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"Proven Research" and "Authoritative Studies" On underground greenhouses?

 
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I am currently working with a local Agroforestry development group we were discussing the development of swales, channels and water collection areas for a farm. The topic of underground/earth-bermed/wallipini greenhouses was brought up, and how possibly a water collection area could be placed in the back of a greenhouse that is fed by the irrigation system. This collected water could be heated by sunlight, or even an alternate heat source (rocket stove, electricity). However it is necessary to have some "proven research", "scientific data", or some "authoritative studies"  on the matter because the idea is considered fringe. Can you help me prove that underground greenhouses are not Taboo? Has there been any studies done on the matter by any universities or groups that hold some authority among these people?

There is currently a huge concern about sustainable agriculture, new farming techniques etc, and it seems like this idea would not be so condemned by society. Is there anything at all you can provide me on the situation?
 
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What about Dan Chiras's book  "The Chinese Greenhouse".  The thing is, these greenhouses aren't new, nor unproven, nor fringe.  There are actually thousands and thousands of acres of them in China used to feed the populous. So maybe finding some pictures of those might help your cause, so that it's obvious that many of these greenhouses have been in use for many years.  I've noticed some people think that if they haven't heard of something, it doesn't exist or only exists in experimental situations. A picture is worth a thousand words in that case!

You may be able to find some Chinese documentation on them.  However, Chiras has put together a great book on the subject:

The Chinese Greenhouse by Dan Chiras
 
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Kirsten Dirksen has a great youtube video with a guy in Nebraska who grows citrus fruit all year round and sells at his local farmers market.



He started 25 years ago when he retired and has now grown selling plans and kits into a business.

Green House in the Snow

It’s not an answer to your question, but it is a proven commercial venture and definitely not taboo. The greenhouse uses a geothermal system. The science is sound.
 
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Kim Goodwin wrote:What about Dan Chiras's book  "The Chinese Greenhouse".  The thing is, these greenhouses aren't new, nor unproven, nor fringe.  There are actually thousands and thousands of acres of them in China used to feed the populous. So maybe finding some pictures of those might help your cause, so that it's obvious that many of these greenhouses have been in use for many years.  I've noticed some people think that if they haven't heard of something, it doesn't exist or only exists in experimental situations. A picture is worth a thousand words in that case!

You may be able to find some Chinese documentation on them.  However, Chiras has put together a great book on the subject:

The Chinese Greenhouse by Dan Chiras



You are most definitely correct. Something strange has happened in this society, people will run around doing things wrong for hundreds of years knowing full well that the way they are doing it is not ideal, and then when someone starts doing something right they will find every error they can with it. For that reason they believe the the construction is "unproven" and it will leak and collapse. I am trying to find some research done by a modern authority that can prove the validity of its method.
 
Kim Goodwin
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In the book "The Chinese Greenhouse" are different charts and measurements showing the effectiveness of specific Chinese Style greenhouses.  I imagine you could use some of that.  But then also, the author credits the research of Dr. Sanjun Gu, and if you look up his name in conjunction with Chinese greenhouses you can find all sorts of reference material.

Here's a link with 5 linked research examples at the bottom.  Chinese style greenhouse references

And here is Dr. Gu's contact info: Dr Gu at Lincoln University

Here are the titles and authors of those research articles.  Some of the links worked, but not all, so you may wish to search for the titles and authors.


   G. Tong, D.M. Christopher and B. Li. 2009. Numerical modelling of temperature variations in a Chinese solar greenhouse. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture68: 129-139. (Requires subscription)

   Q. Zhang. 2006. Evaluation of solar energy greenhouse for winter greenhouse production in Manitoba. Project Results, Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Initiatives.

   C. Zhang and R. Boris. 2007. Solar Greenhouse Research – 06/07 Results. Profiles in R&D, Manitoba Hydro.

   L. Nan, G. Best and C.C. de Carvalho Neto. 1994. Integrated Energy Systems in China: The Cold Northeastern Experience. UN-FAO, Rome.

So if you keep searching along those lines, or ask that guy above for help, you may find more of what you are looking for...?  I'm pretty sure the data is out there. Chiras' Chinese Greenhouse book spells it out more simply, but you can likely find the reference material you want online if you know the names of more of the researchers - and if there are some translations available.

In China, it seems they don't always sink the greenhouses in the ground.  A lot of them are on flat ground and they just make a thick mass wall on the north side.  But some are in the ground, I've seen pictures of those.  I found a picture in the past of a slightly sloped piece of land with hundreds, many thousands of them sunk slightly.  Inside those greenhouses, the paths were dug further into the ground so the beds were at waist level.  But it is hard to find those pics, and I don't know if I saved them.  I have no idea why!  You'd think people would want this info out there for the world to see, but it's not that easy for some reason.

It looks like you'll have to dive deep for the info you want, but I think it's out there! Good luck.
 
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I can't recall how much of the research at this site was done with 'below-ground' engineering, but there may be some good information and links within this site:

https://extension.umn.edu/growing-systems/deep-winter-greenhouses

 
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Tenets
At least in terms of human-house are they at least sold on:
1) insulated north wall, really all walls
2) passivehouse thermal mass ideas to lower human housing bills
3) Solar Gain (which can suck in the summer)

Here is something from the US gov about underground humanhouse, it should apply to underground greenhouse
https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/efficient-earth-sheltered-homes

Underlying Problems
I think they might be worried more about the perceived extra cost and time to do it. Can you show them that human housed built with insulation+thermal mass battery+solar gain doesn't cost any more than 8% more in both time and labor?  On the flip side, they probably don't mind spending a bit more money upfront, if you can show them farmers/gov/university that have used it and got a healthy ROI.  Or it could just be that they don't like to cook without a recipe and they don't like to build something new without very details methods and procedures because they are afraid of failing.

Name Dropping
https://extension.umn.edu/growing-systems/deep-winter-greenhouses
https://issuu.com/jodyrader/docs/cold_climate_greenhouse_resource_13
Geery, Daniel. 1982. Solar Greenhouses: Underground. TAB Books, Inc. Blue Ridge Summit, PA. 400 p.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233808000_Solar_Powered_Greenhouses

https://attra.ncat.org/htmlpub/solar-greenhouses/
 
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