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Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  WI FarmChick on 4/12/2013, 9:32 am

@cautery wrote:Man... I'm sick at my stomach....

I just spent over an hour writing a complete Analysis/Recommendation for the thermal mass and structure design for this thread covering the principles of heat exchange, heat conservation, coolants, containers, heat exchangers, insulation, et al... With the cheap way to do it and with all the "upgraded" ways to do it to include circulation systems, radiators, et al...

I absolutely KNOW that I hit submit.... and it is NOT showing up...

I'm sorry, but I don't have the time or the will to recreate it right now...

This is more than I could have hoped for...Thank you. Smile

To the OP:

1) Switch to steel drums, prep and paint them with flat black corrosion inhibiting paint. Alternatively, use "jerry-cans" or similar blocky type containers of metal and build a floor to ceiling wall with a supporting structure of wood/angle iron as an upgrade.

Unfortunately I have already purchased the barrels. I will change them out at a later date.

2) Use FRESH water treated with bleach prior to closing. Salt water ain't worth the corrosion and contamination risks for the benefit it would give you.

I can do this.

3) ABSOLUTELY place the thermal mass on the North end of the structure, possibly wrapping around the West and thence the East side as long as you don't let it block light entry.

I do have 2 extra barrels, total of 4. Can I put the extra 2 on the west wall? the east wall has the door and would block the sun as well.

4) Get thermal mass up off the ground by at least 2-4" in winter to conserve heat. Floor should be insulated in winter... "mulch the floor".

Ok, I will use cement blocks to raise them up. I will also mulch the floor. I was thinking of adding weed cloth first so I can compost the wood chips when they get old/bad.


5) Air gap on all walls and roof... North and areas where sun won't shine through directly, can be opaque and built with insulated stick frame. Translucent areas... cheapest is double film, with outer film as thin as durability will allow, and inner as thin/clear as you can... minimize reduction of light transmission.

Now I am not sure what I can do here. Sorta limited on the money part. Uumm....Maybe line the inside with some painters plastic for the south/east walls. and same for the north/west then add a "stuffing" maybe to the north/west walls as well. plastic "store" bags like the wal-mart ones for the stuffing? Every one has those. Should I use something else? Or do something different?
I just haven't thought of anything else. I will have to think on that one.


6) Ventilation: Make structure AIR TIGHT. moving air is death to heat conservation, BUT add adjustable vents at minimum at/near floor in North end, and at eave/ridge in South. Used ceiling fan for winter air movement. Natural convection and/or exhaust fan at south vent for summer air exchange.

The GH is a metal cattle panel hoop house. I am wrapping the GH with this.....
Sun Selector 60% Diffused IR AD Greenhouse Film, 4 year 6mil (per sq.ft)
Please Note: You can also purchase this in a double layer known as a tube which is folded over and attached at the edge. A greenhouse tube can be seperated into 2 single greenhouse sheets.
Features:
Available widths are: Available widths are 20 and 40'.
We custom cut your film to any length that adds up to over 400 square feet (e.g 20' x 20' = 400 sq.ft)
60% Light diffusion - prevents shadowing for a more even distribution of light onto your crops.
IR - Infrared protection leads to less heat transfer meaning a more constant temperature throughout the day and night.
AD - Anti-Drip (sometimes called AC anti-condensation) prevent condensation which can lead to mold and uneven light distribution.
UVA - Ultraviolet protection prevents sun deterioration and ensures the film lasts at least 4 years.
Anti-Dust protection helps repel dirt from the surface instead of creating static that attracts dirt and impairs light.
5-Layer Technology for strength and versatility
83% light transmission, 60% light diffusion, 85% thermicity (IR Additive helps prevent heat loss).
4 Year Warranty.

I should have purchased it as a "double layer" I will do that when this plastic is no longer usable. I am wrapping the GH with the film and the adding and caulking the screen door (east wall) right on top of the film. for the window I will do the same..right on top of the film and caulk.
I will find 1 or 2 smallish fans that I can run off a solar panel. I am not sure how to add venting yet. I will be thinking on this one.


7) Summer shroud of Mylar bubble wrap around thermal mass with intake oriented North, and terminating shroud to a duct that exhausts cool air into structure... ducting can be tweaked for max effectiveness...

