jbman

Passive Solar Greenhouse

20 posts in this topic

Since I live in New England building a greenhouse has been on my mind for a while. This soalr greenhouse has been built and operated for a while. It looks liek something I coudl build.

 

Solar Heated Greenhouse

 

Also this Poly pipe hoop house looks intersting:

Hoop house description

Hoop house plans

Hoop house door end plans

Construction Plans

 

Regards, Jack

crsublette likes this

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Hi jbman

zsazsa (member here and byap) have buildt that pasive greenhouse with a ap set up in.

Werry good documented build thread here http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9276

http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9056

 

cheers

Edited by ande (see edit history)
crsublette likes this

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Hi Jack,

 

If you have access to a masonry (brick, stone, concrete) wall, that faces the winter sun, you might like to consider a lean-to greenhouse.  If you google "lean-to greenhouse" and click on Images - you'll see dozens of similar structures.

 

They take advantage of the winter sun to heat the masonry - which is then radiated back into the greenhouse overnight - similar to the one you mentioned but using masonry (instead of barrels of water) as the heat storage.

 

 

Gary

Edited by GaryD (see edit history)
crsublette likes this

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Thanks for sharing Jack.

 

I'm a bit south of you (just NE of NYC), and have been considering various greenhouse designs (geodesic, earth-sheltered, passive solar, simple hoop house) for quite some time. I keep internally debating costs vs. effect on growing season vs. aesthetics.

 

I look forward to reading of your progress, and reporting on mine.

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Hi

Everything above is good stuff, but you need sunny days for all this.

If you have 2-3 days ( or more) without sun, rain, cloudy,snow  etc.....it's game over.

And moisture ( condensation ) is neverending problem if water is wormer than air inside.

Need wormer air than water to stop evaporation.

If you go high tech to control conditions, you will burn money for couple fish and herbs.

Systems based on harvesting sun energy will fail if there's nothing to harvest for couple of days.

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corection

need warmer air than water to avoid condensation .

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Ande - thanks for the link, He has a very nice system and I'm sure it help regulate temperatures since his greenhouse is partially buried.

 

Gary - I like the lean-to greenhouse design, but no masonry walls are avaialible.

 

 Ed - I have been doing the same debating (costs vs. effect on growing season vs. aesthetics). I generally don't have the "anaylsis paralysis" problem at work, but I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger on a system design.

 

Caca - I agree, I'm concerned since I live in CT and we don't seen to get a lot of sunny day strung toghther in the winter here. I have looked at supplemental heating and I'm concerned about the costs.

 

There is a guy in CT that has a geodesic greenhouse and uses a rocket mass heater of maintain temperatures in his greenhouse. Ideally I would like to have a full passive solar greenhouse, but the high installtion costs don't make sense for a home installation. I'm leaning toward the hoop house as a season extender and shutting down plant production for a couple of months during the winter. I could do this if my RAS was in the basment of my houe and I piped a seperate loop to the greenhouse in the back yard from the sump.

 

Regards, Jack

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Go through all the pages here: http://www.sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm

 

It's basically a system to store the excess heat produced in your greenhouse in the ground under your greenhouse, so you have that thermal battery for when it's cloudy or cold.

Earth sheltered is the way to go.  You only want transparent, low-insulation walls on the sides with the sun.  So, your north wall, and part of your roof should not be covered in greenhouse plastic, but instead with insulation and/thermal mass.  Additionally, with the earth tubes and thermal storage, you'll require very little outside heat.

John Urstadt and crsublette like this

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SCHS is a very interesting option. I guess when using this, you would need to have the greenhouse covered year-round to maximize the benefit. I had planned to remove the plastic over the warm months for any system that I build, but this might be a better setup.

 

Thanks for the link Vela.

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Hi,

 

For those people who live in places with very cold winters, it may be more cost effective to discontinue vegetable production during the coldest months.

 

Winter vegetables (root vegetables, tubers and brassicas) are usually the cheapest to buy…..at a time when they will be the most expensive (because of the need for supplementary heating, greenhouse, etc) for you to grow.

 

It might make more sense to just focus on fish production during the heart of winter.

