Hello everyone, I live on the plains in NE Colorado and have recently decided to construct a large greenhouse (30' x 168') to start my dream of becoming an aquaponic farmer. Where I live, in the winter it can get down to -15F and in the summer above 100F. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to cost effectively heat and cool the greenhouse the least amount of fossil fuels as possible. Thanks!
We're doing the same thing and are planning to use a rocket mass heater or a masonry heater (very similar) with an earthen bench as the mass to hold the heat that dissipates. YouTube has lots of videos (some good some hokey) and they can be built yourself, if you wish. We'll be running duct work that carries the heat through the floor to heat the GH. These heaters use a LOT less wood, their combustion is nearly 80-90% so your only putting out water vapor, and the mass can easily hold heat 2 days. They burn at incredibly high temperatures if constructed properly. House will also have one that will include oven space and water heating capacity. Hubby just ordered a book with plans from the Masonry Heater Association. The concept has been in Europe and Asia for generations.
What if all the lower walls were cob and had rocket stove piping running through them? The thermal mass of the cob and a rocket stove combined could possibly do it. I have been doing some planing of my own on a greenhouse and am doing cob or putting it half underground. I am thinking cob would be better.
I am going to try an idea similar to the youtube video above, using appreciating assets (livestock) to heat a green house.
There are so many ideas about how to do this that it's hard to know where to begin. If you can wrap your head around the concepts of radiant heat, passive solar heat storage, and enthalpy then you can come up with some really creative solutions.
There are a couple of greenhouse designers in Colorado named Penn & Cord who've done some cool things with greenhouses.
As for the aquaponic side of things, I think you should take a look at my blog on Cold Weather Aquaponics since that's all that it's about. Sorry for the self-promotion. I'd point you elsewhere except I started the blog since I can't find anyone else promoting energy efficiency in aquaponic design.
If you heat the water, you can keep the air temp a bit lower. Check this out-