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Acuario 02-04-20 01:07 AM

All year greenhouse V2.0
5 Attachment(s)
After the V1.0 disaster here we go again..
I was given a polytunnel a couple of years ago, brand new unused. I'm going to try with this for now however a local glazing company have just offered me some windows that were left over from some previous jobs so in the not too distant future I'll do a serious upgrade to a fixed structure that will hopefully not be prone to wind damage.

Anyway, for now it's the poly tunnel plus some extra ropes and concrete blocks to hopefully hold it down.

The controller stuff..
Since the last greenhouse controller I made a radical shift away from PIC processors to Arduino and then ESP8266 which has built in WiFi. So a completely re-designed and re-written controller was in order.

I've used a couple of environmental sensors for light monitoring and temperature/humidity (and for interest atmospheric pressure) with everything now displayed on a web browser in my office. From here I can monitor and control the heating and lighting. Later I'll add watering and temperature control but not until the fixed structure is built.

The poly tunnel. The green covering is to both add extra strength and for shading.

The plant stands are simply concrete blocks and old pallets.

The environment sensors.

The main status display

Daox 02-05-20 08:12 AM

Very impressive as usual Actuario! The wifi stuff is so cool. I haven't gotten into any of that yet myself.

What are you all growing in the greenhouse?

pinballlooking 02-05-20 11:38 AM

I love the Wi-Fi controls and the monitoring app.
Your Lettuce is looks good.

Acuario 02-05-20 11:46 PM


Originally Posted by Daox (Post 62054)
Very impressive as usual Actuario! The wifi stuff is so cool. I haven't gotten into any of that yet myself.

What are you all growing in the greenhouse?

You should give it a go, it makes so many projects viable such as solar heating, heat pump control, monitoring and so on..

In the greenhouse at the moment I have sweet peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, runner beans, chilli peppers, rhubarb, onions and cucumbers. I'm hoping to grow lettuce all year and time will tell what else. At the back on the left you can see the grow lights I'm using.

Acuario 02-05-20 11:57 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a screenshot of the performance during 24 hours, it lets me monitor both the solar batteries and temperature variations in the greenhouse.

It's amazing that in February, typically the coldest month of the year here, the temperature is getting up to 34C.

Acuario 02-29-20 12:52 AM

Here's an update on the greenhouse and future plans..

So far no very strong winds so the poly tunnel is still standing although it is starting to deteriorate. Everything inside is growing like crazy, we have runner beans climbing string guides, loads of tomato plants, lettuce, rhubarb, peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins all coming along nicely and it's only the end of February.

Anyway, at some moment we will get strong winds - that's guaranteed so phase 2 is in progress.

I've just spent the last 2 days with my builders hat on building the main back wall. Today I'll start the front wall. The orientation is pretty close on south facing so my plan is to have a glass (or equivalent) roof, glass sliding door and 3 big glass windows in the south facing wall. The north wall won't have any windows and will provide shade behind it for the rhubarb.

Fortunately a double glazing company that I work with have just moved workshops and have loads of doors/windows left over from various jobs that I can get extremely cheaply. I've chosen sliding windows for all of them so I can hopefully automate opening/closing for ventilation.

The plans for heating/cooling I have at the moment are:
  • I have 2 steel single panel radiators with fins left over from a job. I'll paint them black and mount them on the roof (glass covered etc..) for heating water.
  • 2 x 100L water tanks (ex heaters) I'll connect together for hot water storage. These are ones I've taken out and replaced so free.
  • An external unit from a mini-split that I'll connect to a coil heat exchanger in one of the tanks as a backup.
  • A mini split internal unit I converted to a fan coil so it works with hot water rather than refrigerant. I've removed all the electronics and just kept the axial fan which can be controlled by a relay. See how this was done here
  • I already have water tubing and insulation in the floor from when I originally built the greenhouse so I'll connect this up too.
  • An automatic window open/close system (this is why I chose sliding windows :)). I need to sort out a reversible motor with torque not speed or a gearbox.. I'll connect this to threaded bar and to the windows so they slide open/closed.
  • Automatic watering. Should be fairly simple with an electronic valve.

I'll update as things progress.


Acuario 02-29-20 11:26 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Here is a photo of the plants on 29th February in the existing polytunnel

..and the new greenhouse taking shape..

East facing wall and entrance door

North wall

South facing

gadget 03-04-20 09:33 AM

If you end up using some glass panels in the future, make sure they are tempered for safety.

Also consider glazing angle for winter time sun angle. Glass can reflect allot at certain angles unlike plastic that doesn't care.

Acuario 03-11-20 11:27 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the (almost) finished greenhouse.
I still need to add some of the automation but it is now operational.

The roof is 10mm polycarbonate panel. The picture shows the blinds down, the two windows have double glazed glass panels behind. The orange colored panel is temporary while I wait for the glass to arrive.

skyking 03-14-20 10:51 AM

Looking really great!!
My green thumb is not so good, but I applaud your efforts. Bravo!

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