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Heating a small greenhouse

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Texasmark1
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Joined: 22 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:51 am    Post subject: Re: Heating a small greenhouse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I built a 12x12x8 with clear plastic corrugated panels I bought at the big box store. Propane tank was nearby that fueled the house so I tapped into that and put a radiant 2 burner wall mounted unit I removed from the house for some reason...guessing 10k BTU. 20s were the coldest days and it worked but I needed deep pockets to keep the propane supplied. No insulation and vent at the top (2x4) gap where the roof rafters sat which I plugged in the winter with foam blocks, made for a hard to keep warm place and that's here in N. Texas, not N. Montana.

I know you said no electricity, but I used them too, the red radiant type and they worked ok for spot heat.

My opinion of one is to use it for garden storage and clip pictures of what you like to see out of magazines and paste them to the walls!
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:03 am    Post subject: Re: Heating a small greenhouse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Nothing to do this AM so let's play with some numbers:

Propane is about 91k BTU per gallon and costs roughly $2.50 in small refillable bottles. 10k burner or maybe 15 or 20 in Northern climates, running full blast 24/7: 9 hrs per gallon, 2.5 gallons per day, $75 per month for 10k BTU burner......sounds like a wise investment................ I think I recall telling my wife that her idea, after building the thing, outfitting it and all that goes with it, was not well thought out.......after surviving the first winter. Besides that she didn't have a lot of things in there to protect.
 
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John S-B
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Location: Ostrander, Ohio

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:09 am    Post subject: Re: Heating a small greenhouse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

After some trial and error, I've found a solution I think will work well. I can get an adapter so that I can use Bunsen burners off of a 20lb propane tank to heat the water. All the burners that I could get for grills or camping were too big, but a Bunsen burner like they use in labs and chemistry classes should work great. I figure two burners would be enough. It's warm enough now that I don't need any heat source, but I'll get this rigged up in early fall to try it out. Should cost less than $100, and I already have a couple of tanks.
 
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Farmall 504
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Heating a small greenhouse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

GeoThermal

Dig hole under greenhouse location, as deep as possible without hitting water, preferably 8'+. Line hole with 6 mil plastic sheet, (air/water barrier). Build framing to hold 6 inches white insulation board against bottom and side, seal pieces tightly. Fill 2 feet soil/gravel/sand, any or all. Lay 6inch black flex pipe 2 feet apart across 2'soil and up side walls with 2' left above ground. Pack around pipes filling 2 feet more soil, then another layer of pipes, 4 layers total. Pack and fill tightly around pipes and the hole generally. Fill to ground level. Build box to terminate pipe ends at each end of greenhouse. These will sit on top of pipe and create a vacuum box. Cut 6 hole in top of box. At one end a duct fan goes in that hole, at the other end another pipe goes in hole, then up along center of ceiling and acts as intake plenum. Most systems split the pipes into two sets, so at one end of GH you'll have two boxes with duct vents, and the other end will have two boxes with pipes up to ceiling. Duct fan pull air from warmest point, ceiling, down through pipes into ground, warming it. During day when sun warms GH fans pull warm air in. At night warm air is extracted from the ground. Fans are blowing ground temp, up to 70+. DC duct fans pull very little current and push a lot of air, at least 500cfm ea., so two make it a lot, able to turnover all the air in a minute or so. Ground is naturally 52degrees at 8ft. You can warm it more during summer and start the winter with ground at nearly 80. If you grow plants that are tolerant to 32 it works. Citrus trees are perfect.

I built one. It works. With solar it's free warming. I haven't gone solar, I trenched a big wire, but that's not hard to do, and now we have 30amp available way out in a backyard field, which is nice. Greenhouse uses almost nothing. Far less than $1/day.

More info to anyone interested. Mine is just a good 1 3/4 pvc hoophouse, but they can use any type of GH structure. TMANY more details, but very easy to build. Amazing technology, needs to be developed further. No need to be trucking citrus into the Midwest and North, ever.
 
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