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bigslick7878
06-09-2009, 04:38 PM
Anyone know anyone that has a heating system for their soil?

Probably not,but last night I was randomly thinking about what it would take to keep the grass green deep into winter and the only thing I thought of was to keep the soil warm.

Professional sports teams who have natural grass have these systems in place in the stadiums and practice facility to aid in growth year round.here is an article I found on the Denver Broncos field....

http://www.grounds-mag.com/mag/grounds_maintenance_turning_heat/

Turning Up the Heat

By Steve and Suz Trusty, Sports Turf Managers Association

Manipulation is key to your turf care program. You manipulate turf height with mowing; you manipulate turf growth patterns with fertilization. Sports turf managers of fields used by professional teams may take that manipulation one notch higher with temperature control of the root zone.
WARM UP

Ross Kurcab, CSFM, is Turf Manager for Invesco Field at Mile High, the game field of the Denver Broncos football team. After serving that same role for the Broncos' practice facility, he applied his experience with extensive research to assist with the field development specifications for the new facility. Soil heating is one element of that design.

Kurcab says, “The main reason we heat is to prevent ground frost, which generally occurs in late November or early December in the Denver area. Once the ground is frozen, the surface becomes as hard as concrete. That's not a safe field for play. An added benefit of our soil heating is we are keeping grass living, growing and recuperative, which provides a better playing surface. In more southern areas, where the primary warm-season turf used on athletic fields is bermudagrass, the major purpose of soil heating is to keep the bermudagrass growing longer into the winter for field safety and playability.”

The crazy SOB like myself who is obsessed with grass would consider it for my house if the price wasn't too ridiculous. I can keep my grass looking good longer than everyone else in my neighborhood by a long shot,but even longer would be nice.

So anyone have any knowledge about these systems?

One other interesting thing...aeration at the end of Jan...in Chicago!!

Ken Mrock, Head Groundskeeper for the Chicago Bears, says, “We have a heated footprint 210 feet by 400 feet at the Halas Hall practice facility. It's a hot water/glycol system with 14 miles of tubing located at an 8-inch depth on 10-inch centers. Our sensors are 6-inches deep. We use three 2-million BTU boilers just for field heating. The extended area provides heated space for the lined football field and a surrounding area for the individual position drills.

“This is the sixth year for our system. We start heating in mid-October, when the soil temperature drops into the low 50-degree range, and maintain it in the 50s gradually raising the level to a high of 65 degrees as winter advances. This keeps the surface from freezing, staying at 40 degrees right below the thatch level by the end of the playing season. Because of the conditions we're able to maintain with the heating system, the team only practiced indoors five times this past year, out of a possible 140 practices. The team practiced on the heated field for the last 8 weeks of their season. We core aerified on January 22 to get a head start for spring's mini-camps, which is a huge tool for our maintenance program. We then shut down the heating system to allow the turf to go dormant. We feel it has earned the rest after the extended season.

“After our first year with the system, we noticed that the heated field was a lighter green and behind the other fields in development as they came out of dormancy in the spring. We determined that the grass plants were taking up the available nutrients in the soil and developed a separate fertilization program for that field to equalize conditions by the start of spring.”

mdlwn1
06-09-2009, 04:42 PM
Hmmm lets see we have a radiant snow melt system for 2 8000sqft auto courts......last january we burned $13,000 in nat gas....and that is to maintain 36 degrees.

bigslick7878
06-09-2009, 04:50 PM
Hmmm lets see we have a radiant snow melt system for 2 8000sqft auto courts......last january we burned $13,000 in nat gas....and that is to maintain 36 degrees.

I'm guessing it is a lot harder to transfer heat to concrete than to soil.Im thinking because of the density of the material it wouldnt be nearly the heat needed to keep a slab of concrete warm.

Also if you read the article the new systems use water heating with natural gas which lowers the operational costs significantly.

