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Solar Greenhouse Options
#1 Posted : Monday, January 12, 2009 8:20:22 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Hi Country Elf,

I haven't seen the article you mention, but I am in the process of building a solar greenhouse. I am using two different sources. The first is this link: http://www.greenhousegarden.com/energy.htm . Solar greenhouses are not complicated and this sums up most of the ideas. This is the exact same basis that the Solar greenhouses at the Botanical Gardens in Cheyenne, WY uses. They have almost the exact same information on their site, plus some pictures. http://www.botanic.org/Solar_Energy.asp

I am combining this idea with the Sun Pit greenhouse plan from the book Ortho's All about Greenhouses. This is simply where you put the foundation and walls underground and have the roof exposed. I live in the mountains of CO and we get some pretty harsh winters with plenty of wind. I chose to build mine this way to minimize the heat loss to the greatest extent.

My land is all sloped so anything I build I have to have a flat spot graded out. On the west side, the greenhouse walls are even with the soil and I will have to have the dirt that was excavated pushed back around on the east side. But it still will be surrounded by a few feet of dirt even on that side.

 I am using 8mm, triple wall polycarbonate on the south facing roof. I was going to use 16mm, but I get almost the same R-value from the 8mm at a lot less cost. As far as snow load goes, the roof is on a 12/12 pitch which simply put means the roof angle is 45 degrees. This should allow a good portion of the snow to simply slide off before it accumulates too much. Also the trusses have purling between them at 2 foot intervals. This creates basically a bunch of 2' x 2' squares to hold up the polycarbonate and keep it from sagging.

Now, as far as the goats go, even if the walls are sunk into the ground you should still be able to have your west or east gable connect to your shed and provide heat.

I will be honest, I am doing all of the work myself, but the cost of materials is painful. It has been a matter of saving for each stage. But little by little it is taking shape and I figure that the investment is worth it and will eventually pay for itself.

Hope I didn't bore you with too many details. If you want more though, just let me know.

Good Luck!

#2 Posted : Friday, January 16, 2009 3:52:41 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494
I have a solar green house I attached to my house in Georgia 5 years ago. It is 8'x16' w/ 6 glass sliding doors and some 1/4" glass a friend gave me. The floor is concret and the roof is poly- carbon panels. The whole thing cost me $330. My wife keeps her plants there. I have a blower attached to the soffit under which feeds air to my house. It comes on at 10-11 am using a temp. switch and off at 5pm. The temp. is 90 degrees during the average 35 degree (Ga) day. We do not run our heat btwn 10am and usually 9 pm. Our heat bill is $60 - $95 a month depending on sunny days. I paid for itself in 3 months.
Country Elf
#3 Posted : Friday, January 16, 2009 3:52:41 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

I found an old article from the 70's by a gentleman named Orr, he had built a solar greenhouse.  He did make some remarks of changes he would have made if he had to do it all over.  The concept is very simple and seems very doable.  What I need to know is if anyone has seen this article and maybe tried to build their own.  My thoughts are that I will build it by my animal shed and use the excess heat to raise the temps for my goats.

Any better ideas very welcome.  We live in northern Iowa so being able to grow vegs year round is a wonderful idea, with the bonus for the animals.

#4 Posted : Thursday, August 01, 2013 6:00:06 AM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 1

Solar Green house idea is good if it implemented properly. Concept is clear and also good. I think that you should think atleast once before raising the temp.



#5 Posted : Monday, September 02, 2013 8:37:36 AM
Rank: Newbie

Posts: 1
This sounds like a good news then and yes i am sure things now will be the best.
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