Greenhouse heat sink

Greenhouse heat sink

The greenhouse project got started on Monday and the greenhouse heat sink is completed. Our greenhouse heat sink is comprised of 120 yards of 3 inch screened rock. It is surrounded on four sides with 4 inches of styrofoam and is covered with 2 feet of soil. There are 6 feet of foam that insulate the rock, the heat sink, and the soil over the heat sink that is inside the greenhouse.

In this picture the foam is 4 inches thick and 4 feet tall.  There is 6 inches of rock in the bottom of the hole and we have begun covered the first 10 lengths of the perforated drain tile.  Three feet of rock will go over the top of these lengths of drain tile.

Greenhouse heat sink being built under the greenhouse
Greenhouse heat sink being built under the greenhouse

The second set of drain tiles

In this next picture there is three and a half feet of rock inside the foam and the second and final set of drain tiles are ready to be covered with rock.

Once covered with  rock we covered the rock with a 3 mil barrier fabric that will allow water to pass through but will exclude the soil.  This is important to prevent the rock from being plugged with dirt and rendering the heat sink useless.


Greenhouse heat sink being built under the greenhouse
Greenhouse heat sink being built under the greenhouse

Once all the barrier fabric is in place it gets covered with 2 feet of topsoil.  The soil was compacted with the track hoe and then leveled in preparation for the greenhouse assembly.

Greenhouse heat sink being built under the greenhouse
Greenhouse heat sink covered with 2 feet of soil and leveled

The last two feet of foam

We had a small mishap and breakdown in communication.  As a result we are going to have to put in the last bit of the Styrofoam with the aid of a trencher.  In a future blog entry I will cover the lessons we learned during this process and the mistakes we made.  Hopefully you can learn from us and not make a similar mistake.

Watch us build the greenhouse heat sink

So far there are 5 videos in this YouTube series and I expect to have two more before we begin assembly of the greenhouse.  You can watch the videos of the heat sink build on my YouTube channel.  Here is the first video in the series.

heat sink greenhouse build

Heat sink greenhouse build

We are excited to finally have our start date for the geothermal heat sink greenhouse build. The heavy equipment should arrive tomorrow and the site preparation work beginning on Saturday.   Before starting the project we have some trees that need to be removed to make room for the greenhouse.  They will need to be removed to prevent shading or because they are within the footprint of the desired location.

Monday we should begin work on the actual heat sink portion of this build.  The hole will be dug, our 125 yards of rock will be delivered, and the process of burying two layers of drain tile will begin. Here is the site of our future geothermal heat sink greenhouse.

geothermal heat sink greenhouse build
geothermal heat sink greenhouse build site

Preparing the greenhouse site and heat sink

To prepare the site for the greenhouse we have hired a local guy.  He is going to utilize a track hoe to push over several trees and use a bulldozer to push them all into a manageable pile.  The trees will season throughout the year and then be cut into firewood this fall.

Once the trees are removed the 5 1/2 foot deep hole for the heat sink will be dug with the track hoe.  The topsoil will be set to one side and eventually placed back over the top of our 125 yards of rock.  The clay and any excess soil will be pushed out of the way and spread out over the yard.  They dropped off the bulldozer tonight and the track hoe should arrive tomorrow.

geothermal heat sink greenhouse build
geothermal heat sink greenhouse build

Documentation of the Geothermal heat sink greenhouse build

We will be recording the build process on a couple different cameras.  One will be camera tripod and setup to record the activity around the heat sink site.  I’ll lug around another camera and try and explain the steps and show what we are doing.  Those videos will be posted to our YouTube page during this process.  Subscribe to our channel on YouTube to get notifications of any videos.