 

In this situation, a small greenhouse could be used to extend the growing system rather than attempting to grow year-round.

 

Gary

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That SCHS system has been used in Wisconsin (I think) even during the extremely cold winters they get, and they are able to maintain 70F year round.

I think the idea would still be valid, even if you opened the plastic in the summer.  However, with SCHS, there's no need to vent as much, as it helps keep the greenhouse cool in the summer.

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I have debated costs vs. benefits of the different ways to extend the growing season for some time, and agree that growing year-round might be cost/energy prohibitive. Yet, if a SCHS system delivers as promised, the ongoing costs would be minimal and I would be more than willing to put in the upfront investment as long as operating energy is minimal.

 

For me it's not just about getting fresh, home-grown vegetables, it's also about having this available hobby/therapy to help get through winter. There's just nothing like putting my hands in some healthy soil to melt away daily stresses.

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Heating is not a problem because YOU can control it with many different sistems, which is good for fish production as Gary said.

This january I have over 20 days in a roll without sun, gray clouds and rain falling from time to time. Not too cold (over 0 C) but no photosynthesis.

I wilted before plants.  :(

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Hi

Everything above is good stuff, but you need sunny days for all this.

If you have 2-3 days ( or more) without sun, rain, cloudy,snow  etc.....it's game over.

And moisture ( condensation ) is neverending problem if water is wormer than air inside.

Need wormer air than water to stop evaporation.

If you go high tech to control conditions, you will burn money for couple fish and herbs.

Systems based on harvesting sun energy will fail if there's nothing to harvest for couple of days.

i do agree with you.. System is completely dependent on sun.. So on rainy or muggy day you will not have any energy or output..

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i do agree with you.. System is completely dependent on sun.. So on rainy or muggy day you will not have any energia or output..

What guys you think about the system?

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I love the noenergy houses heated with subterain/solar these guys have buildt one way up north http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gildesk%C3%A5l above the polar circle living in their self created climate so up north you move in to your greenhouse or you :cold:  :coldb:

http://naturhuset.blogg.no/1353933763_milepler.html 

http://www.nrk.no/nordland/fulgte-hjertet-og-bygde-drommehus-1.11043355

 

if I where to build new I would sure go down that route, they buildt it over two years whilst both had full time jobs and 3 small kids she is a nurse and he is a aquaculture tech.

 

cheers

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Thanks for sharing ande. Maybe it was a translation issue, but I didn't see how this has any subterranean heating. The geodome is fantastic, but you're saying it's augmented with geothermal heating?

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Hi ed

The house/dome concrete basement/cellar (you can see in the 1.link) is conected to 2 (SHCS) 30 meter long airducts, burried, 3m bellow ground, that keeps a constant year temp. of 8-10 degree C, the air and humidety is controled by exchanging/moving that temp and distributing/collecting it in water/air pipe/loops. all driven by solarenergy.

All rain/grey/black water is also incorporated used/reused within the unit, so they can produce all their greens needs + year round, they have a facebook acount (I'm not on FB) more details can be found there.

 

cheers

Edited by ande (see edit history)

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  You're on the eastern seaboard, so solar is may  not be a viable option.  Sunny john system has a disclaimer that it will not work in high humidity areas with low number of degree sunlight. Its very good for dry western locations, but supplemental heating will likely be needed.  

 

A rocket mass heater could be another heating solution, especially if you have burnable trash or brush to burn.

 

As Gary mentioned, you could simply build a RAS in an insulated building to get you through winter and then run to the growbeds during the growing season.  Heating of fish tank can easily make a small number of fish cost 100$ or more each.  A solar water heater can defray those costs on sunny days without costing to terribly much to make.

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Go through all the pages here: http://www.sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm

 

It's basically a system to store the excess heat produced in your greenhouse in the ground under your greenhouse, so you have that thermal battery for when it's cloudy or cold.

Earth sheltered is the way to go.  You only want transparent, low-insulation walls on the sides with the sun.  So, your north wall, and part of your roof should not be covered in greenhouse plastic, but instead with insulation and/thermal mass.  Additionally, with the earth tubes and thermal storage, you'll require very little outside heat.

Nice!

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