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Greenhouse: Anyone have ideas? Passive open/close of greenhouse vents.

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Carolina_Mike
Whitesburg, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 30, 2012
9:05 AM

Post #9144791

I have been thinking that it would be very beneficial to have some apparatus by which to rig a vent or louvre to open when it gets hot, and close when it cools down. Ideally, fully open at 100 degrees F, and fully closed at 60 degrees F (ideal for me anyway).

I am thinking of something like 304 stainless cable in a sort of block and tackle pulley configuration. I have found a thermal expansion calculator online and it says that a 1000' of 304 stainless cable will expand 4.6" when the temp changes +40 degrees F. Of course, when the temp goes back down it contracts back to original size...this could be tied to a lever that would open and close a vent. The diameter of the cable does not make a difference on the expansion, so something small and cheap would work fine.

I think 4.6" is enough travel to cause the vent to be completely open @ 100 degrees F, and completely closed @ 60 degrees F. Some kind of weight or spring would have to be used to keep the cable pulled tight at all times as it wraps around the pulleys...50 total pulleys would be needed for a 20' greenhouse. What a tangled mess that would be if even one of them jumped off a pulley...nasty.

Any better ideas? Or make this one simpler.

Mike
WayneKY
Cadiz, KY

May 30, 2012
10:05 AM

Post #9144868

http://www.baylissautovents.co.uk/shopcontent.asp?type=Spares

I think that these auto vents will do what you want, they work well for me. I recommend the triple spring version.

Wayne
Carolina_Mike
Whitesburg, TN
(Zone 6b)

May 31, 2012
8:11 AM

Post #9146052

Thanks Wayne. Very much simpler and less expensive than running a mass of cables. How long have you had yours? I see the site says something about the wax oozing out eventually. Have you seen any wax yet?

Mike
WayneKY
Cadiz, KY

May 31, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9146585

I have been using two of them for about 16 months. No wax oozing yet. They work pretty well. They are always a little behind because it takes a while for the temperature of the wax to change but generally pretty well satisfied. Trouble free so far.

Wayne
HollyAnnS
Dover, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 4, 2012
6:12 AM

Post #9151324

Mike, I used the same thing with our greenhouse and they work well but are a little sluggish if a storm blows up. I will probably rework mine to add a more rigid brace across the bottom edge of the louver, we just had 50-60 mph gust the other night and they survived. They are pictured in the thread about our GH.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1243490/ Ric

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