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The Chinese Greenhouse


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Table of Contents

1. My Introduction to Chinese Greenhouses
    Early Experiences with Greenhouse Growing
    Building a Four-Season Greenhouse
    The Chinese Greenhouse
    Meeting Dr. Sanjun Gu and The Real Chinese Greenhouse
    What's this Book about?

2. What's Wrong with Conventional Greenhouses?
    Shortcomings of Conventional Greenhouses

3. What Makes the Chinese Greenhouse so Special?
    A Closer Look
    The Advantages of Earth-Sheltering
    How Earth-Sheltering Actually Works
    A Brief History of the Chinese Greenhouse
    Evolutionary Changes to Chinese Greenhouse Design
    A Chinese Farming Success Story
    Do Chinese Greenhouses Really Work?
    Chinese Greenhouses and All-Season Greenhouses

4. Building a Chinese Greenhouse: Site Selection, Excavation, and Drainage
    Above Ground or Underground: That's the Question
    Compensating Strategies
    Selecting and Excavating Your Site
    Getting it Right: Proper Orientation
    Proper Drainage: Protecting Your Greenhouse from Water Infiltration
    Water, Water, Everywhere, and You can be Sure It Will Find a Way In

5. Thermal Mass, Framing, Glazing, and Insulation
    Thermal Mass
    Framing Your Greenhouse
    Roof Slope: What's the Optimum Angle?
    Glazing or Plastic
    How Much Glazing do you Need?

6. Improving Performance: Daytime Internal Heat Banking
    Daily Internal Heat Banking
    Additional Considerations

7. Improving Performance: Daily Heat Banking with a Solar Hot Air System
    Using a Solar Hot Air Collector to Bank Heat
    Where Can I Purchase a Solar Hot Air Collector?
    Mounting a Solar Hot Air Collector
    How does a Solar Hot Air System Work?
    What's the Proper Tilt Angle?
    Mounting a Solar Hot Air Collector on a Rack
    Controlling Hot Air Systems
    Build Your Own Solar Hot Air Collector

8. Improving Performance: Daily Heat Banking with Solar Hot Water Systems
    What Is a Solar Hot Water System?
    Drainback Solar Hot Water Systems
    Pump-Driven Glycol-Based Solar Hot Water Systems
    Which System Should You Use?
    Evacuated Tube Solar Hot Water Collectors
    Installing a Solar Hot Water System
    Conclusion: How about Long-Term Heat Storage?

9. Improving Performance: Long-Term (Seasonal) Heat Banking
    Long-term Heat Banking: A New Idea?
    Long Term or Seasonal Heat Banking
    Heat Banking in Earth-Sheltered Buildings like the Chinese Greenhouse
    Active Annual Heat Storage
    Which Way to Go?
    Daily Internal Heat Recovery System
    Solar Hot Air System
    Seasonal Heat Storage with a Solar Hot Water System
    Conclusion: An Invitation to Share

10. Battling the Heat: Summertime Production
    Summer Options
    Retiring the Greenhouse for the Summer
    Continuing to grow in a Chinese Greenhouse in the Summer
    Quit Bugging Me

11. Getting it Right: Designing Climate Batteries
    Climate Battery Design and Construction
    Climate Batteries and Cooling

12. Supplementing Solar Input: LED Lighting
    Do You Need to Supplement Lighting?
    What Kind of Lights Work Best?
    Understanding Light
    Understanding PAR
    When do you Need Supplemental Lighting?
    DLI: One More Thing About Lighting
    Determining Daily Light Integral

13. Building My Chinese Greenhouse: A Pictorial Documentary
    Site Selection and Preparation
    Building the Thermal Mass Wall
    Building Rammed Earth Tire Walls
    Earth-Cooling Tube Installation
    Waterproofing Mass Walls
    Framing the Greenhouse
    Installing the Roof
    Mudding the Walls
    Exterior Insulation and Backfilling
    Insulating the Interior Walls and Roof
    Installing Siding
    Revegetating the Berm
    We Made It!

About the Author
About New Society Publishers

Promotional Information

Grow vegetables year-round in a greenhouse powered only by solar energy

About the Author

Dan Chiras, PhD, is the author of 38 books, including Solar Electricity Basics, Power from the Wind, Power from the Sun, and The Homeowners Guide to Renewable Energy. He has taught workshops on solar electricity and passive solar heating for the Evergreen Institute, the American Solar Energy Society, the Colorado Renewable Energy Society, the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association, and the University of Colorado. Over the past 45 years, Dan has published articles on natural building, green building, solar electricity, passive solar design, self-sufficiency, and sustainability in publications such as Solar Today, Home Power, and Mother Earth News. He has installed numerous solar electric and wind systems in Missouri and has lived on solar electricity since 1996. He lives on a solar- and wind-powered farm in Gerald, MO.

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