The Hyde Park Greenhouse
In our search for a greenhouse, our goal was to find a water conserving and energy efficient design. After years of research, we selected a 4,600-square-foot glass
greenhouse made by Gakon Horticultural Projects. The greenhouse features an insulated foundation, a thermal curtain, mechanized roof vents, translucent Soliculture solar panels that allow red light to penetrate to the plants, and a rain catchment system with two 3,500 gallon rain collection tanks buried in the floor. The solar panels power the electronic controllers for the ventilation system, the shade curtain, and the horizontal airflow fans.
The use of Modine energy efficient heaters and a condensing boiler for the heated rolling flood benches, installed in one quarter of the greenhouse, allow for the reduction of energy use.
The Ebb n Flow watering system in the flood benches are the most efficient style of Hydroponics. This style of cultivation is considered a recirculating hydroponic feed system with absolutely no waste water. Whatever the plants do not use in a single feeding returns back to the reservoir to be used again and again until gone. The water used in the flood benches is sourced from the rain collection tanks. To see the ongoing transformation of the Hyde park space from urban wild to urban farm, please visit the "Our Journey" page.
There is also a 10' x 12' greenhouse that is completely off the grid with a solar panel to power the roof vents and pumps, and light and rain barrels to collect rain water off the roof for the flood benches. Soliculture Inc. brought their Greenhouse Integrated Photovoltaic Technology (GIPV) to the East coast for the first time by installing the panels on our greenhouse. Dr. Glenn Alers, the inventor of the panels, assisted with the installation of the solar panels. The urban farm has become a demonstration site for these unique translucent solar panels. Soliculture technology uses a semi-transparent wavelength-selective photovoltaic glazing to absorb portions of the solar spectrum less utilized by plants and convert it to wavelengths with higher photosynthetic efficiency in order to facilitate crop production and generate electricity.