here.

With typical solar screen fabrics, you’re looking at excellent performance on one axis of the chart, and lesser performance on the other. In many applications, this presents no problem at all. Maybe you want more filtered light to enter a room, or maybe there is no view to speak of. Maybe you live in an area where heat is not a problem, and glare is of primary concern (think high altitude mountain homes, where temperatures do not get as high, but sun glare and even snow glare can be ferocious). In circumstances like those, typical solar screen will more than meet the need presented. But, in situations where both heat and glare are a problem, where energy usage must be more controlled, and where connection to the outside and a view are highly valued (think health care facilities, or residential spaces with a lot of west-facing glass), there is an answer in SilverScreen and EnviroScreen high performance solar screen fabrics.

The Silver Sweet Spot

So now, look back at the chart, and notice that all of the colors of both SilverScreen and EnviroScreen high performance fabrics fall into what we call the “silver sweet spot”… low on the Shading Coefficient axis and low on the Visible Light Transmission axis. Every color! Excellent performance in both areas (all three really, if you consider view-through a separate value). No compromise necessary. This is all due to the ultra-fine, reflective layer of aluminum backing on the solar fabric, which reflects away heat and light, allowing the interior to stay cool, glare free and maintain a great view and connection to the outdoors. Whether you want Beige or Black. Or Desert Sand or Driftwood. Now that IS sweet!