Location: Strawbale Greenhouse at Inn Serendipity, Browntown, Wisconsin
Commissioned: October, 2003
System Design: Ten 4-foot by 10-foot flat-plate Gulf solar collectors were placed on the ground south of the greenhouse, angled at 52-degrees. The heat is pumped in a glycol solution through underground insulated piping into a heat exchanging coil of 120 feet of 3/4-inch copper piping, allowing the heat to be transferred and stored in 780 gallons of water in several fiberglass tanks inside the greenhouse. The stored heat is then transferred to the air inside the greenhouse through a McQuay liquid-to-air heat exchanger in a way similar to how an automobile's radiator-cooling system cools the engine, except we are heating the greenhouse.
Project Designer: Phil and Judy Welty, formerly with Solar Use Now of Wisconsin.
System Installer: Phil and Judy Welty, formerly with Solar Use Now of Wisconsin.
Use of Solar Thermal (heat): To use heating water from system to then heat the strawbale greenhouse with a McQuay liquid-to-air heat exchanger. It's estimated that on a sunny day, the collectors will collect an average of 240,000 Btus per day.
Eco-nomics (Cost of 10 Collector Solar Thermal System):
Solar Thermal Funding Support: Provided by local utility, Alliant Energy (at the time).
Site Integration: Integration of solar thermal system to heat greenhouse which is a part of the diversified small-scale organic farming operation and home-based small business.
Comprehensive Farmstead Overview and Self-guided Booklet: Print out the 20 page booklet, The Good Life Guide: A self-guided tour of Inn Serendipity & the renewable energy systems that make it possible for a more detailed overview of the renewable energy systems employed on the farm.
Demonstration Grant Funding Support: Portions of this website and related Good Life Guide: A self-guided tour of Inn Serendipity & the renewable energy systems that make it possible were made possible, in part, through funding provided by the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program.