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Solar Heet Greenhuouse

Solar Heet Greenhuouse

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Published by Gherghescu Gabi

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Gherghescu Gabi on Nov 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Solar Greenhouses
Barbara Bellows, updated by K. Adam
NCAT Agriculture SpecialistsPublished 2008© NCATIP142
This resource list discusses basic principles of solar greenhouse design, aswell as different construction material options. Books, articles and Websites, and computer software relevant to solar greenhouse design are allprovided in a resource list.
Table of Contents
Since 2000, U.S. greenhouse growers have increasingly adopted high tunnels as the preferred solar greenhousetechnology. Rigid frames and glazing are still common in parts of Europe, and in the climate-controlled operations inMexico and the Caribbean that produce acres of winter crops for North American markets. (For more on climate-controlled technology, see Linda Calvin and Roberta Cook. 2005."Greenhouse tomatoes change the dynamics of theNorth American fresh tomato industry."
. April. Vol. 3, No. 2.).
Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture.Photo: NCAT
 All greenhouses collect solar energy. Solar greenhouses are designed not only to collect solar energy during sunnydays but also to store heat for use at night or during periods when it is cloudy. They can either stand alone or beattached to houses or barns. A solar greenhouse may be an underground pit, a shed-type structure, or a hoophouse.Large-scale producers use free-standing solar greenhouses, while attached structures are primarily used by home-scale growers.Passive solar greenhouses are often good choices for small growers because they are a cost-efficient way for farmersto extend the growing season. In colder climates or in areas with long periods of cloudy weather, solar heating mayneed to be supplemented with a gas or electric heating system to protect plants against extreme cold. Active solargreenhouses use supplemental energy to move solar heated air or water from storage or collection areas to otherregions of the greenhouse. Use of solar electric (photovoltaic) heating systems for greenhouses is not cost-effectiveunless you are producing high-value crops.
Hazards due to increased weather turbulence:
High straight-line winds
Build-up of snow, ice
The majority of the books and articles about old-style solar greenhouses were published in the 1970s and 1980s.Since then, much of this material has gone out of print, and some of the publishers are no longer in business. Whilecontact information for companies and organizations listed in these publications is probably out of date, some of thetechnical information contained in them is still relevant.The newest form of solar greenhouse, widely adopted by U.S. producers, is high tunnels. The term glazing, as usedin this publication, includes reference to polyethylene coverings for hoop houses.Out-of-print publications often can be found in used bookstores, libraries, and through the inter-library loan program.Some publications are also available on the Internet. Bibliofind is an excellent, searchable Web site where many used and out-of-print books can be located. As you plan to construct or remodel a solar greenhouse, do not limit your research to books and articles thatspecifically discuss "solar greenhouses." Since all greenhouses collect solar energy and need to moderatetemperature fluctuations for optimal plant growth, much of the information on "standard" greenhouse managementis just as relevant to solar greenhouses. Likewise, much information on passive solar heating for homes is alsopertinent to passive solar heating for greenhouses. As you look through books and articles on general greenhousedesign and construction, you will find information relevant to solar greenhouses in chapters or under topic headingsthat discuss:
energy conservation
glazing materials
floor heating systems
insulation materials
ventilation methodsIn books or articles on passive solar heating in homes or other buildings, you can find useful information on solargreenhouses by looking for chapters or topic headings that examine:
solar orientation
heat absorption materials
heat exchange through "phase-change" or "latent heat storage materials"This updated resource list includes listings of books, articles, and Web sites that focus specifically on solargreenhouses, as well as on the topics listed above.
Related ATTRA Publications
Basic Principles of Solar Greenhouse Design
Solar greenhouses differ from conventional greenhouses in the following four ways.(1)Solar greenhouses:
have glazing oriented to receive maximum solar heat during the winter.
use heat storing materials to retain solar heat.
have large amounts of insulation where there is little or no direct sunlight.
use glazing material and glazing installation methods that minimize heat loss.
rely primarily on natural ventilation for summer cooling.Understanding these basic principles of solar greenhouse design will assist you in designing, constructing, andmaintaining an energy-efficient structure. You can also use these concepts to help you search for additionalinformation, either on the "Web," within journals, or in books at bookstores and libraries.

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