cooling element?

martijn23(8a nl)June 22, 2007

Hi there,

I absolutely have no idea where to post this, but here goes. I'm planning to construct my own 'cool house', that is, a reverse of a greenhouse.

My plan would be to have a cooling element mimick an alpine climate, as to be able to grow alpine plants that only thrive in a very cold climate.

My ideal would be some sort of a thermostat connected to a pc, so I can progam temperature on a day to day basis (also multiple temperature settings throughout the day to simulate day/night). any suggestions? anything?:-) thank you!


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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Whew, imagine the electrical bill, as you cool that greenhouse!

Don't know if you need the PC, a simple $50 set back thermostat connected to the air conditioner should work. My home thermostat allows for multiple settings thoughout the day and different settings each day of the week. Though, for plants, wouldn't the same temp work everyday?

How will you simulate winter and three feet of snow cover?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:55PM
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martijn23(8a nl)

hi judy,

I'm looking to re-create a climate, that is with actual frost inside (something smallscale, maybe 4sq. feet:-) )
so I'll be needing a cooling element from a freezer or something.. the idea sounds pretty simple eh.. but putting it into practise is a another thing!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

I think you will need a small window or room air conditioner, the cooling element from a freezer or fridge includes a lot of tubing and a fan!

Alpine plants, even in cool climates or high altitudes, grow in the summers when it is warmer with long sunny days and they rely on good snow cover for protection from frost during the winter.

So is your plan to create a small glassed in greenhouse to allow sunshine then cool it with the air conditioner? Still think it will be an electricity pig.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tundra Biome Climate

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Hello, IÂm an engineer working for A/C manufacturing so I thought to put some thoughts to your idea without being overly technical

A Window A/C or what we call a DX unit would not work, the minimum discharge temperature would never go beyond 39F otherwise the compressor will burn out on high head. You might be able to achieve this with maybe (and maybe really) some old frost freezer, you will need to place them outside, however doing so you minimum temperature you would achieve will be around 23F (-5C). To reach the real sub-zero temp (beyond -10C, 14F) IÂm afraid you will need a chiller (VERY large unit, $1000/tons cooling, smallest machine is 25 tons, this is without considering electrical cost), to reach beyond -4F (-20C) you will need an ammonia unit (not allowed in residential, heath and safety concerns, same unit you will find in a hockey arena).

Hope this help

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 9:26PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Maybe he doesn't need to actually expose the plants to the temperatures they might experience in their native habitat, only cold enough to induce dormancy. Maybe some might be happy in the fridge for a few months. As for snowcover, if the temperature never goes below, say -2C to -5c (28 to 23F), just a guesstimate, the plants likely wouldn't need snow for protection.

Of course all this is just a guess, an interesting project none the less.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 8:12AM
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