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Earth Air Tunnels

 
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I live in Tucson, Arizona and it gets hot in the summer. I was thinking about using earth air tunnels to cool a green house in the summer and to warm it up in the winter. Has anyone had any experience with this?
 
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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David S. :Welcome to Permies.com, and to our sister site Richsoil.com, Air Tubes have a mixed track record especially in more humid climates- I am providing
the link be low to help you navigate through the mass of materials but here at Permies and the rest of the Web !


https://permies.com/t/43625/introductions/Universal


When you post a new thread here our computer looks for key words and posts Links to Similar Threads in a group called - wait for it - ''Similar Threads'' at the very
bottom of this Thread !

Give these a look and comeback often with your New Questions ! For the good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
David Studer
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Thanks for the introduction to the forum. I am thinking about digging a trench 6 feet deep to lay pipe. I will also put 55 gallon drums filled with water down there and wrap the pipe around them (the pipe being 4 inch drain pipe). I am hoping that because water is a great way to transfer heat that it will really help cool/heat the air in the pipe. I am also thinking about putting close to a foot mulch at ground level to further help with cooling the ground. What are your thoughts about this?
 
gardener
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I was wondering about this my self, searched for answers, found your post.
Condensation in the earth tube could be an issue. Some greenhouse designs avoid this by using perforated tubing.
This prevents the pooling of water.
 
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Location: Underhill, Vermont
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I'm working on a similar design for my greenhouse, but I'm in a heating climate so we're using the tubes to dump heat into the earth below and around the greenhouse to help hear it in the winter. Always use perforated drain pipe. I wouldn't bother fooling around with barrels of water underground (that's what I understood your post to suggest), not much Mass difference than the surrounding soil. One thing you have to keep in mind is the velocity and dwell time of the air in the tubes, and whether you're looking to cool passively or with electric fans. For a climate battery, this means burying 4" perf ads tubing every couple feet on center and every 1' vertically, and connecting to much larger plenums at each end. For us, a major part of the design is the condensation of water vapor in the running, and the subsequent release of stored energy from the water vapor and into the soil. I imagine that would be less of a factor in Arizona.
 
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Location: Fennville MI
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There is lots of work on this front. Search "climate battery", central rocky Mountain premature institute, passive annualized solar heating.

That should get you up to speed;)
 
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Location: Vermont USDA zone 5a
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this place has an active setup and is right near the airport http://swes.cals.arizona.edu/erl/about.htm
civano also has one in their main office, i think.
 
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My place is in NE Arizona.
The pit greenhouse is five feet deep with a clear plastic roof.
When i was there a month ago i had thermometers everywhere: outside, at the ceiling,at the floor,in the hydroponic trays and in this drum.
I would get up before sunrise to check every temperature and when it was 35° outside the drum was 60°.
This was enough for me to think about pumping the water from the drum through a car radiator with a fan attached to warm in winter and cool in summer.

Right now the drum water is pumped through black irrigation hose that's just under the plastic roofing and feeds into the hydroponic trays to overflow back into the drum.

I would be VERY interested in the condensation that collects in an earth air tunnel.
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David Studer
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I did start my experiment a few months ago. I have not tested it but do plan to do so this winter and summer. I do have video but have yet had time to edit it.
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pollinator
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Location: northwest Missouri, USA
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Thanks for sharing this info and photos. I might suggest that when trenching that deep and working down in them to use shoring. These kinds of trenches collapse very easily and often without warning. I've laid plenty of clay sewer pipe and seen the ditches collapse when no shoring is used. Shoring is really not a luxury, but a necessity. I'm not trying to be a debbie downer here, but these trenches are extremely dangerous.
 
m louka
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Location: Vermont USDA zone 5a
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This is more what I had in mind - no tubes.
http://pages.uoregon.edu/hof/S01havestingrain/conclusion.html
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Marie Lou : I had to backtrack to the begining to understand the report you were using Link Below :

http://pages.uoregon.edu/hof/S01havestingrain/methods.html

While cooling was reported we have been given no scale to measure its effects or seasonal duration!

Also this would require a fan, and would not be self perpetuating most of the time !


Dann : I totally agree, Shoring should start as soon as the trench is deeper than your knees ! Big AL

 
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