MoonShadow's Greenhouse

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#21
@MaineGarden, I was thinking of that. Concrete has the third best thermal mass value for a greenhouse (at 35 BTU/Sq Ft./degree F), tied with stone...behind water (63) and steel (59). Other materials include brick (24), earth (20), sand (22), stone (35), and wood comes in last at about 10.
 

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#23
Here's some progress I made the past few days.

I got the barrels leveled, cut all the holes and set the bulkheads and attached the hoses. I don't know how much help it will be, but I also put a sheet of Reflextix under each barrel to keep the cold ground from sucking up some of the heat. The hoses are attached so the pump pulls the water from the bottom of the 4th barrel, sends it to the collectors, and it returns to the top of the 1st barrel...then is drawn from the bottom of the 1st barrel into the top of the 2nd barrel, and this process is repeated throughout the 4 barrel battery. Since warm water will rise above colder water, I want to continually send the warmer water to the top of each barrel and draw the cooler water from the bottom of each barrel.

49-Feb_10.jpg

50-Feb_10.jpg

It was in the 40's today, so with my little propane heater I was able to get the temperature warm enough in my workshop to get the reflectors painted. I then moved them into the jam storage shed to dry.

51-Feb_10.jpg

I couldn't find my paint respirator, although I did find a new set of filters for it. I looked online to see what a new respirator would cost. That same model that I bought 20 years ago, now sells for $129-$159! I know I didn't pay half that much for it back then. I wound up buying a new 3M respirator. The high-heat paint I used had all kinds of warnings on it about brain and lung damage. Thank you, but I already have enough damage to myself from 62 years of living!
 

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#25
I got the 2 collector boxes hung today. I did a "dry run" hanging without the plexiglas just so I wouldn't scratch or crack it. Now, I have to take them down, cut and attach the plexiglass and re-hang them; that's for tomorrow afternoon. I had to make the angle a bit higher than I wanted which should be 23 degrees, but at 23 degrees, I will hit my head on them. Even with the increased tilt, about 30 degrees, I was surprised at how warm the metal surface covering the tubing got. I think this just might work. I am excited.

52-Feb_12.jpg

53-Feb_12.jpg

54-Feb_12.jpg
 

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#26
I got the solar collectors covered with the plexiglass today. I had to make two cuts on each piece (no problems) and drill 10 holes into each piece (just one crack in the corner of one sheet), so I consider that a good day! I re-hung them and joined the two. I also got the last barrel connected to the ball joint valve...one way to the panels; the other way to exhaust the barrel water into the yard at the beginning of the Summer. I also got the pump hooked up.

The only thing I need to do now, is connect the collectors to the barrels and mount the solar panel outside. I am also going to hook up 2 switches so I can alternate the power between the solar panel and regular electricity to keep the system running if is gets cold and its a cloudy day.

Pics to come!
 

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#27
UP AND RUNNING!

I made the last connections today and filled the 4 - 55 gallon drums with water. Even though it was cloudy, the solar panel powered the pump, and everything seems to be circulating as expected. Finished late, so I didn't get any pics. I'll do that tomorrow and post them...or maybe I'll make a slide-show video.
 

MoonShadows

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
410
Likes
624
Location
Stroudsburg, PA
First Name
Jim
Hardiness Zone
6a
#31
Today, I tidied up a bit. I mounted the solar panel on a pole outside the greenhouse and tacked up all the wires. I also replaced the shelving back on top of the water drums and mounted the solar/electrical switches on the wall. I even got one of the circulation fans mounted. I would have gotten both mounted, but I accidentally squeezed one of my florescent light bulbs when moving a shelf and it exploded. I had glass shards all over me and the greenhouse...like a bomb went off. It took me over a half hour to clean up all the glass shards. I'll take pictures either tomorrow or Saturday and post the entire project.

Next, mix my seed planting soil and get ready to plant my seeds!