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Can we successfully convert our pool to a climate battery and wicking bed?  RSS feed

 
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I had this idea of combining a wicking bed with a climate battery in our old unused pool. Is that doable? I already have a greenhouse elsewhere which I'll pull the heat from and send it back to. The potential problems I can see are:

- Moisture buildup down below. Typically climate batteries use perforated ag pipe to let soil absorb moisture. I'd need to use something sealed as my pipes would be under water. Risky?
- Risk of leaks. And if I get leaks, it'll be very hard to fix.

Does anyone have any thoughts/input/suggestions on this combo idea? I'd love to pull it off! Thanks heaps.

Graaly.
 
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Hi Nick, sorry no ones responded yet, I just noticed your thread.

It sounds like you'd keep water in the pool and then sink air ducts/pipes into the pool to transfer heat/cold from the pipes to the water.  

Condensation in those pipes could be a problem.  On the plus side they'd really want to float.  So however you hold them underwater, maybe the system/anchor could allow them to float periodically so you can drain them.  Or if you design a low spot into the pipes you could have a 1" diameter pipe that sits inside the duct and ends at that low spot.  Periodically you could try to suck the water out through that straw.

Where do you live?  How warm does the pool stay in the winter?  Since the greenhouse isn't sitting on top of it the heat loss from it could be greater than in a "normal" climate battery.  Floating a solar pool blanket on it would help suck in more sunlight and hold in more heat.  Unless the wicking bed covers the surface.

 
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dirt would hold heat energy, and pipes stay put.

never heard of a "climate battery," but I understand the concept. With dirt, and coiled pipes, you're basically talking about a geothermal arrangement.
 
Michael Sohocki
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but pipe ain't free. seems to me the quantity and complexity of pipe you would need would exceed the savings you hope to reap.
 
Nick Graalman
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Thanks for your thoughts Mike & Michael. No worries on the delayed reply - i figured the post had disappeared into the ether haha.

"Pipes ain't free." Yeah that's probably where the idea falls apart huh. Unless (maybe?) if I use cheap perforated pipe and soil for the bottom section of the pool. Then add a waterproof layer/liner around 50cm from the top followed by stones to 30cm from the top. Layer wicking material and then top with soil. This way no need for waterproof pipes and still get two uses out of the pool. Would the piping still add up to an unjustifiable amount...maybe? Thoughts?
 
Michael Sohocki
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I can buy 300FT of 3/4" pex for about $150.
If permeable, like perforated or otherwise, I think it will develop mechanical problems because water moves. when it rains water will accumulate in places, and a pipe fills up with water (in some buried section of several hundred feet) and, well, i just think that's going to be a rat's nest.

okay, if you're really going through with this, then here's my best shot:

use completely sealed pex. In the very bottom of the pool, begin with a "T" construction directly agaknst the concrete at the lowest point. one of these leads to your outlet where the treated air comes out, one of them leads to the shortest possible exit out of the pool in case (god help you) water somehow finds its way into your system, you can hook up a sump pump and suck it out of there.

Then (the last leg of the T), goes to a series of courses of pipe layered on top of each other, which will be difficult to explain. You know what the coolant line in a radiator or condeser coil looks like, right? It's a bunch of straight lines, that loops one way then the next at both extremeties, to form a flat plane of bars. So in your first layer which covers the T, you fill with dirt on an incline of perhaps 2 rise to 10 run. Run your parallels in such a way that every pass and every curve points always and regularly downhill. When you get to the opposite wall, fill the dirt in reverse order--the high end furthest from you, and repeat the process. Back and forth, back and forth pointing always and regularly downhill.

Repeat the process until you run out of pipe, dirt, time or sanity. This is will maximize your contact with the mass of earth inside the pool.

Adding water will certainly change something--by the same logic that adding...say...orangutans must certainly change something--but WHAT exactly it will change I can only guess. It will be denser, I suppose. It will hold more of whatever you put in it, I suppose. How MUCH and WHEN and questions like that are way above my pay grade. But there's what I got.
 
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Hi Nick (and everyone),

I can help you work out the details of your climate battery / wicking bed if you really want to, but I personally think there are better uses for an unused pool . . .



What do you think?
 
Nick Graalman
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. To be honest, I feel torn as which way to proceed. I like the idea of avoiding another structure on the property and just keep my yard green. So that's where hidden pipes and a wicking bed is a good combo. To make a "garden Pool" like in the video means another structure. I like what it can offer though! Tricky! I'll keep thinking on it. Bring on the ideas if you have any to share. Thanks heaps.
 
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Cool idea about the wicking bed.  Good luck with it.

