Greenhouse heating using compost and thermal mass – Chauffage de serre avec compost

Welcome to my greenhouse today I’d like to show you how I am passively heating this greenhouse. Behind me I have a compost
pile made of horse manure and hay. That is the essential heater in this greenhouse. I’m also using, for the moment, two large bins of water which accumulate the heat during the day. I’m also using part of the slope of the hill which acts as a thermal accumulator as well. The last thing is the orientation and position of the greenhouse, the dominant wind is behind me I’m on the lower side of a hill so
the winds go right over the greenhouse so the wind factor has really been reduced. This is a compost pile after a technique called the Berkeley technique which involves doing several layers of horse manure and hay. It takes about four days to come up to temperature. During the evening when it gets down to zero
degrees Celsius and below this pile does take that chill factor off and keep it
above zero and will last me about 20 to 30 days at that time what I’ll be doing is
bringing another pile in and taking this pile out so it’s doing several things:
I’m creating heat for the greenhouse and I’m also creating fertilizer for my plants. I really love this part putting the the
thermometer in and seeing what temperatures going on inside 40 degrees Celsius 50 degrees Celsius coming on 60 58, 59 60 degrees Celsius Fantastic ! about 62 – 63 Probably in the hotter parts of the compost pile it’s at 65 – 70 degrees. So I am going to turn it now. Giving the bacteria new opportunities to
eat more hay and more horse manure. The great thing about this is the the heat that these bacteria are giving off and you can really see that steam coming up. 65 degrees Celsius, absolutely fantastic! So the idea is to put the outer layers in the middle and the hot layers on the other side. I’ve put this piece of plastic boarding so that the manure compost does not go on to the seed bed. What is happening is the thermophilic bacteria are really kicking in, could make hot water from this! This is serious heat going on here! What a great economical, pasive way to heat a greenhouse. Sure it involves a little bit of effort but then there is only good thing to come out of this… fertilizer for the garden, heat for the seedlings, a little bit of exercise for my body and then the main result will be vegetables and being able to grow
vegetables earlier on in the season It is getting pretty hot in here with this sun heating the greenhouse the compost at 50 to 60 degrees Celsius,
water containers, the side of the hill absolutely perfect conditions for
growing seedlings and young plants thanks for watching and have a great day!
See you again !

28 thoughts on “Greenhouse heating using compost and thermal mass – Chauffage de serre avec compost

  1. You really thought this out well.
    What do you think about putting a couple of large thing gauge tubes through center of the pile horizontally?
    I think you would get a much greater heat exchange into the green house.
    could even use a pc fan to blow through them.
    On another note if you angled the tubes cross ways sticking out both ends convection would create a natural drafting and help the exchange rate.

  2. really impressive compost numbers! I tried in vain to start a greenhouse-heating pile last year. I suspect I needed to just cut to the chase and obtain some straw and manure. Using kitchen waste seems to excel at producing smelly, slimy goo!

  3. hi
    i am thinking in bild a greenhouse and the place if offgrid so there will be no heating.
    so i have a couple of questions that i would be greatfull if you could wanser;
    how large is your greenhouse (m2)?
    how cold does it get outside in the coldest days/nights?
    whats the average temperature that you can get inside on those days/night?
    how warm get the water on the barrels?
    do you recomend a ratio of compost to m2?
    thats all i can remenber for now-

  4. I have watched a few videos on passively heating a green house. Mine is going to be small, but I think a rain barrel of water, ining part ifvthe floor and walls with bricks, hanging Christmas lights and moving my bio orb shaped compost bin into the greenhouse would work pretty well for me. Seriously! I'm in Wisconsin and it gets cold, but during the cold months, I surely miss gardening. Happy Planting.

  5. I've been searching this subject for 2 days on YouTube your pile needs to be outside with air blowing it inside otherwise there's no room for any plants. Good job on finding the compost Heat

  6. Although you have painted the plastic water barrels black, plastic is still has poor heat transference. When you add an extra barrel or two for mass I would recommend that you use metal barrels for those.

  7. Thanks so much for making this Video! Love your greenhouse! I will definitely be trying just horse manure and Hay or Straw! After watching the video I went and got some Manure but it was pretty much composted already. Heading out to get the "Fresh" Stuff LOL. I'm covering my greenhouse with plastic this monday! Can't Wait!! I'll post some videos of what I'm doing as well! Keep up the great video content!

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