Osentowski, director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI), farms at 7,200 feet on a steep, rocky hillside in Colorado, incorporating deep, holistic permaculture design with practical common sense. It is at this site, high on a mountaintop, where Osentowski (along with architect and design partner Michael Thompson) has been designing and building revolutionary greenhouses that utilize passive and active solar technology via what they call the “climate battery”—a subterranean air-circulation system that takes the hot, moist, ambient air from the greenhouse during the day, stores it in the soil, and discharges it at night—that can offer tropical and Mediterranean climates at similarly high altitudes and in cold climates (and everywhere else). Osentowski’s greenhouse designs, which can range from the backyard homesteader to commercial greenhouses, are completely ecological and use a simple design that traps hot and cold air and regulates it for best possible use. The book is part case study of the amazing greenhouses at CRMPI and part how-to primer for anyone interested in a more integrated model for growing food and medicine in a greenhouse. With detailed design drawings, photos, and profiles of successful greenhouse projects on all scales, this inspirational manual will considerably change the conversation about greenhouse design.
Climate Battery Functions
The magic of phase change from liquid to vapor and back again drives the Climate Battery™, or Subterranean Heating and Cooling System (SHCS). The system functions like a simple refrigeration system, moving heat from one place to another. But a typical 1200 square foot greenhouse needs only the equivalent equipment and running costs of a single large household refrigerator!
By slowly circulating all of the hot, moist daytime air of the greenhouse down underground where it is always cooler than the greenhouse air, the Climate Battery forces the vapor to condense. By doing so, the solar heat as well as the chemical heat from the plant photosynthesis that was required to evaporate the moisture in the first place is forced into the soil. The “miracle” is that by inducing temperature change over the phase change barrier we have the potential to harness 5 times the energy normally the case if we simply tried to solar heat objects cluttering up your precious greenhouse floor space. And by inducing this “dewpoint” condition in the soil of the greenhouse, the plant roots are always being bathed in warm, moist conditions – the perfect balance for plants and solar greenhouses. The space is heated by the massive amount of radiating solar heat stored in the soil under the greenhouse, and with fans to circulate cooler nighttime greenhouse air through the tubing network, adding warmth and moisture back to the greenhouse.
Geothermal Greenhouse Design – How to turn TRASH into FOOD – Alternative Building Methods : https://youtu.be/g0f9nu0p9ZM
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