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Help build PyraTUNNEL to do sandponics in winter

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In 1996, a 12,000 SQF bubble greenhouse to grow tomatoes in winter was built in Nanton, Alberta, which proved to save energy by 90%. 26 years later, a small tunnel greenhouse using mainly the sun, water and sand to raise fish and grow vegetables was first launched in Calgary but has now been switched to Redwater, north of Edmonton, which is a more challenging region than both Nanton and Calgary.

Hello, my name is Jun Aubrey Zhang (JAZ), and I am the CEO of PyraPOD Global Inc (websites and I started the company with Richard Nelson, a prolific inventor, especially the sole inventor of SolaRoof bubble technologies. We now have the opportunity to build PyraTUNNEL, a double-layer tunnel greenhouse utilizing Richard's SolaRoof invention to do sandponics inside, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter. The project location has been finalized on a piece of farmland that Angus Dixon recently purchased - here is the Google link and satellite map:

The external size of the greenhouse is about 40 feet long and 20 feet wide; we need to dig 4 feet down in the ground. The height is about 16 feet above grade, having a knee wall of 4 feet.

This PyraTUNNEL is similar in shape to a greenhouse built in 2012 at Lindum, near Drammen, Norway - see the video below:

However, more features have been added to the one we are going to develop:

  • The bubble generator will be placed either inside the double-layer or inside the greenhouse but outside the double-layer cavity for easy maintenance and service.
  • iAVS sandponics has been picked for its simplicity and water thermal mass, increasing the system's capacity to capture and store solar energy in the form of heat.
  • Two large fish tanks converted from one 40-foot sea container cut in half along its length are to be buried in the ground. This gives us a reasonable capacity for solar heat storage and, at the same time, ensures good heat exchange between the soil and tanks buried in the ground.

What do we need to finish the whole project:

For the following list, you can donate money or effort in the form of materials and labor:

  • To rent a bob cab to dig in the ground
  • Closely netted stainless steel or aluminum wire mesh to be placed around the parameter of the footing to prevent mice from getting into the greenhouse
  • Sand to place around the knee wall
  • Aircrete or chainlink fence plus styrofoam insulation boards to insulate the vertical in-ground walls
  • Food-safe pond liners to make fish tanks and grow beds
  • Three totes to be buried in the middle, two for liquid soap and one to collect clean condensated water
  • a lot of 2x3 wood is needed to build all the straight portions of the greenhouse structure
  • PE pipes are required to form the inner and outer arches, supporting both the inner and outer PE films
  • Liquid silicone will be used to treat all metals and wood for water seal, especially for areas that are in contact with the PE film
  • PE films or better glazing material for greenhouse use are needed
  • More openly netted wire mesh is required to support the pond liner forming the sand grow beds
  • Air compressor for one airlift pump, raising the fish water with fish poop to the top of the upper grew bed
  • Materials to construct two bubble generators are required, such as fans, water pumps, reticulated foam, spray nozzles, etc.
  • Soap tanks (two)
  • 4" pipes for water circulation
  • 4" gutters to catch pumped water and drain water so that filtered water can overflow onto the sand grow bed
  • Hoses, PE pipes, connectors, etc.
  • Plywood sheets around the entrance and doorway
  • Two metal doors for the entrance

Fundraising team: PyraTUNNEL Team (3)

Aubrey Zhang
Angus Dixon
Team member
Raised $50 from 1 donation
Richard Nelson
Team member

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