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greenhouse equipment

adnedarn

I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az
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a good heater and swamp cooler for $150 ? Good luck. I paid 220 or so for my swamp cooler and it was a returned item so i got a disscounted price.. Plus my wife works there... And a heater, you're looking for a electric one? Get one with a fan i think... I have a oil filled one in my little green house and 1500 watts or oil heat doen't keep up. even with my mild "cools"
 
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okay well the swamp cooler isnt essential I can buy a small humidifier but where can I get a heater to heat a 6x8 partially insulated greenhouse (bubble wrap) it gets to -20 farenhieght here and around -5 in the greenhouse, right now my little oil heater just isnt getting it done
 
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As warm as possible?  

In order to determine how much heating you need a number to shoot for.  It takes a whole lot more heater to reach 75 vs 40 when it is -20 outside.  What is the greenhouse covered in, material and thickness?

Tony
 
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You are not making this easy Kirk ;<

What type of material is the greenhouse glazing made of.  Polycarbonate?  layers, thickness?  Glass??  single/double?  polyethylene? inflated?

You mentioned a heater.  Any idea how many btu?  Is it one of those radiator looking oil filled?  How many watts?
 
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This site will help you determine how many btu you need to maintain 40 degrees on those -20 nights.
Just plug in all the numbers.  I was estimating 241 ftsq of surface and a heat loss value of around .6  

little greenhouse btu calculator

edit: 6mm polycarb has a heat loss of .65 but I made it .6 because you mentioned the bubble wrap.  Hard to estimate that however.  In any event it is best to slightly overestimate the heater needed.

Looks like you need 9400btu if you don't take into account the bubblewrap.

I would estimate you are needing a couple 5000 btu heaters. That way you have some leeway and if one breaks everything won't freeze. Be prepared for the electic meter to spin like a top though. Even if you do a decent job putting up the bubble wrap it probably won't drop your btu needs down much below 7000 or so. Which means that when it's -20 one heater will be running CONSTANTLY and the other about half the time.

Basic 5000btu 120v 1500watt electric heater with fan heater (the top one)
 

nepenthes gracilis

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Go with a small propane heater if you can. 1 gallon of propane will yield 92,000 BTU heat units, even if it isn't vented, you could leave a small opening in the top of the greenhouse.
 
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thanks guys for all the advice, I just got back from a trip to the local nursery, I talked to their greenhouse manager and guess what? He has a BUNCH of stuff from his old greenhouses he wants me to look at and see if I could put them to use, he offered me 8 of these poles filled with some kind of anti-freezing liquid that supposedly really helps heat, he also recomended base heaters and some other things that should help me keep it warm in their, man this is exiting! I cant wait to finally have a year-round greenhouse
 
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I got some thermol 81 energy rod tubes from the guy this afternoon, I put these in the greenhouse but did not stay long because it was freezing outside and I just wanted to clean up and take a shower, anyone have some info on these tubes?
 

nepenthes gracilis

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They are a solar based heat source. I doubt they will heat enough to keep it warm when its -20F out. Problem is too, that they need sunlight to warm at night
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And the SOLID inside isn't an anti-freeze. Its a PCM or Phase Change Material. the 81 denotes the temperature when the substance phase changes and abosrbs energy. Thats what this article states http://www.daycreek.com/dc/html/journal041101.htm

No clue on how to install them....
 

JB_OrchidGuy

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Right there is why I am glad I live in a southern state. Heating a Gh will kill the wallet. A GH down close to me with 18 large GHs, I think its 18, spent around 18,000 on propane in Jan or Feb alone. I am so glad my two 1500 watt space heaters keep my GH at 60 pretty easily, and I have two layers on 6 mill plastic for covering with an airspace in between. I am going inflated for next winter after some renovating. Goodluck Krik -20 is pretty cold to try to be heating back up. I hope you get something that works for you!

Just thought of this. You could get some large containters like those plastic 55 gallon drums and fill them with water under your benches. Put as many of those as you can fit. They will collect yeat during the day and release it at night. It might help a little bit. I know a guy down here that does that to save a little bit on his heating bill, but I duno how effective it wil be at -20. I would also go with 220 heaters if you could. There is some I was looking at for garages and things. They need to be hard wired in, but they will heat faster and run less then the 110's because they get hotter. Might be an idea. I was thinking about upgrading to those after the renovation, but they are more expencive than 150 though. A GH is not an inexpencive venture I have come to find out.
 
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Kirk-

You also mentioned something about a swamp cooler and how that was not as important so you would just get a humidifier. Well...a humidifier is not going to cool your ghouse very much unless you have an air exchange system running; you know...fresh air coming in, hot air exhausted out either with an exhaust fan or louvered vents. That is how swamp coolers work.

A humidifier is only going to make it more humid in there but will do little to drop the temps. You still need a fan system to keep the temps at comfortable levels. Something to consider especially with a small ghouse such as yours. They take more effort to keep cool or heat than a larger model would.
 
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I know I'm looking for a small exhaust/heating system, they have one at home dpot called a wall heater which intrigues me becuase it would ventilate as well as heat so I get a two for one deal
 

JB_OrchidGuy

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I agree with Gracilis. You will only spend more money in the long run if you try to be too frugal with GH components. I learned the hard way. I will be redoing my GH for the third time this summer. You can build a wet wall for a couple hundred bucks to help cool your GH. You just need to get the aspen pad then a water pump, and some PVC pipe. You cut a 3 inch PVC pipe in half long ways and use it for the water return then you get a smaller pipe with holes drilled in it to run water over the aspen pad. Then when the exhost fan comes on and pulls air through the wet pad it helps to humidify the air and get rid of the hot air.
 

nepenthes gracilis

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A wet pad wall is extremely cheap and easy to build. I spent $50 probably on mine. $30 for the water pump and $20 for the pads. Not hard at all. Just be sure to secure the pads, otherwise they may be pulled right out of the water return pipe from the exhaust fan's pull!
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