Author Topic: Greenhouse anyone?  (Read 46690 times)

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Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2012, 10:15:48 AM »
Well, it is a greenhouse thread...  ;D

Maybe this is the better place to ask, rather than starting my own thread... We just moved out of town, new house came with a 16' x 8' x 10' tall greenhouse. Love the theory, scared of power bill :) Wife and I both have plans, but we need to make it reasonable to operate...

2x4 construction, translucent corrugated fiberglass sheeting. Has 15amp service, and natural gas furnace (early 80s vintage?).




Now we'd like to get close to 4 seasons use out of it (now we are at 51' north - north east of calgary) - I'm most likely going to do some rework on it... Add a layer of 6mil poly to each side of the 2x4 framing (keeping the fiberglass too) to get some 'insulation' for what it's worth... Thinking about a 6' or so extension - basically a utility room to store all the gear I'm going to be adding (and get some of the aquaponic tanks out of the sun). Yes I will be replacing that screen door :)

While I'm in re-working, I'm thinking about installing: http://www.sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm . Using the 'standard' greenhouse calculators, looks like I'll need about 40,000btu of heating on the coldest days we typically get around here; trying to make heads or tails out of what I'll need for solar water heating to keep that CNG furnace off (albeit with all the solar water I've been contemplating; I might replace it with a more typical hydronic boiler scenario?) - we're probably going to tie in a hot-tub (wife wants one - and likes it HOT (as in 40-45C hot)- so perfect candidate to hold ~800g of toasty hot water) as a heatsink... I was thinking a paver floor, possibly with some PEX floor heating loops...
 
Still waiting on my hugh piggott book; been in customs for a month now... Obviously this customs agent who's reading it is a slow arse reader... But we're in a perfect spot for wind, Category 3 in the winter - basically still in summer though, no local restrictions, and we live close enough to trains, that we have no noise restrictions...

I'd love to hear some advice/suggestions on how to do this...

Bruce S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2012, 10:23:46 AM »
While you're waiting on the book to arrive  ;).
Have a look at this website.
http://www.builditsolar.com/
The site owner is a regular poster ehre and generally answers emails directed to him.
WARNING, once you go to that site HOURS will disappear without notice.
BUT the money you will save will be well worth the time  8).
Nice GH you got there!!
Bruce S
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Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2012, 11:04:54 AM »
Yeah, I've already lost a few ... days (might be closer to weeks) between builditsolar and scoraigwind... :) And this place sure isn't helping either... :)





Bruce S

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2012, 11:22:49 AM »
If you don't get more posting help I can always split this one off and repost it in the Newbies area.
There you'll have more eyes.
However, my thought is that with that much room you should be able to make up enough trough style heaters or beer can heaters to keep the use of NG down to the bare min.
I'm also finding that using the PEX style lines for underground water piping to be a better route.
I've tested some open water 30gal HPV tanks this past winter and they certainly help with keeping the air moisture up. Last winter was a mild one so I'm not ready to go with it just yet.
Bets of Luck
Bruce S
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Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2012, 12:48:02 PM »
I've flip flopped as I've navigated the site, as there's  no real appropriate (or consistantly used) place for greenhouses - they just seem to pop up wherever :) I'm good with it here... I'll start a build log once I figure out just what I'm doing and put shovel to soil...

Right now I'm still trying to feel out my overall budget for what I need to do... Pricing out the basics are easy enough - SHCS, 6mil poly, expansion, new door that was easy... It's trying to calculate out the SWH etc sizing etc that is causing migraines :) Should I just run with a lowball 600btu/sqft number - and run with the greenhouse calculator's 40,000btu? So 66sqft minimum, make it 10x8 as overkill (and make up for the hot tub)? Or split it up and run evac tubes on the east side (ridge of the roof runs N/S) then plate units on the west side - where they'll get the best heat of the day?


SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2012, 01:13:14 PM »
Howdy, neighbour!

I'm close enough to WALK to your house. 

If that book doesn't arrive, I'll bring my copy over.

My first suggestion, for your research, is to look up Gary's Build-it-Solar website.  A variety of solar space-heating projects, some of which may work for you.
The rest...  I'm a wind turbine person, and defer to the experts on solar.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2012, 04:52:33 PM »
Is there a turbine in town I haven't noticed?  :o


David HK

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2012, 05:46:50 PM »
What an interesting structure.

It has the appearance of a medieval church. I am astonished to observe that the structure sports what I take to be the Canadian national flag. I presume the purpose of this stately symbol is similar to that of an aerodrome wind sock - wind direction in anticipation of a wind turbine yet to be built?

David in Hong Kong




SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2012, 10:52:50 PM »
Is there a turbine in town I haven't noticed?  :o

Nah you'd never see mine, I keep it hidden in tall trees   ;)   I'm a few sections east of Keoma.
I guess you live in one points of the K-I-K triangle, or maybe the outer suburbs of metro-Beiseker?
Send me a private message if you need one of those books.