Here's what I'm doing with my "unused pool".  One of my many ridiculous videos I'm actually currently in the middle of making!  How lucky for you, lol.  Anyway, sit back, relax, and have a beer, as I explain.........    https://youtu.be/TBX_XMPJwrw

I first loosely copied gardenpool.org people and built a greenhouse out of the pool.  It didn't work well for me, but I invested just the bare minimum, and so excess heat was a major factor even in February.  I actually posted pictures of it when I asked on here about turning an rv into a greenhouse.  Ugh, lol.  That'll never happen btw....

so, I turned it into the chicken coop.  I left the deep end so that I could store rain water from the roof, and also to be able to keep the dirt from sitting in a pool of water when it rained, blah, blah.  Then things just keep evolving as to what I can do with it.  Currently dreaming about growing figs and grapes, and shading the entire roof out from the inside.  Easy fruit to pick, and predator free since I have the hardware cloth.  Also dream of avocado, and citrus year round with minimal protection since it's a kind of a sunken micro climate......blah blah.
Currently, the pool only gives me eggs, a place to compost 100% of everything generated on site, is a protected place to grow (assuming I protect things from the chickens), is a nice size area for water catchment itself, can store about 500 or so gallons (probably more, but I don't like the water going to high up into the compost past the rocks.), is also an area to pump water off of off the roof of the house, a place for my ducks to swim, a place to make huge quantities of compost tea, is a place for my chickens and ducks to live protected from any predator that could harm them, and it's kind of a cool hide out!  A little sunken pit to play in!  lol

vs

swimming in it......



Good luck!


 
S Tenorman
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oh yeah, an impenetrable fortress to keep rabbits in, free range (along with the chickens).  That's an idea I hope to someday incorporate.  Way too much going on now, and too much I don't know still....


 
S Tenorman
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oh yeah, I was thinking about building a small greenhouse inside, over the water in the deep end.  Build the greenhouse on peers, flood the deep end there's your heat sink, and most of the greenhouse is protected from the harshest of the elements since it's still sunken below earth level, or most of it.   I'm obsessed......

 
S Tenorman
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or if you're into boating, you could build the greenhouse on top of barrels, or Styrofoam or something and it'd go up and down with the tide.  No worries about having high water......as long as you don't hit the roof of the pool covering with the roof of the greenhouse.......
 
Nick Graalman
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Thanks for all the great ideas and contributions. I also have another idea to share. I'm been thinking hard on it and I've come up with this...

What if I filled hessian bags with sealed but empty drink bottles. Then tossed them into the pool until it was completely covered in them (perhaps sewed together). Then covered with dirt to emulate a floating island (only you can't tell so much). I'd have to do something clever at the edges so dirt doesn't go underneath though. But assuming that's not too hard to resolve, I then have a sort of wicking bed and a sort of rain water tank. The floating island can move up and down as I use water for the rest of my garden. As plants grow on the 'island," it'll help meld the bags and bottles together. It's also easy and completely reversible (should it not pan out) and only requires free/waste items to create. Am I on to something or should I check myself in?
 
S Tenorman
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If I understand your idea correctly, it sounds awesome!  That would be really cool to see working.  Good luck!  Post pictures of your progress.  

I'm not sure where your pool equipment is located as far as the pump/filter/heater, but all of that stuff happens to be at the corner of the back of my house......right across from a rain downspout.  I have this idea of running a short piece of pipe from the downspout of the roof gutter to the pipe that goes to the drain in the pool......it's just a few feet of pipe for me, and a few fittings.  No digging, etc.  Just an idea for you if you hadn't already thought it up.

 
Nick Graalman
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Thanks, I will definitely post some images! Thanks for the additional idea too. I was going to plumb something from the roof to the pool and your suggestion might just be the ticket.

At this stage my biggest concern is how many bottles to use for buoyancy. I have to get the ratio right so soil is not sitting in water. Especially as plants gain mass/weight. There is gonna be some guesswork involved. Anyway, here goes nothing!
 
Nick Graalman
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So I've been working hard on the construction of this idea although it's changed a lot. I came up with the idea of using milk crates for the floating structure. It's way more structurally sound that loose bottles in hessian bags (what was I thinking haha). The concept has changed too,  I'm going to first try a natural swimming pool (plunge pool really) and if it doesn't work out, a aquaponics system and failing that, a floating garden/rainwater tank combo. To follow the project, go here: https://permies.com/t/72189/Poor-man-natural-swimming-pool. That thread I posted is more relevant to the idea. Here is a video of pt 1 though.


 
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I love the idea of the aquaponics potential here. That probably would have been where my mind would have gone first. And, unless i’m not understanding the original design, i believe an aquaponics system would still function in the same way- as a natural water cleaner. Though you’d have to share your swimming area with some fishy friends.

But I have one thought on your fallback of a floating garden. If you really are done with the pool why not just jackhammer up the bottom to connect it back to the natural soil and fill the whole thing in with a layer of gravel and then topsoil and turn the whole area into a regular garden? Sounds like it wouldn’t function as a swimming pool any more anyways if you went with the floating garden plan- the pool would have no filter and a garden wouldnt be compatible with a chlorinated swimming pool.
 
Nick Graalman
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Thanks for the comment Eric. So you think Aquaponics and natural swimming pool can work together? I'm cool with swimming with fish
 
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