Geothermal for a Greenhouse

Discussion in 'Greenhouses' started by ClarkT, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. ClarkT

    ClarkT Member

    Has anyone here had any experience with heating greenhouses with geothermal? If so, what kind of load per sq. ft. might a greenhouse have?
  2. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Residential or industrial?

    Your load requirements are strongly product and location prescribed, so you have to fill us in with more details.

    More often than not, the CO2 requirements dictate fossil fuels.
  3. gonegeo

    gonegeo New Member

    What is the greenhouse constructed from? R values?
    What location?
  4. dgbair

    dgbair Just a hobby Forum Leader

  5. ClarkT

    ClarkT Member

    I'm more wondering if geothermal is an option... I have a couple of people that have asked about it, and I have yet to be able to determine a proper R value. Had I already found it, I could likely do the load.

    I'll keep investigating.

    Thanks guys for the replies.
  6. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Quick answer - not likely.

    R- value is easy as it is part of greenhouse design. You need to know your solar gains. Operating requirements are what is needed. Tomatoes or tulips? That plays a big part as well.
  7. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Might be easier to back track usage at a particular green house than predict.
  8. Masoud

    Masoud New Member


    I’m a former hobby greenhouse owner. Your post caught my attention!

    Virtual Grower is a free computer program from USDA Agricultural Research Service, that I think will help you. It’s described by ARS as:

    “Virtual Grower is a decision support tool for greenhouse growers. Users can build a greenhouse with a variety of materials for roofs and sidewalls, design the greenhouse style, schedule temperature set points throughout the year, and predict heating costs for over 230 sites within the US. Different heating and scheduling scenarios can be predicted with few inputs.”

    You can find it here:

    Application Technology Research Unit Products and Services

    You can find a review of the program here:

    Greenhouse Grower: Modeling Greenhouse Efficiency Virtually

    Current Version 2.5 requires Windows, Version 3, will work on a Mac.

    I hope the links work!


  9. ClarkT

    ClarkT Member


    Thanks for the heads up. That should work well for figuring out different scenarios they might want to try.
  10. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Nice resource!
  11. ELCO Geothermal

    ELCO Geothermal New Member

    Greenhouse Formula


    U-overall heat transfer coefficient (Btu Hr Ft *F)
    SA-total surface area of greenhouse
    Tin,min-minimum inside air setpoint temp (*F)
    Tout,min-minimum outside air temp (*F)
    Q-heat loss from greenhouse (Btu Hr)

    Overall heat transfer coefficient (U)
    single layer glass-1.2
    single layer polyethylene-1.2
    double layer PE-0.8
    souble walled polycarbonate-0.6
  12. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    What about effects of ground temp as well as any required ventilation?

    What about solar heat gain?
  13. ClarkT

    ClarkT Member

    Solar heat gain may not be applicable, as it needs to cover the required load when there is no sun shining (at night).

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