Kurcab notes that the electric system at the Broncos practice facility was installed around 1990. The heating units are 10 inches deep on 6-inch centers. He says, “Installation costs on the electrical systems generally are less than half the price of hydronic system installations, but operational costs are much higher compared to heating the water with natural gas. That was a key consideration in choosing the hot water system for the new stadium.”

Thats why I was asking if it would even be possible to do on a residential property with the costs involved.I'm not an energy specialist so I don't know.

mdlwn1
06-09-2009, 05:34 PM
we have 10 inches of concrete covered by paver stones.....not sure but i would think our heat loss would be less than that of a lawn. Keep in mind I idle it at 33 and only crank it (to 36)before a snow fall

cgaengineer
06-09-2009, 10:35 PM
Considering soil stays about 55 degrees when you get to a certain point, I would think if you could harness that heat someway it maybe possible. What about some sort of compost heater, make compost, make heat and pipe it? My guess is if you were using compost it would have to be a huge pile.

Just throwing out some ideas here...I myself have no plans of ever heating the soil beneath my turf to keep it green, if I wanted my lawn green all season I would plant fescue.

bigslick7878
06-09-2009, 10:47 PM
Considering soil stays about 55 degrees when you get to a certain point, I would think if you could harness that heat someway it maybe possible. What about some sort of compost heater, make compost, make heat and pipe it? My guess is if you were using compost it would have to be a huge pile.

Just throwing out some ideas here...I myself have no plans of ever heating the soil beneath my turf to keep it green, if I wanted my lawn green all season I would plant fescue.

Thats what we have up here,I dont even know why you would need to do it in the south with the temps down there.You could just overseed with fescue going into winter I would imagine.

There really isnt any other type of grass that can withstand the cold temps that I know of.Rye a little bit but similar to fescue in coldhardiness but not much better.

Up here in the mid atlantic I can keep mine growing up until mid December,depending on the weather.After that the ground is pretty much frozen with average highs in the lower to mid 40's and lows in the low 20's most nights in Jan/Feb.

Around mid March is when you start to see some life again,temps back in the low 50's.Just looking at my records the first mow this year was Mar 26th and that was more of a debris chop up and clean up rather than growing grass.

I was just throwing it out there as well,would be cool to look at my yard in January and see green grass when everyone elses is brown and dormant.

Still wondering how much a system like that would cost like they use in the stadiums,I'm sure it is astronomical but one can always dream I guess.

cgaengineer
06-09-2009, 11:08 PM
The last thing you would do in the south is overseed bermuda with fescue...I have spent 2 years getting those pesky clumps out of my beutiful bermuda!! Here your are either bermuda and brown in the winter, or fescue and brown in the summer!
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bigslick7878
06-09-2009, 11:17 PM
The last thing you would do in the south is overseed bermuda with fescue...I have spent 2 years getting those pesky clumps out of my beutiful bermuda!! Here your are either bermuda and brown in the winter, or fescue and brown in the summer!
Posted via Mobile Device

My bad I didnt know!

I am an avid golfer and I thought they overseeded some of the dormant grasses down there,could be wrong though.

I just found a comany in the UK that sells these systems,a lot of the "football" fields over there have them.

http://www.cjelectrical.co.uk/applications/sports_fields.htm

I emailed them for the hell of it,told them I wanted to heat my lawn and no it is not a joke.:laugh:

Wonder if they will respond.

terrapro
06-10-2009, 11:51 AM
Well, if you are going crazy anyway you might as well just get a geo-thermal heat pump for your home and tap into that for your turf. It will probably only cost around $30G for the whole thing and it will keep your home and turf a nice 65-68deg year round!

cgaengineer
06-10-2009, 12:02 PM
Well, if you are going crazy anyway you might as well just get a geo-thermal heat pump for your home and tap into that for your turf. It will probably only cost around $30G for the whole thing and it will keep your home and turf a nice 65-68deg year round!

