Solar powered hot tub and greenhouse

July 25, 2015 at 4:23 pm (Uncategorized)

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So, I haven’t posted in a really long time.  Went back to school, started an organic farm, got sick of people’s apathy.  Some wise person once said be the change you seek in the world, and whereas I have always for the most part lived as I thought was right, I decided to take on a few projects to show that even with not a lot of money, one can have life’s luxuries, without further messing up the environment.  So enter the hot tub and greenhouse.

First of let me state this entire project cost me a $1000 bucks, the value of it finished is roughly $5000, not a bad return if I do say so myself.  To start with there is the greenhouse.  Minus the $300 for the 55 watt pv kit, it cost about $500.  Most of the wood we recycled from an old porch someone was tearing off their house up the road.  We did have to buy wood for the actual frame, and that cost about $100.  The glass we managed to score from a house about four blocks away, that had solar hot water heaters from the 70’s, they were taking down to install a new roof.  Tempered pv coated glass, 7 4×8′ panes, for a total of $100.  The seventh pane we used on a coldframe.  The corner pieces of glass had to be custom cut, they were about $75.  The doors were made out of the old porch, as were all the trim pieces holding all the glass in place.  The stones in the floor were stones from when we ripped up part of the patio a few years ago.  The cinder blocks that form the walls of the bed we bought, as well as the black stain for the solar hydronic in the floor, and the stain for the wood.  The copper piping in the floor was about $150, the joints took forever to solder.  The roof was old shingles we cut up.  Shelves are convertible, and can hold 36 trays.  IMG_20150725_151655

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The greenhouse has a dual heat hydronic system in the floor.  It is either heater by the sun warming the stones, the water passes through the pipes by a small pump run by solar panels and into the hot tub in a continuous loop.  In the winter, there is a rocket mass hot water heater that runs on pines cones, paper and small bits of wood. There are valves to switch it from the rocket to the stones.  The exhaust from the rocket is completely combusted, so there really is no emissions or smell.

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The hot tub itself was a old one we picked up for $100.  We restained it, and completely gutted the innards except for the hoses.  We hooked it up to the greenhouse to act as a heatsink and heat the tub.  The water has different chemicals than the standard pool.  First off it has Epsom salts in it, MgSO4, the water can go down to 18 degrees Fahrenheit without freezing, and it does not react with copper piping, it also holds heat better.  Secondly we mimicked natural hot springs, zinc, iron and sulfur.  We also make tea of comfrey, marshmallow root, and flax to create a healing waters tub.  It does wonders for the skin.  We got a 1 horsepower pump for the jets, it is the only part of the system that doesn’t run on solar or scraps.

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