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Dynamic Response and Environmental Uniformity of a Naturally Ventilated Greenhouse Cooled with a Variable-Pressure Fogging System

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009436.(doi:10.13031/2013.29906)
Authors:   Efrén Fitz-Rodríguez, Murat Kacira, Federico Villarreal Guerrero, Chieri Kubota, Gene Giacomelli, Raphael Linker, Avraham Arbel
Keywords:   Greenhouse climate, fog cooling system, intelligent control, dynamic modeling, natural ventilation, variable frequency drive.

Greenhouse crop production systems have been established throughout the world, including arid and semi-arid regions, to fulfill a market demand of locally grown produce consistently through the year. In these particular regions while they have the advantage of sunshine year-round, production during the summer is a challenge due to elevated air temperatures. Fog systems have proven to be a good economical alternative for evaporative cooling while potentially providing a more uniform environment when compared to fan and pad systems. High-pressure fogging systems equipped with variable frequency drives can be operated at different pressures to meet the varying cooling demands during the day. This feature adds the flexibility of varying the fog flow rate by operating at lower pressures or by changing the number of working fog lines accordingly to the cooling demands. These systems may offer the potential advantage of energy and water saving by operating at a low frequency while providing the proper amount of fog accordingly to the cooling loads. A variable pressure fogging systems operating in the range of 4.8 to 10.3 MPa (700 to 1500 psi) was recently installed in a greenhouse at the University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (UA-CEAC) for the purpose of developing advanced control strategies for optimum greenhouse environments. This study experimentally evaluated the dynamics of air and canopy temperatures, crop evapotranspiration rates, and climate uniformity in the greenhouses working under various fogging system operational pressures and greenhouse side/roof vent opening configurations.

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