A Geothermal Greenhouse Now Possible
Geothermal energy is considered as an under-appreciated energy source. This is one energy resource that is just waiting to be tapped, not just for electricity generation but for other purposes as well including heating the greenhouses.
The sun’s heat may be considered as the first option when it comes to green house heating, but researches have shown that a geothermal greenhouse is highly feasible as well. And this is currently practiced in many parts of the world.
There thermal heat that can be generated thanks to geothermal energy can be categorized into three- the low temperature, the medium temperature and the high temperature. Between the three, the low temperature is the best when used for geothermal greenhouse heating.
Low temperature means 50 Fahrenheit, and this is best in growing and maintaining the most common herbs and plants inside a greenhouse. Some plants and herbs that can thrive under the temperature range of 32-45 Fahrenheit include perennials, herbs and some vegetables. And in increasing and managing the heat inside the greenhouse, then the heat pump should be used.
There are different types of heat pumps that can be used for a geothermal greenhouse construction. "The list includes the air to air, the air to water, the water to water and the water to air system."
Air system that can be used for greenhouses
For this system, the tubes are buried at least 6 inches below the surface. This is considered as the most cost-effective, and acts as a collector of heat during the winter through the use of the corrugated plastic tubes. The heat will then be directed to the area where the heat is needed. The air that passes through the tube will be warmed by the soil which has a higher temperature. During summer, the process is reversed and this can be used to cool the greenhouse since the heat is absorbed by the cooler Earth.
Water system for greenhouses
If this system is used, the heat of the soil is used to warm the liquid or water coming from the ponds can be used to extract the heat.
There are several options when it comes to the water system for the greenhouses. One is the closed-loop system and this circulates the water through the loop of pipes. During winter the solution that circulates in the pipe absorbs the heat on the ground and this is carried to the heat exchanger. Another option is the horizontal loop. If this is used for the geothermal greenhouse design, the pipes need to be placed in trenches with lengths not exceeding 400 inches. The pipes are used to get the heat needed to warm the greenhouse. Another heating design is through the adoption of the vertical loops, and best on an area where space is limited. And finally there is the open loop system that makes use of the ground water. Water is pumped from one source and returned to the next source.
Geothermal greenhouse heating is becoming popular for all the right reasons and these used in some experimental greenhouses.
The energy is cheap, readily accessible and does not contribute greenhouse gas emissions so what’s not to love about this project?