MadSci Network: Agricultural Sciences

Re: Could you tell me about apply the Solar Energy at Greenhouses?

Date: Sun May 7 20:56:21 2000
Posted By: Mark Madachik, PD, Heartland Farm/Nursery
Area of science: Agricultural Sciences
ID: 957215991.Ag

There is just a ton of info out there on designs and construction of both 
passive and active solar applications to greenhouses.  Simple items like 
55 gal drums painted black and filled with water absorb heat through the 
day and release it at night.  Solar water circulating panels with active 
circulation of the heated fluid to radiators within the house. Solar 
panels to provide electricity to fans, pumps, and furnaces.  Solar 
operated shutters and vents.  Most of the availble technolgy is pretty 
basic and affordable with your own labor provided.  Solar panels for 
generation of electricty are coming down in price but still rather costly 
depending on what you grow.  I have provided some book references that I 
have from my own work in this area that will be helpful. Some may seem old 
but the basics have not changed a lot.  Technology has helped us to make 
the basic systems more efficient and less labor intensive; for a price... 
Should you run into specific problems or questions you are welcome to 
email me anytime . Mark
Greenhouses: Planning, Installing, & Using Greenhouses, T. Williams and L. 
Ortho Customer Service, 1991. Available from via World Wide Web:  .
The Homeowner’s Complete Handbook for Add-On Solar Greenhouses & Sunspaces:
Planning, Design, and Construction, A. Shapiro, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA, 
1985. Out of print.
Low-Cost Passive Solar Greenhouses: A Design and Construction Guide, R. 
Alward and A. Shapiro, National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), 
1980. Available from NCAT, P.O. Box 3838, Butte, MT 59701; Phone: (406) 
494-4572; Fax: (406) 494-2905.
173 pp., contact NCAT for ordering and price info.
Porches and Sunrooms, J. Hirschman, Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Out 
of print.
Solar Greenhouse: Design, Construction, and Operation, B. Yanda and R. 
Fisher, John Muir Publications, Inc., Santa Fe, NM, 1980. Out of print.
Solarspaces: How (and Why) to Add a Greenhouse, Sunspace, or Solarium to 
Your Home, D. Strickler, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., Florence, KY, 1983. 
Out of print.

Solar Powered Sunshades for Solar Greenhouses," N. Negovetich, Popular 
Science,(232:2) p. 88, February 1988.

Sunspace and Solar Greenhouse Plans
Brace Research Institute—Publication Department
Faculty of Engineering, P.O. Box 900
MacDonald College of McGill University
Ste. Anne de Bellevue
Quebec, H9X 3V9, Canada
Phone: (514) 398-7833; Fax: (514) 398-7767
The following plans are available from Brace Research Institute:
- Plans for the Construction of a Brace Greenhouse: No. 2, $2.75, Order 
No. T.101. Plan
and construction details for a 20 by 20 foot wood-frame greenhouse.
- Plans for the Construction of the Latest Model of the Brace Design 
Greenhouse: The Experimental Night-Cover Greenhouse, $2.75 Order No. 
T.110. Diagrams illustrating Brace-type greenhouse that incorporates 
underground heat storage and an insulating night cover.
Domestic Technologies Inc. / Solstice Publications
P.O. Box 44
Evergreen, CO 80437
Phone: (303) 674-7700; Fax: (303) 674-7772
The following plans are available from Solstice Publications:
- Single Story Attached Passive Solar Greenhouse Plans, $39.95, Order No. 
Eight 18 by 24 inch blueprints.
- Solar Reliant Greenhouse Plans, $29.95, Order No. BP-042. Includes five 
18 by 24 inchblueprints for a free-standing 12 by 16 foot greenhouse.
- The New Universal Retrofit Passive Solar Greenhouse Plans, $59.95, Order 
No.BP-041. Ten 18 by 24 inch blueprints, including five glazing options 
and eleven envelope design variations.
- Large Commercial Passive Solar Greenhouse Plans, $139.95, Order No. BP-
044. Eight 24 by 36 inch blueprints for a 5000-square foot, solar 
commercial/community greenhouse.
When ordering from Solstice Publications, add $10.00 for shipping and 
Sunspace and Greenhouse Standards and Design
National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association
20 West Dry Creek Circle, Suite 110
Littleton, CO 80120
Phone: (800) 792-6462; Fax: (303) 798-1324
World Wide Web: 
The NGMA has information on the sunspace or greenhouse industry. NGMA 
works to advance the interests of the industry through the exchange of 
information, by preparing standards of quality, and by encouraging 
continued improvement and innovation. There are more than sixty member 

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