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Greenhouse construction begins


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Old 09-20-2011, 12:54 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Default Greenhouse construction begins

Well the Greenhouse construction has begun. One of my concerns with the Sub "T" system was weather I would actually be able to get 24 tubes in each side without them being to close. After getting the first system set up and in place, I wound up only using 15 tubes. That will decrease the amount of air volume I can effectively cool in that system. I think I'll be able to get a few more in the second system because there will be more room behind the barrel (side facing the dirt wall, but wont know for sure until I actually get it in place. Even if not there will be 360 feet of tubing in the ground between both systems. That's still well above the 300 feet recommended for the 200 square feet of greenhouse floor. Just not what I had hoped for of doubling the amount of recommended tubing in the ground.

Also, I had hoped to get both systems in the ground last weekend. But as usual with any construction project, things rarely go as planed. But we got one of them in the ground along with one of the nutrient reservoirs. I'm the big boned (fat/pregnant) guy with the beard, and the other guy is a buddy of mine that was helping me. My mom took the pictures of us while we were back-filling the hole.

I've reserved the excavator for next weekend as well, and my buddy will be back to help install the second Sub "T" system next weekend too. Even though I need to pay for the excavator for two weekends instead of just one, that luckily wont wind up killing my budget. The original budget had planed to be renting from another company, so I actually got it for about $130 less than what was planed in the budget. Also I had planed to have 2 helpers, and be paying $10 an hour, for a total of costing $320 in labor for two days. But wound up saving about $120 in labor. Then because I wont be able to use all the tubing, I'll be taking one or two rolls back, and thus getting me back about $55-$110 more. Next weekend I will only need one helper after the hole is dug, and I begin to back-fill it.

P.S.
When filling the 275 gallon reservoir up, make sure the metal cage is in place around it before you fill it. Otherwise it will bulge out, and you will need to empty it to get the metal cage in place (just one of the things that didn't go as planed.

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Old 09-28-2011, 08:41 PM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Is there any updates?
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:04 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Thanks for the interest CrossOps,
Yes, we got the second Sub "T" system in the ground last weekend, along with the other two nutrient reservoirs. Right now I'm in the process of leveling the backyard out again, as well as creating the boarders for the nutrient reservoirs (like in the 3D drawings). The lady looking down into the hole is my mom, she's checking out the mess I made (her recent favorite saying these days). I still didn't get all the 4 inch corrugated tubing in the second system I wanted, but I did get about 4 more tubes in it than the first one. I could have gotten one more in, but to do so I would have needed to cut it from a new 100 foot roll. Therefore I couldn't return it, costing me $55 to get just one more 12 foot long tube in the ground. So I decided it wasn't worth the money to do so. In total I have almost 400 feet of 4 inch tubing in the ground, witch isn't the 600 I was hoping for (doubling the recommended amount), but still almost 100 feet more than what's recommended for a greenhouse this size. As well as still capable of circulating 310 cfm at the recommended not more than 10 cfm per in-ground tube. So I'm still able to be well above the recommended circulation of the entire air volume of the greenhouse 5 times every hour (once every 12 minutes).

3000 cubic feet of air to circulate, 31 tubes in the ground.. At 10 cfm each that's 310 cfm the two systems can move underground and still work correctly. 3000 divided by 12 equals 250 cfm (that's the needed cfm to circulate 3000 cubic feet of air 5 times per hour). But actually I purposely inflated the cubic feet of air needed to be circulated to 3000. In actuality it will be more in the neighborhood of 2300 cubic feet of air in the greenhouse. Needing to move 191 cfm to circulate the entire air volume of the greenhouse 5 times per hour. Moving 310 cfm through the system will basically circulate the entire air volume of the greenhouse through the system (underground) about every 7-1/2 minutes (7.419). So even though I don't have two complete sub "T" systems in the ground/greenhouse, what I have been able to get in place should still be well more than sufficient.

If you look closely an the picture inside the barrel, you'll see there is some insulation (blue board Styrofoam insulation) at the separation between the bottom warm air inlet, and the upper cool air outlet that wasn't in the first system. Well it was supposed to be in that system before installation too. But I simply didn't have time for the silicone (and spray foam insulation) to cure before we installed the barrel. So I will be adding it later after I level the ground out, and while it's in the ground.

You'll also notice the top of the reservoirs are covered, that's to keep dust and dirt from getting into the reservoir (but it still gets in there). In pictures of the first Sub "T" system and first reservoir you can see that I cut the top of the water storage tanks, then used the part I cut out to make a lid. I will show more about how I did that, and the materials I used to create the lip when I take a few more pictures. I also have a couple more alterations I need to do to the lids first as well, and I will show how I made the borders around the reservoirs at that time as well.

