Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Snow melting methods and collection

As far as winter irrigation in the greenhouse goes, melting snow in big barrels is the next best thing to a really long hose, a well and an electric pump. Fill ‘em up, cover with clear plastic, wait a day (even on a dull, cloudy day, it gets up to 60°F in the hoophouse). Repeat a couple of times, and you have 50 gallons of rainwater in a barrel! The alternative is dragging 200? of hose through deep snow from the barn to the greenhouse, then reeling it in and draining it, every couple of days. The weather has put the kibosh on the early-March, barely heated greenhouse plan, the happy prospect until March actually came around. (veggiegardeninfo.com/?cat=6)

I think this is one pretty easy, reasonable and affordable method. What can be possibly derived from this method, Kelly (since you are doing water collection), is maybe a combination of solar heated barrels and drainage/collection of melted snow that will flow into the main cistern.

Also, there is a number of existing systems that are used in the cities in order to melt snow on the roads. They are based on embedding heating cables into the pavement or concrete slabs that eventually get heated and thus melt the snow. Such systems can also be powered by solar power and then a water collection system can be applied.

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