US:Frostburg State greenhouses are completely self sufficient in energy

Reaching the end of its first full year of operation, the Frostburg State University greenhouse complex known as Frostburg Grows continues to educate students and visitors on sustainable living as well as generating a high volume of produce and native tree seedlings. Frostburg Grows holds three large greenhouse facilities that are maintained through a series of solar panels and rain water capturing systems.

Using greenhouses known as high-tunnels, the facility has been able to extend its growing season. The center is still producing broccoli, beans, bell peppers, raspberries, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce and cabbage.

The greenhouses are self sufficient in energy supply; Rain water is collected using a series of spouts and gutters as well as a trench system leading to a pond. The water that is collected is heated by using black solar heating panels.

The warm water produced by the system is stored in large tanks. By using solar panels a battery is charged that powers a pump, which circulates the water along pipes and tubes to the plants.


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