GreenHouse Nangqen (on going)

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.

The concepts, expectations
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. 

Project developers: Wiriya Rattanansuwan, Shih Wei Chieh
Project leader: Tsangsar Kunga Site land owner: Tsangsar Metok
Local coordinators: Tsangsar Tsueji, Tsangsar Mohji

videos of the construction

the last pictures I took before I go

from airport to our site. final model.

project briefing and pre-design of the greehouse, I chose to combine both earth battery and earth sheltered greenhouse in my design. I didn’t have much time to develop the earth battery design when I was there since this is our first prototype plus I didn’t find good pipes there. The roof design worked well, according to the locals feedbacks after I got back to Taiwan, “it is very warm inside”, but they claim they feel dizzy and the air makes them want to puke, I guess that is because we only have installed one fan 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 sun exposed.

OPV test, 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. The fan is small but still with quit powerful wind, I didn’t find a good fan with proper size. Those OPV was placed inside the greenhouse and it is not able to get the battery full charged according to the feedbacks from the local, we are trying to refurnish it and give it a heat resistive film on top of it so we can move it to the roof top to get more sun light.

3D design of the greenhouse, I made this design in the first 3 days after I arrived. We were thinking to make the roof with glass but eventually I chose 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.

progress photos.

I tried to install my rpi board with v2 camera in it, but didn’t make it. It took me 3 or 4 days to install Raspian in my rpi in a local internet cafe, they were quit paranoid about what I did and a nuke board with wires in their cafe. I made the job and has successfully get the sensor datas, pictures via ssh. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to install it properly inside the house.
weather data station by Raspberry Pi (library:

DIY raised beds and the vagetables growing conditions. The vagetables in pictures are taken around Janurary 20th, it was plant in Novemeber 5th, the growing is very slow due to the coldness. It is averagely -20 degrees from Novermber to December, however inside the greenhouse can be up above 0 degree so the water are still in liquid form inside. The problem now is the soil and we didn’t chose plants has higher resistance to cold to grow, we will select plants grow in cold weather in phase 2 of the project, which will take place in April 2019.