Does that shed have a foundation?  Or is it on skids?  I have a couple of sheds that size on skids that I've moved once or twice. 
Maybe you don't have to leave it pointed N-S if you want sun on the sloped roof?


David,
You'll just have to get used to it.  There are Canadians everywhere.  Probably, there are some in your home town right now...
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2012, 11:25:25 PM »
I'm a short stumble from beefsteaks... I can hear the karaoke as I type  8)

Its on skids, but has the 15amp & Nat gas so less moveable...

What does David have against Canucks? 2 of my great uncles are buried in hk, royal navy circa '42...

David HK

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2012, 11:55:05 PM »
I don't have anything against Canadians at all.

I took great care to write in a humorous vein.

By the way I am British (Hong Kong Police retired) in case you thought I may be Chinese.

David in HK


Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2012, 08:17:34 AM »
heh, no - I assume everyone is alien until they prove otherwise  :P

I couldn't do HK, heck I could barely survive life in calgary (and I think it's way too crowded). :)

seilertechco

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2012, 06:39:47 AM »
I built two greenhouses onto the south side of my basement.  A porch is in the middle.  They protrude 8' and are each 16' wide.  I fabricated the frame out of steel, primered and painted, then used silicone and fasteners with 3/8 poycarbonate twinwall.  The greenhouses are the most enjoyable part of our house and they light the entire basement plus heat. 

I use one to start my garden plants in the spring (have tomatoes, peppers, etc, going right now).  Found a stainless cabinet that fit inside one from end to end (set it in with a crane before building the cover). 

We use them for living space and cannot imagine a better way to build for multiple use.  One must plan for cover in the summer to control overheating. 

Toby

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2012, 03:48:42 PM »
What do I (not David) have against Canuks?
Snowed here 2 days ago.
They need to keep that crap up in Canukia where it belongs!

Then today was almost 80F, which is 26.7 in Canukian.
G-
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Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2012, 07:53:20 PM »
Only if you keep those snowstorms down in montana from when'st they come lately :) Was in the 70s, then montana goes and sends us snow... It's all that Californian hot air y'know ;)

Found the inside glass for that screen door today, tossed together a quick arduino project, 3 DS18b20's (1wire temp sensors), one inside (floor) inside (Ceiling) and outside (about 3' off the ground). See if we can't get a little baseline data (and curious if I can kick some of the strawberries and sunflowers out of my kitchen  ;) )


SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #69 on: April 16, 2012, 01:02:54 PM »
At the UFA (Airdrie) on the weekend and I noticed they're building a greenhouse like yours in their back-lot. 
A little wider, less roof slope, but otherwise same basic idea.  Your GH may be a kit.

Uh-oh, here comes aduino data....
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #70 on: April 16, 2012, 04:47:07 PM »
Yeah, heard a rumor it's actually a 198*'s Acme farm & Building kit :)

I wont torture ya's with data :) Thats what blogs are for

jhnpldng

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #71 on: April 17, 2012, 06:57:01 AM »
Here's my favorite. http://aes.missouri.edu/swcenter/research/Solar-heated%20greenhouse.pdf

Size is 12'x24 and 11' tall at peak, 22- 55gal drums of water for 1100gal thermal storage, in 10 years of testing the lowest outside temp was -13F and inside stayed above freezing, all kinds of cool weather crops have been grown in it, winter soil temps between 40-56F.

I plan on building something similar on the south side of our cabin. Double duty as solar heating. The one above is freestanding.

SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2012, 12:21:19 PM »
Quote
Yeah, heard a rumor it's actually a 198*'s Acme farm & Building kit

Lasted a lot longer than the usual kits ordered by Wile E. Coyote from the Acme Company.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

Hephaestus

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #73 on: April 17, 2012, 01:30:22 PM »
 ::)

Temp only went down to 3c overnight, that's a good start (-10 outside), guess we're not clearing the plants out quite yet...


petect

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2013, 09:20:18 AM »
Hilltopgrange

Thank you for taking the time to share the construction details of your greenhouse. Could you explain your water collection / storage system? I would guess that it's buried under or along side the greenhouse? How is the water pumped up? Does it cause much additional condensation, if under?

Thanks in advance.
Pete

TXWolfie

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #75 on: May 21, 2013, 06:29:42 PM »
My buddy's house had a green house attached to it. Upon his dad retiring he got a green thumb big time. The house had a basement which was half above/below ground. The basement also had a back door like all basements should that led to the side of the house. All he did was simply dig out the sides of ground to if I remember 8wide by 12 long. From there he used cinder block and made 2 rows high with a doorway. Simply framed out with 2x4 and used double paned windows for walls and roof which he got free from a house remodel. It actually produced enuff organic heat to heat his entire house in winter and during the summer opened up the door and the front door and made cross ventilation.

GaryGary

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #76 on: May 22, 2013, 08:08:29 AM »
Hi,
I've been working on getting our greenhouse into a four season one.

