Sugarhouse effluent viability as a greenhouse heat source

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2007: $5,970.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2007
Grant Recipient: Lisa Holderness
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:


  • Fruits: berries (strawberries)
  • Vegetables: broccoli, greens (leafy)
  • Additional Plants: ornamentals


  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research
  • Energy: bioenergy and biofuels, energy conservation/efficiency, energy use
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    Maple producers with Steamaway evaporators generate large quantities of near-boiling water, and do this during the same period they are producing seedlings in a heated greenhouse. This project will explore the potential of using waste hot water to heat a hoop house. B.T.U. potential and system components will be researched to determine what size hoop house can be heated with a 10,000-gallon-per-year hot water output. After the system is constructed, the plant health, soil, and air temperatures will be monitored. Outreach will be through a farm web site, presentations, newsletters, and workshops.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The goal of this SARE project was to capture the waste heat of our wood-fired Steam away maple
    syrup evaporator to heat a late-winter/early-spring hoophouse, to improve the energy and work
    flow efficiency of our farm, and to document and to share our experience with others interested
    in improving the efficiency of their farms. We looked at the volume and heating capacity of our
    Steam away effluent, set up a collection and heating system, and monitored plant survival.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.