Ideas for Arkhangai Greenhouse

Associated Challenge: 

The Hasu Shivert Resort is almost completely self sustaining as they produce their own food, energy, water, and shelter. They have three greenhouses on site one of which is an A-frame greenhouse.

For more specific details of the greenhouse view our one pager here.

The challenge of our users is to add a thicker layer of composite recycled glass using the empty glass bottles which are abundant in the area. We need to find the best way to crush the glass, add epoxy and form a thick enough and translucent enough outer window for the greenhouse. The outer window must be able to withstand a significant amount of external and internal moisture of varying temperatures.

Since our first post of the challenge we have had some updates, questions, and contributions from people.

- Use the vodka bottles at thermal mass and fill them with later (leaving room for expansion in case of freezing). Stack them flat along the North wall and other locations. They will absorb heat during the day and radiate it out into the green house at night- bikerider
– Shelving these would be a possibility and redirecting light or heat to this set of shelves would be very doable.

- There should be plenty of solar input. Add “shutters” to serve as a nighttime blanket or insulation which would stop the heat escaping during the night, with out reducing insulation during the day.- Tom
– To add shutters we would need to replace the current structure and framing which probably has to be done in any scenario. We may be able to develop swivels to lessen the work time involved. In other comments, we have seen an idea to make smaller square panels in order to deal with expansion and contraction issues. We will definitely test for this and see if they can be combined.

- Are you looking to replace the existing glass, or add a second layer?
– This depends on the current strength of the support beams and frames. We can assume that the current structure would not support a second layer and may not be able to support a heavier layer than currently exists.

- What is the geothermal heat input like? Up to 68C water, but what’s the flow rate?
– The flowrate on geothermal hot water varies throughout the day. In the afternoon, the spring is used to refill the large swimming pool on premise. During the night time, we have a maximum flow rate. The guess at the moment is that we will have a few gallons per minute excess during pool filling time and maximum flow is equvalent to the afternoon rate which equals enough to fill a meter deep, 30 meter pool in an hour or two.

- Is there a way to help expand the growing season?
– There is a lot of technology that can accommodate the growing through out the year. There is a hydroponics company in the U.S. who is growing year round with rock wool and verti-gro systems. With the amount of wool available, this is one option and similar vertical technology is another option. If we keep the ground warm enough, we should have enough heat to accomplish this. If needed, we could use geothermal power to power grow-lights however natural light might suffice.

- We recently had conversations with a glass artist this week in which we discovered that glass can be melted up to 1800 degrees using a electric kiln. She suggested we contact a scientist who melts glass into thicker industrial pieces.

- Berm Possibilities: (excavating the ground and building the structure in a berm to protect from wind, and insulate the ground and sides) A riff off the idea to build an extended V shape berm to let in more light, protect from wind, but reduce insulation.

- Create ventilation panels which are opened to vent heat from the top.

- Stack square panes on swivels so that you can adjust each row of siding throughout the day based on temperature or weather.

- Ideas for glass crushing and adding epoxy
- Research on traditional A-Frame greenhouses
- Specifications to adapt melted glass to temperature ranges
- Structure design ideas for swivels, shutters, and support structure

Please feel free to contribute to the project as any idea will help us to find a solution in Arkhangai!

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