Simulated performance of a greenhouse cooling control strategy with natural ventilation and fog cooling

Federico Villarreal-Guerrero, Murat Kacira, Efren Fitz-Rodríguez, Raphael Linker, Chieri Kubota, Gene A. Giacomelli, Avraham Arbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

In addition to ventilation, daily cooling must be provided for greenhouses located in semiarid climates to maintain the desired climate conditions for year-round crop production. High-pressure fogging systems have been successfully developed for greenhouse cooling. However the lack of control strategies, in combination with ventilation systems, especially passive ventilation, has limited their capabilities. A new cooling control strategy, which considered the contribution of humidification and cooling from the crop, was evaluated by computer simulations. The strategy controlled the amount of fog introduced into the greenhouse, as well as the percentage of vent openings to maintain desired values of greenhouse atmospheric vapour pressure deficit (VPD) and enthalpy, respectively, which would consequently affect air temperature. The performance was compared to constant fogging rate strategy, which was based on VPD. On average, the new strategy saved 36% water and consumed 30% less electric energy. Smaller air temperature and relative humidity fluctuations, and more consistent control, were achieved by varying the fog system operating pressure to provide a more optimum amount of fog for evaporative cooling. It was demonstrated by simulations that dynamically varying the fog rate and properly selecting the number of nozzles, savings of water and electric energy were increased, while still maintaining acceptable VPD and temperature. The improvements in the greenhouse climate achieved by the new strategy were due to its ability to dynamically manipulate fog rates, as well as, the vent configurations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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