Passive Solar Greenhouse Tour – November 18th, 2022 –

Passive Solar Greenhouse Tour – November 18th, 2022 –

Are you a greenhouse grower looking to save money on your heating bill? Or maybe you are looking to decrease the carbon footprint of your greenhouse? Either way, passive solar greenhouse growing might be for you!

Date: November 18th, 2022, 9:30AM

Location: Freshpal Ltd. in Olds (register for directions)

Presenter(s): Dong Jianyi, owner of Freshpal Ltd

Cost: free

Using the heat of the sun, thermal mass (e.g. plastic water totes filled with water) and insulation, greenhouse growers can get cool-season vegetables started without burning natural gas or using electricity for heating. For example, researchers in Manitoba found the indoor temperature of a passive solar greenhouse on a cold February night remained 30⁰C warmer than outdoors. 

Dong Jianyi has taken his passive solar greenhouse in Olds to a new level by designing his in the style used in China, where passive solar greenhouses are much more common than in Alberta. It is likely the largest passive solar greenhouse you can find in Alberta too: 330 feet x  28 feet. Most passive solar greenhouses in Alberta are about half the size of this……..for now!

Jianyi will take you through how his greenhouse works, including his thermal mass backwall, his insulating blankets, and his snow vibrators.  You might get some great ideas on how to build, design, and operate your own passive solar greenhouse. You’ll learn about the possibilities of growing veggies in a greenhouse primarily heated by the sun as we walk through the greenhouse together.

Space is limited so please register now to ensure your spot! 

What is a passive solar greenhouse though? The idea is simple. A thick wall and partial roof on the north side act as heat sinks to absorb solar energy during the day and radiate it back into the house at night. Arched struts extend from the peak of the roof to the soil surface. These are clad in a single layer of plastic. An insulating blanket rolls down over the plastic at night to retain heat.

Want to learn more? We recommend you listen to our Passive Solar Greenhouse podcast episode in preparation for the field day. You can also view our webinar with Jianyi on our Youtube channel.

Rural Routes to Climate Solutions (#RR2CS) is a program of the Stettler Adult Learning Centre. We empower agricultural producers in rural Alberta with climate solutions that benefit farms and ranches. Our partners include Food Water Wellness Foundation, Young Agrarians, Organic Alberta and many farmers across the province.

Photo: Freshpal’s passive solar greenhouse near Olds.