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The capstone project for Queen's University 4th Year Mechanical Engineering Class,"Engineering for Sustainable Development", is to design and construct an Appropriate Technology with a quantifiable engineering result (to see other class projects, click here). I have chosen to construct a greenhouse, review the heat requirement on the system for the whole year; then, based on the materials and conditions selected, review costs associated with this and build a scaled model.
This project is the first step to easy community greenhouse development - the goal of the affordable greenhouse is to:
- Improve greenhose design and awareness for residential application.
- Demonstrate the feasibility (i.e costs) of a greenhouse in the winter months and determine the best time to install such a system for optimal crop yield.
Due to the materials selected and the cold Canadian Spring, it is not effective to construct until late April. But with better material selection and innovative greenhouse designs, I am hopeful that constructing miniature greenhouses will become common practice.The blueprints for the construction of an affordable greenhouse are below; for this greenhouse a single pane Polyinyl chloride (PVC) covered greenhouse was reviewed. Heat losses and calculations were done in MatLab using constants from the Canadian Climate Normals website and sunlight radiation from Queen's University Living Building.
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