Comparing Passive and Active Solar Greenhouses and more
Green Living Article: Nontoxic Paint
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Exploring types of solar greenhouses
This is the last entry in our greenhouse information series. To get the full benefit of these articles, please start at the beginning and read all the previous entries:
Passive or Active
The solar greenhouse is classified into two. It can be the passive solar greenhouse or the active. These two makes use of different resources, but still serve a same purpose.
The Passive Solar Greenhouse
In some places, where colder seasons tend to endure longer, there may be a need to resort to passive solar greenhouse, using gas or electric heating system. This is the only way to protect the plants from getting too much cold.
This is very ideal for growers as it can still give way to so much productivity despite the conditions. The use of heating systems for greenhouses to be cost-effective is best utilized if there are high-value crops to be produced.
The Active Solar Greenhouse
The active solar greenhouse makes use of supplemental energy. It transfers the solar heated air from the storage area to the other parts of the greenhouse.
Designing a Solar Greenhouse
Most would claim that managing and maintaining an ordinary greenhouse does not differ much with the solar greenhouse. However, there are a number of ways that they differ. These are significant distinctions.
Solar greenhouses, unlike the ordinary ones, have oriented glazing to get utmost solar heat, even during winter. Its materials are designed to minimize loss of heat. It uses heat storing materials. It also has insulation especially useful when there is no sunlight. The solar greenhouse also depends heavily on natural ventilation for cooling during summer.
Solar Heat Storage
This is one main feature in designing a solar greenhouse. To remain warm even during cool nights, there must be sufficient amount of solar heat stored. One common method used to store this energy is to put rocks or concrete directly receiving the sunlight to absorb the heat.
Cinder block walls at the north side of a greenhouse are also used as good heat storage. Dark-colored ceramic floorings can also be used to store the heat. Any wall or flooring not used for heat absorption is supposed to be colored light. This should be designed to reflect the heat and light and distribute it to the plants.
The management of a greenhouse can also determine the amount of heat stored. A greenhouse that is full of plants and structures can store heat easier compared to an empty one. Composts can also complement the heat storage goal as they help produce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Furthermore, the microorganisms in the compost also contribute to the increase in plant production.
Some would rely on any structure that would resemble a greenhouse to accommodate the plants. However, to be efficient and cost-effective, aim for the optimum setting in your solar greenhouse.