I. Segal, A. Antler, Y. Willinger, I. Zer
Warm geothermal waters at low temperatures (38–70°C) are available in some regions in Israel. The sources ready for utilization at present could supply heat for about 50 ha of greenhouses (i.e. an equivalent of 5000 tons of petroleum fuel per year). Most of the geothermal water are in deep wells (1000–1500m). Water is at low salinity and in most cases can be used for irrigation. Further drilling can increase the geothermal potential to supply heat for about 250 ha of heated greenhouses, which means doubling the heated greenhouse area in Israel.

Development and research activities aimed at utilization of geothermal water started in the early seventies with an emphais on soil warming in open fields and low tunnels. These activities were increased following development of a 60°C well at Paran. An interdisciplinary team including engineers and horticulturists from the Agricultural Research Organization concentrated efforts to solve the following problems:

  1. Selection of suitable crops and agrotechnics to produce winter products for export.
  2. Developing and optimization of heat exchange systems for agricultural utilization.

Following five years of experimentation and demonstration, over 10 ha of greenhouses are heated with geothermal energy. The main crop at present is melons harvested during February through April.

Segal, I., Antler, A., Willinger, Y. and Zer, I. (1989). GEOTHERMAL ENERGY - TOWARDS PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS IN ISRAEL. Acta Hortic. 245, 277-280
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.245.36

Acta Horticulturae