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Old 10-11-12, 12:25 PM   #21
Indyplumber
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I have heard that the amount of sunlight will also affect plant growth. Maybe get a PV panel to charge batteries to run some grow lights and have them on a timer so they come on at maybe 6AM and off at 8PM? Tie them into a photo-cell to turn off when the sun is up. BTW congrats on the free system. Evacuated tube panels are about the most expensive available!

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Old 10-11-12, 12:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indyplumber View Post
I have heard that the amount of sunlight will also affect plant growth. Maybe get a PV panel to charge batteries to run some grow lights and have them on a timer so they come on at maybe 6AM and off at 8PM? Tie them into a photo-cell to turn off when the sun is up. BTW congrats on the free system. Evacuated tube panels are about the most expensive available!
?????
If you read my posting then you'll see that I already have pv cells and grow lights, plus the lighting is much more sophisticated than just a timer - it uses a photocell connected to an ADC plus has a time control for forced daylight hours all built into the controller. It also turns on the lights should it become dark as a result of a storm.
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Old 10-24-12, 11:10 AM   #23
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What do you plan to grow in the greenhouse over winter?
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Old 10-24-12, 01:01 PM   #24
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It's a big experiment but we already have (and have been eating):

Lettuice
Salad leaves
Italian peppers
Raddish shoots

We also have growing (but not yet ready for harvest)

Runner beans
Cucumbers
Spaghetti Squash
Tomatoes
Rocket
Chives

It also will let us get an early start in the spring. This year I grew a 71Kg pumpkin. I'm hoping that if I start one off next year I'll break this record.

I'll take a photo soon so you can see how it's doing.

I did buy 4 x 70W second hand solar panels last week for 100 euros so my power system is a bit more capable for when the days get shorter.
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Old 12-03-12, 06:37 PM   #25
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Default Thermal lost estimate

Just for fun, I compute the standard thermal lost for a greenhouse of 13M2 (see attach drawing)... this is an example only but with enough detail so you might adjust it for your own configuration....

This is the formulas we use to estimate the need in heating for commercial greenhouses.

The formula is pretty accurate if:
a) the configuration of your greenhouse are the same has the one draw.
b) Toledo Spain -- Minimum temperature is 2C
c) Tomato lower recommended temperature 13C -- 55F
d) Pepper lower recommended temperature 15.5C -- 60F

This formula does not consider the "Insulation" of the shed "end Wall". This one is likely much more resistant to heat transfer then the 4mm polycarbonate panel. So, the real lost should be lower.

Step #1 Compute areas, volume and length of perimeter. (all from the drawing)

Sidewall = 2( 1.5m x 5m) = 15 m2
End area = ( 2 x 1.5m x 2.6m) + (0.5m X 2.6m) = 9.1 m2
Roof area = 2(1.39m x 5m) = 13.9 m2
Curtain W. = 3 m2 ---- (This is your concrete block wall)
Volume = (1.5m x 2.6m x 5m ) + (2.6m x .5m x 5m) = 22.75 m3
Perimeter = 2 x 2.6m + 2 x 5m = 15.2m

Step #2 List of U-Values

Polycarbonate 4mm: U = 3.9 W/(m2˚C)
Insulated perimeter: U = 1.39 W/(m˚C)
Your curtain wall (200mm Concrete Block U = 2.9 W/(m2˚C) )

Delta T -- Tomatoes don't like to go under 13C (55F) at night, For pepper, it is about 15.5C (60F). You live in Toledo, Spain -- Use 2C. Consequently, the DeltaT = 15.5C (pepper) - 2C = 13.5C


Step #3 Conductive heat loss for each identified items:

1. Sidewall =3.9W/(m2˚C) x 15 m2 x 13.5˚C = 790 watts
2. End area = 3.9 W/(m2˚C) x 9.1 m2 x 13.5˚C = 480 watts
3. Roof area = 3.9 W/(m2˚C) x 13.9 m2 x 13.5˚C = 732 watts
4. Perimeter = 1.39 W/(m˚C) x 15.2 m2 x 13.5˚C = 285 watts
5. Curtain wall = 2.9 W/(m2˚C) x 3 m2 x 13.5˚C = 118 watts

step #4 air infiltration heat loss,

Qa = 0.373 x 13.5˚C x 22.75m3 x (exchange hours == 2) = 229 watts

Between 1 to 4. 1 for well build polyethylene and 4 for badly build glasshouse

Step #5 Add everything

Qt = Qa + Qc = 229+ (790+480+732+285+118 ))
= 2674 W
= 9126 Btu/hr

Generally add 10%.
So, if your heating system is able to supply 3KW, this greenhouse might be operated 365 days a years with fancy vegetable such as Pepper.

It also means that if you have a night at 2C that last 10 hours, you need 30kw (102K BTU) of storage. (you likely need more since the sun is not always there.)

NOTE: Obviously, for December, January, February you may decide to growth crop that need much less heat at night -- like several green. For example, the deltaT might be reduce at 8C or even 6C for some crop.

NOTE2: since you are handling so many (almost pro) gadget, you might think to improve your greenhouse like the pro do by installing a "Thermal Curtain" that deploy automatically at night; You may save between 20 and 40% in energy requirement with this type of gadget.

SPAIN: I don't know much about your location, but I am told that in Spain, "Controlling the heat gain" at summer time is a much bigger problem then heating the greenhouse in the winter. You will need a pretty powerful fans to replace a roof vent when the outside temperature is in the 30C.

WIND: On my commercial unit, we open part of the roof on the opposite side of the dominant wind. The computer also use a special "mode" call "rain shedding" when it detect some water on the roof. Obviously, this is a little bit fancy and all controlled by computers.
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Old 03-29-13, 01:01 AM   #26
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I actually loved your idea of solar water heater. Its the best way to save electricity. However there is just investment cost nothing more than that.
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Old 02-03-20, 01:03 AM   #27
Acuario
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It's been a few years since I posted anything about the greenhouse so here's an update.

In the part of Spain where I live we sometimes have very strong winds. When I bought the greenhouse I asked if it was suitable for windy areas and they told me it should be ok. Unfortunately it wasn't. The greenhouse lasted 2 storms. The first ripped the roof vents off and pushed in some of the side panels (which I then repaired and attempted to strengthen with silicon and wood). The second storm totally destroyed the greenhouse, I still don't know where the door ended up as I never found it. The majority of the wall and roof panels were just shredded into small pieces and the structure was left a twisted mass of aluminium and bits of polycarbonate on the floor. Pretty soul destroying.

So, several years later I have decided to try again - in the interim period I haven't had a greenhouse or the desire to try again but now I have decided to have another go but with a different style. Fortunately the base and surrounding wall are still intact so I'll re-use that. I'll start a new thread with version 2 rather than continue this thread.
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Old 02-04-20, 04:30 AM   #28
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This is really cool
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Old 05-27-20, 06:09 AM   #29
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For water or for electric?

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