Those are actually becoming popular around here...all you need is the AC compressor. Great idea, that or a large pond or lake.

bigslick7878
06-10-2009, 07:07 PM
Well, if you are going crazy anyway you might as well just get a geo-thermal heat pump for your home and tap into that for your turf. It will probably only cost around $30G for the whole thing and it will keep your home and turf a nice 65-68deg year round!

I have never heard of a geo thermal pump but I googled it and it looks like it would do the trick,and work fairly efficiently relatively speaking.

Never knew that the temp below the ground at a certain depth stayed constant and could be used in a system like this.......very interesting.

From what I am reading it would be tied into the house as well heating the hot water and be used for A/C and heat too......amazing.

You might have just given me a great idea when I really want to take the lawn to the next level!

I am going to have to do some more reading up on this.

terrapro
06-10-2009, 08:34 PM
My uncle does HVAC and his forte is geo-thermal units. I know all about them....kinda. I do some work for him here and there. Very cool technology!

muddstopper
06-10-2009, 09:48 PM
This thread has me laughing. I find it hard to imagine anybody wanting to mow grass in the winter:laugh:. Not to mention the expense.

After spending considerable time thinking on a solution. (5 minutes max). I think I have came up with a ideal for a reasonably inexpensive solution.
Solar water Heater. This past winter a friend decided to build his own solar water heater. He used copper pipe and aluminum flashing enclosed in a glass frame. He bought one of those low voltage water pumps to circulate the water into a heat exchanger that he made out of an old electric water heater. He built his own solar panel to run the water pump. In Dec he was getting 130degree water on sunny days. The whole system only cost him about $300. Now if you where to bury some pex tubing in the lawn and circulate the hot water thru this tubing, you could possibly heat a small lawn, or even a big lawn, depending on how big a solar collector you wanted to build. Anyways, its a lot cheaper than a $30,000 geo thermal heat pump.

bigslick7878
06-10-2009, 09:57 PM
This thread has me laughing. I find it hard to imagine anybody wanting to mow grass in the winter:laugh:. Not to mention the expense.

After spending considerable time thinking on a solution. (5 minutes max). I think I have came up with a ideal for a reasonably inexpensive solution.
Solar water Heater. This past winter a friend decided to build his own solar water heater. He used copper pipe and aluminum flashing enclosed in a glass frame. He bought one of those low voltage water pumps to circulate the water into a heat exchanger that he made out of an old electric water heater. He built his own solar panel to run the water pump. In Dec he was getting 130degree water on sunny days. The whole system only cost him about $300. Now if you where to bury some pex tubing in the lawn and circulate the hot water thru this tubing, you could possibly heat a small lawn, or even a big lawn, depending on how big a solar collector you wanted to build. Anyways, its a lot cheaper than a $30,000 geo thermal heat pump.

I like it!

While I was doing some reading on this I came across the solar power idea,a lot of greenhouses use it to control the temp in the soil for plants at a minimal cost.

The only issue would be if you could generate enough power to heat all that tubing for an entire lawn,consistently.Might be hard to generate that amount of heat on much larger scale then your friend did....just guessing though.
Keep the ideas coming!

cgaengineer
06-10-2009, 10:00 PM
I like it!

While I was doing some reading on this I came across the solar power idea,a lot of greenhouses use it to control the temp in the soil for plants at a minimal cost.

The only issue would be if you could generate enough power to heat all that tubing for an entire lawn,consistently.Might be hard to generate that amount of heat on much larger scale then your friend did....just guessing though.
Keep the ideas coming!

How about a large coal burning stove?:laugh:

bigslick7878
06-10-2009, 10:14 PM
How about a large coal burning stove?:laugh:

We are trying to be eco friendly here,not an option.....but I would be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind.:usflag:

cgaengineer
06-10-2009, 10:32 PM
We are trying to be eco friendly here,not an option.....but I would be lying if I said it didn't cross my mind.:usflag:

I got it...nuclear...generates tons of heat...just have to get some plutonium and get it buy the Obongo admin.

The waste electricity could be used to power homes.