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Posts: 13
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Hello Dan! Have you ever built a geodesic greenhouse or thought about it? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Cheers!
 
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Wendy Boardman wrote:Welcome Dan Chiras, Author of The Chinese Greenhouse! Can't wait to learn what exactly a Chinese Greenhouse is. I haven't heard of this before.




Hi Wendy,

Chinese greenhouses are specifically designed to grow warm weather veggies like cukes and peppers and tomatoes thru the off season using only solar energy.

They rely on several key design features: east-west orientation, earth sheltering, insulation, air-tight construction, thermal mass, and solid walls on the north, east snd west sides.

They are designed to allow the low-angled winter sun to enter, this providing solar energy needed to heat the greenhouse naturally snd provide light for plants to grow.

I’ve explained more in some of my previous posts.
So it might be worth perusing some of them,

I will say one more thing: I built one and have been growing in it successfully in east central MO for several years.

My new book is full of good info for those who want to know more. What’s cool is that many of the ideas can be applied to conventional greenhouses as well to heat them affordably in the winter.
 
Dan Chiras
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Andrew Cegielski wrote:Hello Dan! Have you ever built a geodesic greenhouse or thought about it? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Cheers!



Hi Andrew,

I’ve never built a geodesic dome Greenhouse but I’ve been in a couple. They’re pretty cool. They’re a bit over glazed though for winter growing.
 
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Janet Reed wrote:Welcome Dan...have worked in many production greenhouses and have been in some earth sheltered.  Could you explain banking of heat?  And give an example of blankets you would use in a below .32 degree temp?  

Thanks
J



Hi Janet,

Heat banking is a way of storing excess solar energy usually for the short term. For example excess heat that builds up in a greenhouse on a cold but sunny winter day, rather than being vented to the outdoors which is customary in many commercial greenhouses, can be stored underground in a climate battery. That’s nothing more than some thermal mass like a rock bed that holds the heat and then releases it at night.

That’s an active form of heat banking requiring ductwork and fans.

Thermal mass like concrete walls or adobe walls inside a greenhouse provide a way to passively bank or store heat. They absorb excess heat during the day and then release it at night helping keep your greenhouse warmer.

I Explain how these work in my new book.

There are also ways to store heat over the long term. This is a new area but a lot of people are having success storing surplus summer heat in underground storage areas for use during the colder months of the year.

 
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Janet Reed wrote:Welcome Dan...have worked in many production greenhouses and have been in some earth sheltered.  Could you explain banking of heat?  And give an example of blankets you would use in a below .32 degree temp?  

Thanks
J



Hi Janet,

I just realized that I forgot to answer your question about insulation blankets.

I’ve been using a product called Aluminet which is  a UV-protected polyethylene material that’s aluminized. It’s a sunshade or sunscreen in the summer but also does a great job and blocking the escape of infrared radiation during winter months.

You mentioned that in your area Temperature drops to -32°F. That’s a pretty challenging climate to grow in, as I’m very sure you know.

I suspect you have to use a much more robust form of insulation to keep a greenhouse  warm in the dead of night in the dead of winter. I’ve never used it for this application but I think that the reflective insulation might be your best bet. Be challenging to roll up during the day. Maybe some other readers have suggestions they might share with us?
 
pollinator
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Dan Chiras wrote:

Janet Reed wrote:Welcome Dan...have worked in many production greenhouses and have been in some earth sheltered.  Could you explain banking of heat?  And give an example of blankets you would use in a below .32 degree temp?  

Thanks
J



Hi Janet,

I just realized that I forgot to answer your question about insulation blankets.

I’ve been using a product called Aluminet which is  a UV-protected polyethylene material that’s aluminized. It’s a sunshade or sunscreen in the summer but also does a great job and blocking the escape of infrared radiation during winter months.

You mentioned that in your area Temperature drops to -32°F. That’s a pretty challenging climate to grow in, as I’m very sure you know.

I suspect you have to use a much more robust form of insulation to keep a greenhouse  warm in the dead of night in the dead of winter. I’ve never used it for this application but I think that the reflective insulation might be your best bet. Be challenging to roll up during the day. Maybe some other readers have suggestions they might share with us?



Thank you...that is good info...yes it is challenging here...32 degrees is average cold..cold is minus 20!
 
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Ask for insulation blankets, the Chinese initially started using external straw blankets that were rolled down over the greenhouse at night and rolled up during the day.

They have now switched to synthetic materials with electric motors that raise and lower the greenhouse blankets.

I recommend internal thermal blankets. I used shade cloth made out of polyester plastic suspended underneath the plastic face of my greenhouse to provide a hade in the summer and reduce heat loss in the winter.

Recently I’ve switched to a new material called Aluminet.  It’s a UV  protected polyethylene material that’s aluminized. It makes an excellent shade cloth in the summer and it radiates infrared radiation back into the greenhouse at night and cold winter days helping to maintain a constant temperature.