I am not sure If I will need to do this part yet. I am guessing I won't have plants in there till late summer for fall/winter cool crops. But I can Add this later when I need it.

Man, I hate that I lost the complete version of this....

I am sorry you lost all your work. This really helps me a lot.
Thank you, Lisa




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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  camprn on 4/12/2013, 11:38 am

http://www.growbetterveggies.com/growbetterveggies/2009/03/manure-compost-as-passive-greenhouse-heating.html


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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  plantoid on 4/12/2013, 2:24 pm

That is some idea .. I wonder how they handled the hatching of insects like white fly in the manure tubs and stopped them harming the plants in the commercial hoop house

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  camprn on 4/12/2013, 3:20 pm

@plantoid wrote:That is some idea .. I wonder how they handled the hatching of insects like white fly in the manure tubs and stopped them harming the plants in the commercial hoop house
Maybe the buckets are sealed? Very Happy Did you click on the link?

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  plantoid on 4/12/2013, 5:40 pm

Yep I did lots in the link , the boxes didn't seem sealed in any form .
It might be telling that the link posts died out a couple of years ago .

Some people posted in a q & a type forum with all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas .
Think I'll stick to composting outside the glasshouse for I'm suspecting that the humidity would cause dreadful condensation/ mould problems on cold days .
Plus as we all know the heap needs turning regular to get the oxygen to the bacteria and getting it on to new uncomposted material in the heap for heat to be consistantly generated . Once it is fully composted you'd have to redo it in a new heap /box & mess around dragging the new box in and the old box out.

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  walshevak on 4/12/2013, 5:49 pm

@GWN wrote:I just ran an electric cord to the greenhouse and plugged in a space heater.... to heat it.

+1

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  camprn on 4/12/2013, 7:30 pm

Here is an interesting thread from another forum.
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg020841323991.html

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/12/2013, 11:14 pm

My mini greenhouses for my table tops were heated with old fashioned large Christmas lights inside the first layer (a little over 3 ft high by 4x4). Then when we were due for a freeze, we layered a heavy silver tarp over all three of them and if it was getting into the mid or lower 20s we turned on a small electric heater set on the lowest setting. Things stayed toasty and we didn't lose anything over the winter.

We haven't decided what we're going to do this year, but I want to have things already growing so that I can actually harvest during the winter. Things grow so darn slowly if you don't get a good head start and I didn't last year.

If I add 2 or 3 barrels of water I may be able to completely eliminate the heater and lights. I'd love to not need to go out and cover things every night - that gets tedious in the cold.


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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  GWN on 4/13/2013, 9:46 am

I have done cold frames this year and found it was great to get things started early.
In the past because the cold frame space was so small, I just put brown wine bottles around the cold frame. It kept things growing all winter, however this was down in Oregon.
I have been impressed with my cold frame, we have been eating spinach I planted in September, since Mid February. Now we are have a large bowl every 2 days.
I planted Pac choi a month ago and it is growing nicely now. I have 1 tomato, 1 eggplant and one pepper i there, and they are still alive, not thriving though.
Cilantro and fennel are thriving. OH and peas planted from seed in Feb.

I am going to add a few more cold frames
I am finding that extending the season is something to be worked and at moving things back gradually via experimenting and keeping track of what worked.

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  WI FarmChick on 4/14/2013, 6:21 pm

Hi audrey.jeanne.roberts, I seen/heard of someone else using Christmas lights and they worked for them too.
Things do grow slower when they don't have enough warmth. sounds like you are doing wonderfully with your mini GH. Good job. Smile

Hi GWN, Love the idea of the brown bottles in your cold frame. keeping notes of what worked and what didn't really helps.

I am wondering if I will be able to get my mini GH to work well enough to harvest something in the late fall/early winter. Also to start seeds in the early spring. lots of notes and trial and error will be happening soon.



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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 4/14/2013, 11:21 pm

Just to be clear... the electric lights only worked for a few degrees of warmth - I certainly wouldn't want to depend on them in colder climates and they worked best with a double layer where they were inside the interior layer. When it got close to freezing or below we depended on the small heater Very Happy

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Re: Anyone heating their greenhouse with 55-gallon barrels

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