How to Heat a Greenhouse With Solar Panels

Heating a greenhouse with solar panels is a great way to reduce your energy costs and help the environment. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of heating your greenhouse using solar power. We will discuss types of greenhouse heating systems, as well as the pros and cons of each of them.

By the end of this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision about whether or not heating your greenhouse with solar panels is right for you!

heat a greenhouse with solar panels

Benefits of heating greenhouses with solar power

Using solar panels to heat up your greenhouse can have some great benefits that will serve you in your present and future. Here are some of the benefits of using solar greenhouses:

1. Cost savings

Installing a solar greenhouse at first may need some money, but this will allow you to have zero running costs later. You won’t need any other source for power, hence you will save a lot of electricity bills.

2. Easy to implement

Installing a solar greenhouse is not a complex thing to do. You don’t need that much work or to have all the information about it to make it run. 

3. Reliability

Solar greenhouses can run smoothly without any problems as long as it’s set up right.

It gets its power from the sun so you won’t have any problems with the power if the electricity goes out or maintenance is needed, you will always be ready to go.

4. Environment friendly

One main point of the benefits of a solar greenhouse is that you also do your duty towards the environment and reduce your carbon footprint by a ton.

Types of solar greenhouse heating systems

1. Active solar greenhouse system

An active solar greenhouse system uses solar panels to generate electricity from sunlight and then uses this energy to circulate heat to plants using fans, heaters, and pumps.

This type is widely used at almost every solar greenhouse at least to capture the solar energy used to generate the heat.

Advantages of active greenhouse systems

  • Very efficient at transferring heat to plants
  • Can be used with any type of greenhouse

Disadvantages of active greenhouse systems

  • Requires solar panels and other heating equipment, which can be expensive
  • May require more maintenance than other types of solar greenhouses

Solar panel placement in an active system

The solar panels in an active system should be placed so that they will get the most direct sunlight possible. This may vary depending on your location and climate.

In general, the best place for solar panels is on the south side of the greenhouse. However, if you live in a very sunny area, you may be able to get away with placing them on the east or west side.

2. Passive solar greenhouse system

A passive solar system doesn’t need any electrical or moving devices to get the heat. In this system, the greenhouse captures the most out of the direct sunlight using large glass or plastic windows that get covered at night to keep it warm. 

There is a common term in this system known as the thermal mass which is another name for storing more heat using water tanks, rocks, concrete walls, soil, etc.

The main idea is that we use materials that soak up the heat of the sun store it for a long time and also take a long time to release it. The advantage of using thermal mass is that it provides a stable heat source during the day that can be used to heat the plants at night or when they need heat. 

Advantages of passive greenhouse systems

  • Very low cost
  • Can be used with any type of greenhouse
  • No moving parts means less chance for things to break

Disadvantages of passive greenhouse systems

  • May not work well in cold climates

3. Mixed solar system

This is one of the best options that can be used to heat a greenhouse. It is very effective and efficient as it combines using solar panels with devices like fans and heaters to heat the greenhouse. It also uses a thermal mass method to generate heat so it has a part of all methods.

Advantages of mixed greenhouse system:

  • Can be used with any type of greenhouse
  • More efficient than using just solar panels or thermal mass

Disadvantages of mixed greenhouse system:

  • May require more maintenance than other types of solar greenhouses
  • Takes a lot of space

How to heat your greenhouse using solar power

Now that you know about the different types of solar greenhouses, let’s walk through the process of how to heat your greenhouse using solar panels.

The first step is to calculate how much power you will need to heat your greenhouse. You can do this by simply multiplying the size of your greenhouse in square feet by the number of degrees you need it to be warmed up.

For example, if you have a 500 square foot greenhouse and you want it to be heated for eight hours per day, then you would need 4000 watts of power.

Once you have this number, you can size your solar panel system by using a solar calculator. This will tell you how many panels you need and what size they should be.

After getting the panels, now it’s time to install and connect them to a battery system and an inverter. Finally, you need to connect the inverter to your greenhouse heating system.

And that’s it!

Now you’re ready to start heating your greenhouse with solar power!

Conclusion

There are a few different ways to heat a greenhouse with solar panels. The best option for you will depend on your climate, location, and the type of greenhouse you have.

In general, using solar panels is a very effective and efficient way to heat your greenhouse. However, it can be a bit more complicated than just using a passive solar system.

If you’re not sure which option is best for you, consult with a solar specialist. They will be able to help you find the best way to heat your greenhouse using solar power.