Welcome Dan!
Thermal blankets raised/lowered via electric motors would also be ideal in managing a SkyTherm roof that is designed to both heat (in winter) and cool (in summer) a dwelling.
In winter the blanket is rolled up/opened during the day for solar gain and closed at night to keep heat in. In summer the reverse is done, roll down during the day to avoid heat gain, but then roll up at night to allow heat to radiate into the open sky.
The design requires thermal mass or possibly phase change materials to retain heat/cool high in the structure immediately under the glazing.
Do any Chinese use this to moderate their house temperatures?
 
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I built a walipini once in Santa Fe, NM.  Turned out to be a massive undertaking to dig a 30'x50' hole 6ft deep.  Unfortunately I lost all the pics with the inevitable computer crash.  Bummer.  Be that as it may, I'm still in the passive solar game with regard to putting up one these greenhouses.  My next attempt will be one of these, or one that GERES designed for the trans-Himalaya region.  I would love to see what Dan Has to offer that is different or better than or in addition to the designs I have seen.  Looking forward to the discussion.
 
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Welcome Mr. Chiras! It is GREAT when we can discuss things in Permies with "the experts" who give their time and advice.
It will be good to learn about "Chinese grenhouses" and compare to our own solutions.
 
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Marco Benito wrote:I built a walipini once in Santa Fe, NM.  Turned out to be a massive undertaking to dig a 30'x50' hole 6ft deep.  Unfortunately I lost all the pics with the inevitable computer crash.  Bummer.  Be that as it may, I'm still in the passive solar game with regard to putting up one these greenhouses.  My next attempt will be one of these, or one that GERES designed for the trans-Himalaya region.  I would love to see what Dan Has to offer that is different or better than or in addition to the designs I have seen.  Looking forward to the discussion.



Marco,

I would love to hear about your experience building and operating a Walapini.

I would be delighted to talk with you by phone and in turn answer your questions about Chinese Greenhouses.

This week is absolutely crazy but things settle down next week. Perhaps if you are interested we could chat about a week from today?  You can text me at 636-303-9884 if you are interested.

Thanks

Dan
 
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Welcome to Permies!

I half want to 'make a submission' for the giveaway but half am thinking a Chinese greenhouse would be pointless in my hot Texas climate... hmm...
 
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Welcome Dan Chiras!  I've enjoyed your books in the past and your presentations. Thanks for all the good work and new and improved ideas.

K
 
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Location: Pinelands of New Jersey
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Welcome Dan! We live on 7 shady acres in the Pinelands of NJ, and location is something we "discuss" often. I am excited to read some of the threads in this forum, and glean more information to help with our discussion.
 
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Location: Southwest Washington 98612
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Welcome, Dan. I like to use a greenhouse for starting my annual veggies, but am reluctant to use a greenhouse to keep plants in: seems like they are much more susceptible to pests and other health issues. Does your new book address minimizing greenhouse environmental health issues?
 
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Welcome to permies, Dan Chiras. I look forward to reading you new book.
I am putting up 3-12m x 40m greenhouses with Chinese solar(traditional) greenhouses in the hillside behind them.
I live @ 6500 feet near the mountain tops, growing season is short.
Thank you for writing this book I have always loved the traditional Chinese Greenhouses
 
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Hi and many thanks for you work in this area. I have seen an inflatable immitation double glaze system allowing modest but not insignificant cultivation in the middle of a Lake Huron winter. I’d be interested hearing more about your thoughts on various glazing materials to withstand particularly harsh winters.
 
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WOW! Huge thanks to Dr Dan Chiras for all the awesome answers and discussions! So much knowledge has been shared this week. Thank you!!!

We have winners!

Congratulations to our winners!
Dennis Barrow
R Scott
Kat Lawless
Kim Goodwin



Please keep an eye out in your email inboxes for an email from New Society Publishers. They'll be contacting you to arrange for the shipment of your book!

For those of you that are bummed that you didn't win, you can buy his book straight from the source at  New Society Publishers or on Amazon

 
pollinator
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Thank you Dan for being here this week and chatting with us.
I appreciate your ideas.
Most important of all:  I am looking forward to getting your book !!  I can't believe I won a copy !!!
 
Dennis Barrow
pollinator
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Been watching emails and have not seen anything from New Society Publishers yet.
 
Kim Goodwin
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Dennis Barrow wrote:Been watching emails and have not seen anything from New Society Publishers yet.



Mine came from a lady, Brittany.  Try searching for that name in your spam folder.
 
Dennis Barrow
pollinator
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Kim Goodwin wrote:

Dennis Barrow wrote:Been watching emails and have not seen anything from New Society Publishers yet.



Mine came from a lady, Brittany.  Try searching for that name in your spam folder.



I did a search and nothring.
 
author & gardener
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Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
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Someone on staff has contacted them, so hopefully, you'll hear from them soon.
 
Dennis Barrow
pollinator
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AAAaaaarrrrggghhh!!!

Nothing yet.
 
Dennis Barrow
pollinator
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Finally got my copy of the book!!
What a great book!
Go out and buy it!!
 
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Hi Dan,
i had a question about Lithium solar batteries for solar energy storage. Where can I reach you about it ?
 
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