A Bermed, Solar Heated Greenhouse in Iadho

I built a subterranean greenhouse this past fall here in Southern Idaho.   I have been eating tomatoes, green beans, Swiss chard, cucumbers, crookneck & summer squash for the past 6 weeks. 

solar greenhouse

The overall dimensions of the greenhouse are 42' X 16'.

 The green house is bermed up on the north side with a 6 foot wall.     I used recycled patio doors for the glazing. 

I heat the concrete walls with the solar panels (that is the tubing in the walls). 

When it was -6 F degrees out side it was 46 F inside this past winter. 

>>Arden: If you wanted to expand any of the above with words or pictures, that would be great.   Its a DIY website, so the more detail the better.

heating tubes for solar gh
The bermed concrete walls of the greenhouse with
the tubes that carry solar heated water.
solar greenhouse heating tubes


solar collectors heat greenhouse
Solar collectors in foreground heat the water to warm the greenhouse walls.

The cold frames in the front are vented into each other and controlled with a thermostat and fan.   The hot air in the green house is also redirected through  some underground irrigation pipe in the growing beds.   Saves all that heat for night time use.

>>Arden: All the details you could provide on how the solar water heating system works would be great.   The pumping, freeze protection, the way in which the system is plumbed, any controls, ...   More pictures of the details would be great.

The part about collecting heated air from the top of the greenhouse and circulating it through irrigation pipe also sounds very interesting -- if you have any pictures or more description of this, that would be great.


cold frames in front of solar greenhouse
Cold frames in front of solar greenhouse

I put two doors per slot because  they were only $10 each.   So I have 4 panes of glass and 3 dead air spaces. 

>> Arden: I wonder if the 4 panes of glass are not getting to the point where too much light is absorbed for good plant growth?  I don't know -- just wondering?

My tomatoes and cucumbers are clear to the ceiling now!!!!   

>>Arden: This would be a great place for a picture of some of the produce growing in the greenhouse if you have some.


>>Arden: I need to know if you want to provide any contact information for people with questions -- this is totally up to you and people go both ways on providing contact info or not.


Gary May 26, 2011