Jack

Maintaining Water and Air Temperature During Winter

9 posts in this topic

I live in northeast Tennessee were soon the temperature will start dropping. I'm running DWC in a greenhouse and have been thinking about options to maintain optimum air and water temperatures. I'm running 110 liter air pump with 12 air stones distributed throughout a 720 gal channels. Today, I thought about introducing warm air (e.g., at 100F) into the air pump inlet and wondered if the warm bubbles introduced to the water might provide a means for temperature control to both the water (roots) and air (leaves). To facilitate holding the heat in the air, I can add catipiller tunnels to the DWC channels overlaid with clear plastic.  Any thoughts as to whether this has been tried, might work, and any thoughts wrt design?  An option I thought worth considering for heating the air would be to require the air entering the air pump to pass through a heated pipe. 

Old Prospector likes this

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Hi Jack

Welcome to APN/HQ

You will only get a marginal amount heating, also if the air tube is runing thru cold zones, bevare of condens and posible iceplugs. 

cheers

GaryD likes this

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I had the similar thoughts a while back. What I found is the amount of heat to heat the air is close to 1/4 of the amount needed to heat the water. I even tried to heat the water by running water through pex pipe and blowing hot air from a forced air kerosene heater and it had little effect.  What I did have success with was heating the water with a solar water heater and would get between and 8-12F degree rise in water temperature.  There is a guide on how to make such an animal out of pex pipe and radiant heater aluminum panels. I used that and painted the panels with flat black spray paint.

Another simple way of cooling the greenhouse during the day was to run a fan from a high point in the green house and direct the air flow onto an open section of water. The air cooled as it hit the water and the water gained some of the heat. This helped the greenhouse to keep from over heating during the heat of the day.

There are many options to choose from, good luck to you.

bigdaddy and GaryD like this

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Ravnis, very interesting. Maybe a silly question, but where do you place your solar water heater? Is it just outside of your greenhouse? Do you need to insulate the pex that runs between the solar heater and your water inside somehow?

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Not a silly question at all, very astute actually!   I had a big fish tank (a 15' diameter swimming pool) so I just placed it on top of the fish tank inside the greenhouse.  With it inside, I never had to worry about it freezing.  If I had to do it over again, I would make sure I painted all pex pipe that was exposed black as some of my feeder lines were not painted and I had some trouble with algae growing in the exposed section and shrinking the inside diameter and thus decreasing flow. I could flush periodically, but a little more time and effort in the building stage would have saved me some headache. I had rushed it together due to time constraints and cut corners that later I regretted.

If you put it outside the greenhouse you will have to be concerned with it freezing or have to put it an an elevation where it will drain back to tank. If you can find a way to position it in the greenhouse , it will make it much simpler to use.  I do realize that greenhouse space is at a premium, so that is a judgement call the user will have to make.

Edited by Ravnis (see edit history)

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Could you elaborate on placing the swimming pool on top of the fish tank? I assume it was empty and turned over? I'm having a hard time picturing this. 

Edited by Cecil (see edit history)

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I'm sorry, I didn't make it clear. The fish tank was the swimming pool. It was the solar water heater that I placed over the fish tank which was a 15 ft intex swimming pool.

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One can use solar system energy with inverter and battery to store power and use it at night or in the winter season. Without inverter solar powers almost worthless. If you ar owning a single-family home then you may prefer 5kw Solar System.

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