Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Using technology To Harness The Sun And Make The Growing Season Longer

Summer up here is too short to ripen the hot peppers and indeterminate tomatoes I like to eat so I grow them in my passive solar greenhouse. I put plastic milk jugs, full of water, by each plant. The water absorbs the suns heat during the day, at night the heat in the water radiates out keeping the plants warm.
I might get a few extra frost free weeks on either side of the growing season with these measures.


The students at the University Of Northern British Columbia, UNBC, here in Prince George, are building a Geodesic dome greenhouse  to help extend the growing season even further, 2-3 months. They are planning to grow food to donate to the campus pub, the Thirsty Moose.

They bought a Geodesic dome kit and are going to erect the dome and plant it this spring.

These greenhouses make use of technology that is powered using energy from the sun. Things like: automatic window openers for venting, electricity to power a fan that blows air through pipes buried in the soil, keeping it warm, and the air temperature consistent.
Insulation on the north walls, called Reflectix, reflects light inside, keeping the dome warm in winter, and cool in summer.
A water tank absorbs excess heat, cooling the air during midday and warming it up when the temperature drops.

I’m impressed by the technology in this greenhouse and, excited to see it in action
Update: for more info on this project email-Cam

11 comments:

  1. I've wished for a greenhouse for so long. Good luck to these kids on this project. It's kind of funny that the food is going to a pub!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! I'd love to see it in action!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is so useful Melanie - and thank you. I will certainly be using some of these ideas as we have a short season here in Scotland too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow Melanie, your technologies, your own practical styles and the real academic technologies are amazing. Necessity is really the mother of invention. Maybe we don't have solar captors here because we don't need it much, and we don't have much rainharvesting equipment because we have waters too in most areas. What we use most are airconditioning units by electricity, and we use a lot of oil which we don't have.And that is something very difficult to invent, but i guess green technologies have to be passionately researched on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can harvest the wind, the sun and rivers to make electricity for airconditioning. Are you talking about oil as in petrol for cars? Canada has lots of it in the oil sands in Alberta. The problem is transporting it safely.

      Delete
  5. That sounds like a fantastic project for the students. Great that you get to watch and see how it all works. Maybe you'll get your own kit one of these days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would be really cool to have a geodesic dome greenhouse. It would be great for a community garden.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for any other great article. Where else may anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect method of writing? I have a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such info.

    Outsourced IT Services Dallas

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading Northern Gardeners Almanac and leaving a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...