P.S.
The shirtless guy in the hole helping me back fill it is my buddy. He will be 65 in a couple of months, but he can out work anybody I know. Even at his age he can out work guys 30 years younger. I would be willing to bet you don't know anybody that has hand mixed well over 50-60 bags of cement (one or two bags at a time) in a wheelbarrow to build a retaining wall in his backyard (all in one day). Simply because it would have cost about $120 to rent a cement mixer to do it, and didn't feel like spending money to do something he can do without spending it. That was less than two years ago. I got burned out mixing just 2 bags of cement to install the post for our mailbox about a year ago. Can you guess who I plan to hire to help me mix the cement for the 8 posts needed for my moms fence I get to build after the greenhouse is done?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 09-29-2011 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:31 AM
Freshwater Freshwater is offline
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Wow, GPS...

I take vacation for 10 days, get back and find you have done a little remodeling! I knew you planned the new cooling system for the greenhouse, but somehow didn't realize how entailed it was going to be. Can't wait to see and hear how it works out once the greenhouse is installed!

Todd
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:54 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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OK I finally got pictures taken of the progress. Some of the pictures were taken about a week ago, but the latest ones (easy to tell which) were taken just today. But after about a week of shoveling dirt, rock and sand, as well as raking it all out fairly level I was finally able to get going on building the greenhouse structure.

First to elaborate on the lids for the nutrient reservoirs. The small twist off top wasn't going to be adequate for maintenance. So I simply cut a larger opening with my trusty rotary tool. I created a flexible lip using vinyl baseboard. Though I forget what the actually call it, but it is the vinyl baseboard typically used in commercial buildings. It comes in either 4 foot pieces or rolls of 20 feet. It is 4 inches wide so I cut into two 2 inch wide strips. Then just bolted it to the reservoir to create a one inch lip all the way around. Then I added two 1x1 composite decking pieces for added support. I still have some handles to add to it, but haven't gotten around to that yet.

There are 12 tubes coming out of the ground. That is 2-1/2 inch electrical conduit. I cut 6 of them out of each 10 foot long tube. Their 19 inches long each, and 10 inches deep in the ground. I used a small level to make sure they are plum vertically, and a string line to make sure they are lined up correctly. They are spaced 4 feet apart on center on the long side, and 10 feet apart on the short side.

The 2 inch electrical tubing will slide snugly right down into the 2-1/2 inch tubing in the ground. They will then be bolted together. Then a baseboard will go all the way around the greenhouse, and that will be attached to the electrical conduit with 3 inch decking screws. I got a real good deal on the wood for the baseboard today. I was going to use something else, but Home Depot had plenty of 2x6 pressure treated wood in there "cull" bin. And at $0.51 cents for each 4 foot length piece, I'm now able to do the entire baseboard around the greenhouse in 2x6 pressure treated wood for less than $15 total. The 8 foot 2x6 pressure treated wood goes for $8.97, and the 10 foot goes for $10.97. I literally saved over $50 by luck.

The two poles sticking up are about 1 foot taller than their going to be I think, so they will likely be a little shorter. Leaning up ageist the retaining wall is the upper "A" frame that will go on top of the vertical poles. If my calculations are correct, the greenhouse will wind up being about 13-1/2 to 14 feet tall at the top apex. I don't have a later that tall that I will need to attach the horizontal framing with, as well as the 6 mil plastic covering. So I will build a ladder/platform out of some of the other "cull" wood (I don't know why they call it that) to be able to reach it.

As for the box frame around the in-ground reservoirs, most of that was made from the "cull" wood I bought a couple weeks ago. But at that time they only had 2x4 pieces of the pressure treated wood. I had to cut 2 of the 2x4's I bought for the greenhouse framing to finish making all 3 boxes. I built them above ground (I forgot to take a picture of that), then just used a large rubber mallet to pound the 4 stakes (in each corner) into the ground. I used a level as I was going to make sure they were straight and level. Then we just back-filled the dirt in around the boxes.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 10-08-2011 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:32 AM
CrossOps CrossOps is offline
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Very nice update. What type of greenhouse, what shape and materials? How soon before you can test water or nutrient temp in the sunken reservoir?
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:33 PM
HydroMan HydroMan is offline
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Wow!!!!!

Holy good God almighty!

You guys are hard core!
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