Greenhouse Energy Storage & Transfer using Water

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2018: $7,565.00
Projected End Date: 12/15/2019
Grant Recipient: Bluefly Farms
Region: Western
State: New Mexico
Principal Investigator:
Kemper Barkhurst
Bluefly Farms, LLC


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: greenhouses
  • Education and Training: demonstration
  • Energy: byproduct utilization, energy conservation/efficiency, energy use, renewable energy, solar energy
  • Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    The objective of this one year research project is to test and measure the energy impact of
    capturing excess daytime heat within a greenhouse and transferring it through an air-to-water
    exchanger to then store the thermal energy in water. Solar collectors will also be implemented to
    boost the heat that is stored. This same system will provide cooling during the day and heating at
    night for the greenhouse. The stored heat will be used to help reduce costly energy consumption
    that negatively impacts the environment and decreases farm profitability. The design for this
    system will be open sourced and the monthly data will be graphed out over the year and shared
    on our website and social media. We will also present the findings as an article through the
    National Young Farmers Coalition, an organization with over 130,000 young farmers and

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. To research the process of capturing daytime air heat of a greenhouse and exchanging and
    storing it into water.
    2. To research the effects of solar hot water collectors in combination with the heat
    exchanger to increase the temperature of water storage.
    3. To research the effectiveness of using the stored heat in water as a heat source during the
    4. To visualize the system with sensors and data logging technology.
    5. To publish findings of this research and encourage its adoption.

    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.