It started as this sort of test space for low thermal mass sunspace for space heating: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Sunspace/LowMassSunspace/TestsLowMassSunspace.htm

I've added some sand and concrete pavers over the floor insulation, added some 55 gallon plastic barrels along the north wall for thermal mass,  painting most of the inside surfaces white.  Also got an air to water heat exchanger (similar to a car radiator) and plan to mount it in the peak of the GH to heat water in the barrels to store more of the daytime solar heat in the barrels for use at night.  Thinking about some kind of night time insulating system for the glazing -- any ideas?

Mine is also modeled after the U of Missouri GH mentioned above.

For the rest of the summer, the big issue is going to be getting enough ventilation -- I've added a 14 inch solar vent fan at the peak in the east wall, and and AC fan powered vent fan in the west wall (using the 10 inch Grainger fan that does 600 cfm for 27 watts).  Looks like it will still need some more venting or shade cloth.
Just putting in our first plants today -- based our our past record in growing things I'm not envying the plants.

Will be interested to see how the Calgary GH performs as I think you guys have a bit tougher winter than we do in Bozeman -- but, maybe more sun.


Gary



SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #77 on: May 22, 2013, 01:18:54 PM »
Hi Gary,
I enjoyed reading  through your sunspace experiment pages when I discovered them a few months ago.  Hope it works as greenhouse for you.

How well will shadecloth work to insulate the glazings overnight?  If stretched continuously across the entire glazing, the shadecloth would create a barrier to both convection and radiation.  Make one sheet large enough, or for starters you could cut several pieces to size and hang them over the windows at night.  Pull them tight to stay close to the slope of the glazings.

...But I'm sure you are ACTUALLY asking about how to AUTOMATE the covering of the windows at night.  That's trickier...

I'm thinking it should be light-activated, not temperature activated.  Since the morning sun is the source of heat that will warm it up for the day, using a temperature differential would delay the opening of the blind.  Likewise, in the evening, the greenhouse will cool down before the blind closes if you use temp differentials to activate the closure.  So use a photocell.

Assuming you still like using shadecloth, it can roll up at the ceiling for the day, and unroll for the night.  Keeping it tight may take trial-and-error.  I don't have a magic-bullet suggestion.

There could be too much solar heat for the greenhouse to work, considering how thoroughly it's insulated.  By July, you will know if what you really need are venetian blinds partly closed all day!

My next-door neighbour is going to build a greenhouse this summer (supposedly).  If so, it will be my first chance to regularly see how one works in this climate.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

SparWeb

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #78 on: May 22, 2013, 01:22:31 PM »
Oh, I see you already have a pyranometer mounted on the building.  That will be more accurate than the photocell.  Though more complicated, because only a microcontroller or a computer can drive it, or know what to do with the readings it spits out.  It does not sound like that would daunt you at all, though.
No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

System spec: 135w BP multicrystalline panels, regulated by Xantrex C40, DIY 8ft diameter wind turbine, regulated by Tri-Star TS60, 800AH x 24V AGM Battery, Xantrex SW4024

GaryGary

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #79 on: May 22, 2013, 02:44:17 PM »
Oh, I see you already have a pyranometer mounted on the building.  That will be more accurate than the photocell.  Though more complicated, because only a microcontroller or a computer can drive it, or know what to do with the readings it spits out.  It does not sound like that would daunt you at all, though.

Hi,
Its an Apogee pyranometer -- pretty easy to use.  It puts out 0.002 volts per watt/sm.   I use it with a Hobo logger that scales the pyranometer volts into watts/sm and logs the watts/sm readings.  The plots are from the Hobo software.


Gary

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Re: Greenhouse anyone?
« Reply #80 on: May 23, 2013, 08:49:10 AM »
Hi Gary,
I enjoyed reading  through your sunspace experiment pages when I discovered them a few months ago.  Hope it works as greenhouse for you.

How well will shadecloth work to insulate the glazings overnight?  If stretched continuously across the entire glazing, the shadecloth would create a barrier to both convection and radiation.  Make one sheet large enough, or for starters you could cut several pieces to size and hang them over the windows at night.  Pull them tight to stay close to the slope of the glazings.

...But I'm sure you are ACTUALLY asking about how to AUTOMATE the covering of the windows at night.  That's trickier...

I'm thinking it should be light-activated, not temperature activated.  Since the morning sun is the source of heat that will warm it up for the day, using a temperature differential would delay the opening of the blind.  Likewise, in the evening, the greenhouse will cool down before the blind closes if you use temp differentials to activate the closure.  So use a photocell.

Assuming you still like using shadecloth, it can roll up at the ceiling for the day, and unroll for the night.  Keeping it tight may take trial-and-error.  I don't have a magic-bullet suggestion.

There could be too much solar heat for the greenhouse to work, considering how thoroughly it's insulated.  By July, you will know if what you really need are venetian blinds partly closed all day!

My next-door neighbour is going to build a greenhouse this summer (supposedly).  If so, it will be my first chance to regularly see how one works in this climate.

Hi,
Interesting idea on the shade cloth.  It does seem like it should have some effective R value.

A nice side effect would be that it might be used to provide some partial  shading in the daytime for plants that don't want the full sunlight?

Gary