re: Attached greenhouse/sunroom...
- sbotsford at sjsa.ab.ca wrote:
> Edmonton, about 10-11 thousand [heating degree-days per year]In the past, I've done the above (idea #1) on a few houses (including my
> I think I have to use a semi-active technique, both to compensate for
> cloudy days, and to even out some of the swings.
> Idea 1: Bury 6" diameter drain tubing or other cheap thinpipe about 18"
> deep in the crawl space. Use small fans [snip]
own home ~8740 HDD/yr climate) and in all cases, the underslab tubing has
been disconnected and the holes filled in/covered over without ever
having been used.
The active systems were never used because there didn't appear to be any
But these homes are/were in balmy SW and SE Ontario where it hasn't gotten
down to minus 40 in well over a decade, not in nad-numbingly-nippy
Northern Alberta where people walk around with anti-freeze intravenous
And in the wisdom of retrospect, the idea of collecting hot humid air from
the top of a sunspace and then circulating it through/past a bazillion
condensing surfaces (aka washed, crushed stone) that are buried so that
they never see the bleaching UV rays of the sun and are inaccessible for
cleaning to get rid of mould accumulation, didn't seem like such a great
I don't know that you'd get enough daylight hours in Edmonton to grow
tomatoes through the winter
(ie at least 8 hrs of full sun) but it might be worth looking at using
arrays of dark-coloured water barrels exposed to sun, configured to
support slatted plant racks upon which the plants (other than tomatoes)
could be placed for bottom heat.
If necessary, you might use night insulation directly over the plants to
enclose the plants/sun-warmed water barrels (like row covers). But I doubt
that it would be necessary if the common wall between the greenhouse and
the mainhouse is uninsulated.
Here in Ontario, the attached sunspaces (with uninsulated common wall)
that I've built seem to almost never get below 55 degF at night in
winter, the only exception being about 10 years ago when we got minus 40
for a short stretch and then it went down to about 50 degF. (The
sunspaces are/were (site-built double) glazed only on the equator-facing
wall/roof, with moderately high mass levels (upper and lower level floor
slabs, triple wythe masonry common wall)and superinsulated on all
non-glazed portions, including foundation and underslab (actually under
the rock store).
During the day (winter mode) , excess heat from the sunspace/solar furnace
is used to help heat the main house and at night, heat loss from the main
house through the common wall helps to keep the sunspace from getting too
cool. No other auxiliary heat is provided to the sunspace. The sunspace
contributes a net heat gain in winter.
The advantage of using accessible water barrels for thermal storage is
that you can fine-tune the mass levels to suit your space. ie Temp swings
too great ? Add a few more barrels.
I suppose that if one wanted to get "Murrican" (read: gizmologically
intensified) about it, one could install a solar batch heater at the top
of the sunspace and plumb it to the water barrels under the plants and use
a solar-powered garden pond pump for circulation ?
In which case, I'd look at insulating the three exterior walls and the
floor of the crawlspace and filling it full of water barrels or maybe even
making it into a big aquarium for a warm-water-tolerant fish like Tilapia
~~~ * ~~~
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
<ArchiLogic at chaffyahoo dot ca>
(winnow the chaff and de-munge my edress in your reply)
- My friend Tom Trout, a heater mason in North Carolina, sent the following
Czech-Slovak Civic Association PERMAKULTURA (CS)
invites you to the
PERMACULTURE WEEK FOR ECO-HEATING
- history and evolution of combustion space, eco-housing in relations, ...
- household earth ovens, counter-flow mass ovens (Finnish type), ...
- recycled and nature materials useable for eco-building, ...
- Czech-Slovak legal regulations, ...
which will be proceeded 11. - 17.7. 2005 in Brno
Number of participants is limited by capacity of the place of workshop,
don't delay, we will take regard for time of registration.
Norbert Senf---------- mheat(at)mha-net.org
Masonry Stove Builders
RR 5, Shawville------- www.heatkit.com
Quebec J0X 2Y0-------- fax:-----819.647.6082