Project Objective: Integrate solar thermal heating and photo-voltaic electricity production to produce enough heating utilizing the sun to offset fossil fuel consumption.
The Berry Farm is truly a one of a kind project, involving innovative, creative solutions which The Radiant Store has become known for over the years.
The goal of The Berry Farm was to produce enough heating utilizing the sun to offset fossil fuel consumption. The solution involved moving away from forced air heat to approaching the greenhouse heating from its roots-- literally. Radiant tubing embedded directly into the greenhouse soil provides adequate heating to ensure healthy growth throughout the winter months. To overcome the intermittent nature of sunlight, The Radiant Store created a custom solution by building a 5000 gallon underground storage vessel to act as a battery to store heat produced by the solar thermal panels for many days at a time. The storage vessel was built utilizing a rubber membrane supported by an exterior frame covered with exterior spray foam. Valves assemblies combined with a heat exchanger extract the heat from the storage vessel.
In the hydroponic greenhouse, radiant heating is derived using radiant panels; the heat is stored in specially manufactured horizontal tanks to minimize space. In greenhouses, and especially hydroponic greenhouses, space is money. The system is further enhanced by low ambient heat pumps run by distributed, solar energy produced on the farm.