The Mind Of A GreenHouse, Nangqen
Field research, greenhouse prototyping, social design, 2018 project developers: Wiriya Rattanansuwan, Shih Wei Chieh
principal of Tashi Gatsen Charity School: Tsansar Kunga
land owner: Tsngsar Metokk
land owner: Tsngsar Metokk
local coordinators: Tsangsar Tsueji, Tsansar Mohji
This is an on going research project in Tibet, I joined this charity project since August 2018 with Wiriar Rattanansuwan, a climate engineer from Thailand. The project goal is to build a first self-manageable year-round solar greenhouse in Nangen which can resist -20Cº to -30Cº during November to February in Nangqen. The altitude of our site is 3,500 meters; the main task is to grow vegetable for a local elementary school “Tashi Gatsen”. The secondary task of this project is to find a common ground for art and charity projects.
In the first phase of the architecture design we found a way to merge earth battery, pithouse, earth-sheltered design to make a passive solar house. There is a 2 meters deep hole under our greenhouse, and it’s covered with iron structure and layered transparent PC. For the earth battery part, we connected a underground PC pipe to the house, in order to drain the cold air out and circulate it back to the house after heat it underground through a 11 meters long tube.
Unfortunately we only finished the 80% construction before my flight, I also didn’t install the Raspberry Pi to detect the temperature value successfully, but I was able to read the temperature value headlessly by ssh communication. Inside the house is proximately 4 to 6 degrees warmer than outside. I think I will program the Raspberry Pi at home and then send it back to the greenhouse before February The phase two of the project will be taken place in April 2019, we will install the hot water system in the greenhouse by then.
I believe it is good to gather awareness for the situation of these remote areas by creating innovative project working with local community. The greenhouse carries multi-expectations, It is originally expected to provide vegetable to the charity school in the future after few prototypes. I personally expect it could be a playground for both artist, makers to work together with the local community for artistic, scientific projects, for example, art residency or a bio lab. The greenhouse can be a window to the intellectual world for the local community.
from airport to our site.
Pre-design of the greenhouse
The house is 4*6*2 meters in size, 2 meters deep in depth. We thought about to make the roof with glass windows but luckly and eventually I choose transparent PC with multiple layers. I am very glad I made the choice due to its’ lightness and cheap price, and it’s much easier to install compare to the glass windows. However I only sliced the whole roof into 9 pieces which cause a big problem for the installing, it’s better to be sliced with more pieces so we can install it easier
Earth battery and earth sheltered house
Earth battery, earth sheltered greenhouse, were the two major prototype of our first design. There wasn’t enough time to accomplish the earth battery part when I was there since this is our first attempt because I didn’t find good pipes there for the air circulating. The earth sheltered design worked well, according to the feedbacks from the local community after I got back to Taiwan, they say they sweat and they see water dripping inside which proved the indoor temperature is above zero in the winter time. They also tell that they feel dizzy want to puke after long staying in it, I guess that is because we only have installed one fan for the air circulating and that causes short of oxygen and too much CO2 inside.
Roof angle and house orientation: by the coordinates longitude: 32.8250 latitude: 97.1250, we got the sun azimuth angle around 79º, and our roof slope should be 23º. The greenhouse is facing to south with 11º degrees counterclockwise turned in order to get the maximum sunlight.
OPV test for NTSU, 成功大學
OPV provided by professor Meng Hsin Fei from NTSU, These OPV has relatively very low watts, it is used to power one small fan I found from local electronics shop for cold/warm air circulation. I didn’t find a good fan with proper size. , although the fan was quite small but still able to make strong wind. Those OPV was placed inside the greenhouse, unfortunately it was not able to get the battery full charged and the OPV all didn’t survive from the weather. I think it might be the cracks on the OPV caused the oxidation inside the protection glass.
The weather station
I tried to install one RPI board with v2 camera module with it, but I didn’t make it. It took me 3 or 4 days to find a local internet cafe to install Raspian. They were quit paranoid to see I was working with wires and codes in their cafe, so I quickly got kicked out. Eventually I made it done and has successfully get the sensor datas, camera vision via ssh. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to install it properly inside the house before my flight to Taipei.weather data station by Raspberry Pi (library: https://github.com/nickoala/sensor)