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Idea for heating IBC system in a greenhouse. Feedback please.

Discussion in 'Heating or Cooling of your AP system.' started by toraman, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. toraman

    toraman Member

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    As its almost 1/3 the way through winter here in Canberra and only 6 months into AP, I'm thinking of an easy, cheap way of bumping up the heat if required.

    So far had a min water temp of 12.3 C and min air temp of 8 C, min outside air temp of -5.2 C.

    As I have an my AP system in a greenhouse and have 6 IBCs I thought how about placing some tea candles underneath the IBCs when the overnight min temps are going to be -0 C many days in a row.

    You know the ones I mean, those little round candles in a foil container used for aroma therapy etc. I figure they would safe to leave burning underneath the IBC steel pallet unattended and the bladder shouldn't be affected due to the water being in contact. Theres a lot of energy in wax and I've seen on utube the method being used in greenhouses.

    Anyone see a problem with me trying it out?
     
  2. Redneck

    Redneck Member

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    If they were far enough away to not melt the plastic I dont think that you would get enough heat to warm a great deal of water, and I dont think they would burn long enough to be of any great use. If they were to close even if the plastic did not melt the plastic would be weakened.:):eek:
     
  3. MattySEQ

    MattySEQ New Member

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    one might be plastic and fire, so far looking at all the possiblities I think the most efficent low cost heating method is wood chip mulch pile with a coil of poly inside the pile.

    The way I'm going to construct mine from my chop 2 style

    1. Most likely is an ibc cut at the top and bottom to help with removal of the soil after breakdown.

    2. simular to the normal gravity feed to the sump i'll be doing the same with the 25mm poly

    3 poly pipe will have a ball valve to control flow rate

    the reason why i'm more inclined to heat with this method in my mind is that its low cost, easy to control heat output and constant heat day and night
     
  4. Redneck

    Redneck Member

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    Just a thought to add if the fish tank is raised what about arranging some sort of compost heap that could be removed some how from below,
    as we know compost creates warmth, dont know how you would control the heat, just thowing out ideas.:)
     
  5. toraman

    toraman Member

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    I spose the gap under an IBC is about 90mm (without going out and measuring, too cold -LOL). Just spoke last week to my teacher at an organic gardening course and he says to get max heat from a compost pile you need at least 1sqm and a 1-25 carbon to nitrogen ratio - so there is no room under an IBC for a compost pile.

    Can't find any figures on the net on how much energy a standard tea holds. But just watched a youtube vid of a bloke who heated 1/2L of water from 15C to 85C in one hour, and a tea candle is supposed to last 3-5 hours.

    As I only want to heat up just a little only when necessary, and I'd likely split my system up to have the fish that require the extra warmer water to live in 1200L I think a few tea candles will do the job.
     
  6. Redneck

    Redneck Member

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    I dont think your tea candles are the answer but give it a go, as for compost heaps they can create enough heat to start fires not that you want that:eek:
     
  7. toraman

    toraman Member

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    Yeah, would be fun to try... that teacher told me a 1sqm of the correct ration of compost can reach 70C, yikes.

    Only thing is the method is not quick and easy. I'm thinking the tea candle idea as something to take the edge off during a long prolonged cold period.

    On composting, what would be really hard core... instead of composting, how about putting the compost into a methane digestor and burning the methane in the greenhouse. Also the process gives off CO2 which is good for the plants.
     
  8. Redneck

    Redneck Member

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    Toraman, you got to technical for me(I have been drinking)drinkanimdrinkanimdrinkanim, have a look into it it might work or someone else might have an opinion.
     
  9. toraman

    toraman Member

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    Yeah, it was just an idea I thought I'd put out there. Don't see a problem giving it a go, just thinking how to I accurately determine the outcome testing the idea?

    I have 2 of those min/max thermometers. I could separate two IBCs easy with the existing taps and put a candle under 1 and not the other before I go to bed and check the results in the morning. The two associated GBs could do without water for one night.

    If I do try it, I'll post the results for everyones interest :)
     
  10. toraman

    toraman Member

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    Yeah, I had a few drinks earlier and its worn off. Better go sink that can of the bench, and get off to bed... ha ha.
     
  11. Redneck

    Redneck Member

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    Ok ill keep drinking then
     
  12. toraman

    toraman Member

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    Sorry, I meant that I'm going off to drink the can sitting on my bench. Cheers drinkanim
     
  13. Redneck

    Redneck Member

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    I will still keep drinking.
     
  14. RamiroD

    RamiroD New Member

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    I am having the same problem. But, i have been thinking, if i get like a thermometer for like a furnace, and hooked it up to a pond heater, i am sure it will work. Do you guys know what i mean by a pond heater? people put them on their ponds, they float, and they keep the pond from freezing so your decorative fish dont die.
     
  15. SustainableHarvest

    SustainableHarvest New Member

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    How much heat does burning wax produce ????

    Sorry Ramiro D, I have no experience with such a pond heater arrangement.

    No problem trying it out... However.... I did a quick check, typical candle wax produces 19,900 BTUs of heat energy per pound. Probably 2 tea lights would be close to 1 oz of wax.

    Heat produced from burning 1 oz would be 1240 BTU's. Water requires about 1 BTU per pound to raise the temperature 1 F. 1200 liters is about 2500 pounds. So burning one ounce of wax candles would raise your 1200 Liters about 1/2 degree F, roughly thats about 1/4 decree C. A few tea lights will not make much difference.

    Burning a pound's worth would raise your IBC about 4.5 degree C. If your tea lights are 1/2 oz - that would require burning 32 tea lights. Probably not a good idea a lot could go wrong with 32 candles lit in mass. I like the compost idea with a coil of poly tube put in the pile. I have seen a video of a group who such an arrangement to heat water for a make shift shower. They got pretty good results from that.

    I realize this thread is older, but I wanted to post a rough number anyway. Cheer's !!!!

    :p
     
  16. toraman

    toraman Member

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    ha ha, thanks for replying. I never did try it. My gut feeling was burning only one candle would not be measurable, though I still kind of like the idea as an emergency (just use more candles as you say). Maybe I'll give composting a go next winter (got to be a way to keep silver perch eating though winter, by heating the water cheaply :)
     
  17. Cris

    Cris New Member

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    Hey, This is my very first post. I live on the Coast and i don't have a cold issue like yours but to keep my system productive during the cool months i have been thinking of running some black sprinkler pipe over my Green House roof in lines so by the end the water will be warm to raise the water temperature which in return will keep the green house warmer as well during the night ? Just an idea while on the Cans so to speak. " i will turn the pump on during the day with a thermostat to turn it off if it get to hot"
    There is always a but.... You will have to remember big fluctuations will affect the fish. Murray would be your man.

    Regards
    Cris
    Hopefully helpful
     
  18. magnusthescott

    magnusthescott Member

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    searcj diy flower pot heater..... use 4 tea candles and 2 clay flower pots to create a convection oven, its what we have use in our drafty old house for supplemental heat works great
     

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