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Our off-grid community (Venables Valley) is green and sustainable in many ways, but one challenge is our short growing season. Our group of students designed and built a heated greenhouse, without the use of electricity!
We first made a compost mound out of woodchips and sawdust. We ran hundreds of feet of pipe through that,and connected that to the greenhouse site .
Then we built the greenhouse. It is facing south, has a slope that will shed the snow, and the backwall is lined with pipes.
The end result is that the compost mound heats the water/glycol mix in the pipes, which carry the heated water to the pipes in the greenhouse, which then radiate constant heat. Coupled with the heat from the sun, and it gets HOT even in cold weather. And the best part is, because hot water rises a cold falls, the water circulates itself without a pump, or any power at all.
We plan to experiment more in the coming winter, but we expect at least 3-4 months added on the our growing season. Oh, the possibilities...
We used the concept of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) because that has been a focus of the new curriculum and our own group's interest. The video was made entirely by the students, including the recording of their original song. We hope you like it!