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JoeK

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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #1 
I did a workshop with Jerome at CRMPI http://crmpi.org/ this past spring and saw quite a few of these systems in action and I can tell you they are AWESOME! works incredibly well. Supremely efficient.backup12-9-13 133.jpg  I've installed the piping under some growing beds and am getting close to finishing the greenhouse structure to enclose it all. I'll see about putting up a few pics when I get things up and running, probably won't bother trying to bring it on-line until the sun is climbing back a bit more though.
These show the piping system, one of the barrels has a second barrell on top and will finish with a 12" duct pipe to reach up to the top of the greenhouse and bring the warmest air into the system. This flexible drainpipe with barrel plenums is effective, cheap and really easy to assemble. My system uses two levels of 7 pipes each with a foot of soil in between levels and around 12 inches seperating the individual pipes on each level.
water can work even better than air in terms of pure thermal exchange but requires more energy to pump and there are other advantages to using air in a greenhouse particularly.  In fact one huge factor in the efficiency of heat exchange of these systems is the capacity to move high energy water vapor underground where condensation (phase change) releases that energy into the acting heat mass, soil. Thus water does in fact become a primary carrier of thermal energy into the soil, where it is released for storage and later retrieval.

Check out the link here: http://sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm by it's designers and take note of this "phase change" advantage, it really drives the heat transfer. And while the ground absorbs moisture (+the heat it is carrying) it controls humidity at the same time. Much nicer environment compared to a lot of hot muggy greenhouses out there.

JoeK

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Reply with quote  #2 
backup12-9-13 099.jpg 
JoeK

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backup12-9-13 114.jpg 
JoeK

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backup12-9-13 119.jpg 
JoeK

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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #5 
I was originally going to use 8 pipes but merged the two shortest pipes in the middle into one longer looped run so that each run was closer to the same length for better distribution. Would have been way too uneven i think with how short the center pipes would have been. It won't be optimal by any means, but should still work very well i think. Plus if any pipes take the "lion's share" of the airflow (heatflow) they should be the ones closer to the middle, where the thermal mass is most protected from loss and will radiate out to the sides anyway.  Structure is hoop shaped, glazed on S with twin wall polycarbonate(10mm i think) and insulated siding on N. If I recall past calculation properly I should only need ~160cfm to exchange the air every 5-6 mins (10-12changes/hr) or so theoretically.
JoeK

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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #6 
I'll come back later and put up some more info and pics in the garden forum, or perhaps the greenhouse one? I am a big garden buff and can help get some action started in that forum regardless.
Of course feel free to move my posts wherever you think they fit best on this site.
Cheers
JoeK

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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #7 
originally (as far as I know) designed and refined by John Cruikshank and Jerome Ostentowski of sunnyjohn.com  and Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institue, respectively.  Michael Thompson of  ecosystems design has been doing architechture/engineering for the last couple decades too. Here are a few pics of my system based on their decades of testing and development.  Thanks for moving the posts over scott, someday I might fix the rotation on these, but not today...
JoeK

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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #8 
 btw solargarden for a nice deck that has high aesthetic value yet still functions as heat mass I recomend flagstone if you can budget it. Then again I do such work so I'm biased...more expensive than pavers if your hiring the work, and harder work if you DIY. but the finished results can really look great and yet serve functionally as well
JoeK

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Posts: 135
Reply with quote  #9 
Water is rightfully well respected for its incredible thermal capacity and also great exchange ability, however this system is especially suited to greenhouses for reasons detailed here regarding humidity control and also by pulling the air directly through your radiant mass you can use the system easily to provide cooling in the warm summer months. Detailed description of the operation of this system, as well as a handy sizing calculator is found here http://sunnyjohn.com/indexpages/shcs.htm
Scott Davis

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Reply with quote  #10 
Really cool JoeK.  I can see applications for this for outdoor raised beds too, to extend the growing season on both ends with either hot air or hydronic solar heating panels, heating the earth beneath the plants.  We have several raised beds and you have my wheels turning!
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Take care, Scott MD
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