Design and Selection

Published on February 28th, 2013 | by Shelley Awad


Solar Greenhouses Save on Heat

Solar Greenhouses

A solar greenhouse is different from a standard greenhouse model because its only source of heat comes directly from the sun. Recently they are increasing in popularity due to the rise in heating costs related to electricity, gas or oil. Ecologically, a solar greenhouse is better for the environment with the absence of gas emissions replaced by the pure energy from the sun.

Anyone can take advantage of capturing solar energy. The solar greenhouse maximises the exposure to the sun in a south facing direction. Glazing on surfaces allows a high degree of heat and light inside. The northern walls usually have extra insulation to reduce heat loss at night. An organic heat sink can also be installed to provide a more efficient source of energy especially during the night hours.

The following are benefits of having a solar greenhouse:

• May be cheaper to build

• Economical to operate without a manufactured heat source

• If you choose to attach a solar greenhouse to an outside wall of your house, you will also save on personal heating costs

• You can enjoy horticulture all year round, depending on night time temperatures

• Environmentally friendly

• Not personally responsible for controlling the greenhouse temperature

• Cooler temperatures destroy pests

• Easier to operate

• Without the need for electricity, it can be located anywhere on your property

• Allows you to grow cooler crops, like lettuces, easily

The following are disadvantages of having a solar greenhouse:

• During the cold weather it is not as comfortable to work inside the greenhouse without an extra heat source

• Certain species of plants will not survive the cooler temperatures

• No personal control over the temperatures

With the options of the new age of technology available today, a solar greenhouse is not only affordable to install but it is easy and economical to operate. Depending on the crops and time of year you are using your greenhouse, a solar greenhouse operation may be the most beneficial for you.


About the Author

Greenhouse Consultant, Shelley Awad, provides everything you need to know about greenhouses. Whether you are buying a greenhouse or you already own one, you’ll learn tips and tricks on greenhouses and how to grow year-round. Questions always welcome.

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