I need to find heat loss from the greenhouse. I know how to find heat loss through the walls and roof , but what about soil ? how to find amount heat conductivity loss to the soil ? I would be gratefull for the any reference/method/ article or etc.

  • $\begingroup$ If you can do conductivity for walls etc then ground is just different materials... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 10, 2018 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike the thing is, in case of walls I know the external temperature (dT). But for the soil I dont. $\endgroup$ May 10, 2018 at 8:18
  • $\begingroup$ So it depends on country / climate, where I am the average ground temperature varies between 5 to 10 degrees annually - research for your country / location... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    May 10, 2018 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ I'd be astonished if there weren't tables of soil thermal conductivity for different soil types, water content, etc. on the interwebz $\endgroup$ May 10, 2018 at 16:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @OlegKhegay You cannot just stick a thermometer in the ground? $\endgroup$
    – paparazzo
    May 10, 2018 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


Easy answer: Net heat loss averaged over day/night is zero because the heat that's transmitted into the soil when the greenhouse is hot is stored in the soil and returned to the greenhouse when the greenhouse becomes colder than the soil.

Hard answer suggestion: This problem is called "One-dimensional transient heat conduction in semi-infinite body". Semi-infinite because the ground is infinitely deep in the downwards direction but not in the upwards direction. It's time dependent. The rate of heat loss will go down as it progresses because the ground becomes hotter. You can write and solve the DEs by hand if you wanted a hard exercise in calculus. Here's somebody's working: https://www.thermalfluidscentral.org/encyclopedia/index.php/One-dimensional_transient_heat_conduction_in_semi-infinite_body

Whiteboard lecture video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8ofOO-iHhk

Practical answer: I would use Finite Element Analysis (FEA) which does all that math for you. Download some FEA software and use time dependent or transient heat transfer analysis. This will also allow you to model 2D and 3D effects like heat flow around the edges. The two 1D suggestions above are not strictly correct because of lateral heat flow under the ground but the bigger the greenhouse, the more accurate the 1D approximation is.

  • $\begingroup$ thank you for the answer. Could you say, if Solidworks can help me for solving such kind of problems in the better way than Ansys ? or solidworks is served for different tasks ? $\endgroup$ May 13, 2018 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, SolidWorks Simulation can do that just as well as Ansys for a simple task like this. I think SolidWorks Simulation is a little easier if you're not familiar with either. $\endgroup$ May 14, 2018 at 7:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.