Thermal Mass Afternoon - Lessons Learned - Snow On The Divide - Food In The Greenhouse
Reinventing the Greenhouse
Chinese solar greenhouse 1The modern glass greenhouse requires massive inputs of energy to grow crops out of season. That's because each square metre of glass, even if it's triple glazed, loses ten times as much heat as a wall.
However, growing fruits and vegetables out of season can also happen in a sustainable way, using the energy from the sun. Contrary to its fully glazed counterpart, a passive solar greenhouse is designed to retain as much warmth as possible.
Research shows that it's possible to grow warmth-loving crops all year round with solar energy alone, even if it's freezing outside. The solar greenhouse is especially successful in China, where many thousands of these structures have been built during the last decade. https://permaculturenews.org/category/why-permaculture/biodiversity/
Thermal Mass | Heat Storage -
Water. The key to solar greenhouse heating.
Solar greenhouses have long used the principle of thermal mass to enable the structure to store the day’s heat and then re-radiate that heat as the greenhouse cools. It creates a buffer that reduces the days high temperatures while raising the night-time low temperatures.
Thermal mass is often simply drums filled with water. These drums are usually painted black and placed in the back of the greenhouse (usually the north side). Water helps store heat and has a built-in frost prevention system in the chemistry theory called “the latent heat of water”- where water actually gives off heat when ice is formed. Use it all to your advantage in a home greenhouse!
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