Warning: This is a disturbing post – despite the allusion to The Matrix in the title it is – really – about the real world only.
Hardly any geekiness included.
In order to compensate for that I will craft a short search term poem – this time exclusively from yesterday’s search terms:
the universe is antifragile
gut tube formation
alien themed control panels
heat pumps with elements
The last line has already anticipated what I am going to reveal in this post: It is about an element of a heat pump system – and its added benefit in agriculture.
Other readers of my blog have discovered my German blog – so I have to come out as a tomato addict.
The solar collector featured in this post is very versatile: In winter energy for heating is harvested from the ambient air via convection but radiation is not that important. Im summer time you need to heat hot water only and there is too much energy available anyway. Thus it isn’t an issue to cover the collector with leaves and tomatoes – and it can be used as an espalier [marketing pitch] combining the beauty of nature with the sleek appeal of sophisticated technology [/marketing].
I have been asked if this is useful for greenhouse operators: The answer is unfortunately No as even in summer it extracts heat from the air (and the tomatoes).
There is only one special mode of operation that would ‘heat’ the plants (a bit – I haven’t done simulations on this): The energy harvested by the collector is deposited to a water tank – the heat source of the heat pump. This tank is used for passive cooling in summer: Floor heating becomes floor cooling. Heating of hot water is beneficial as heat is extracted from the tank.
If there is an intermittent ‘cold’ period in summer the cooling capacity can be increased by actually cooling the tank through the collector – you would run the collector pump e.g. in the night. Thus if the air is much cooler than the tank than the collector would cool the tank and ‘heat’ the tomatoes.
But this is a rare condition and most likely not accountable for the incredible ‘output’ in terms of tomatoes. These are 13 plants – 13 different varieties with funny names as Green Zebra and Black Plum. The most prolific one is Gelbe Dattelwein (Translates to Yellow Date Wine, most of the other names are English ones anyway).
According to superficial googling ‘health’ and ‘tomatoes’ eating about 1 kg tomatoes a day does not have negative side effects.
We bought the plants from Arche Noah (Noah’s Ark), a society whose vision it is to work on bringing traditional and rare varieties into gardens and on the market again.