I. Seginer, G. Coulon, Y. Hashimoto
Sixteen posters dealing with a wide variety of methodologies for climate control in greenhouses were presented during this session. Specifically, three posters concerned passive technologies and 13 were related to active technologies. In the latter group, only three cases discussed research relating to the study of algorithms for the management of climatic parameters.

The discussion opened with mention of the importance and relevance on the conclusions reached by the CEC workshop on "Microcomputers in Energy Saving Greenhouses" held in Dublin in 1987. Of these conclusions, the following were considered to be particularly significant:

  • the primary importance of the definition and development of control strategies for proper climate control
  • the necessity of encouraging cooperation among various specialists (engineers, agronomists, physicists, etc) in order to determine the parameters (related to climate or the plant's physiological condition) which could best serve as set-points for control methodologies.

A portion of the discussion was also devoted to the current orientation of research on climate control. Today, two trends have become evident; the first is based on measurement of the classic parameters (i.e. air temperature and humidity, size and weight of plants) and on their consequent adjustment. The second trend refers to parameters linked to the behaviour of plants (a topic which is less familiar to growers). An example of this second case is the determination of temperature and humidity (using algorithms) on the basis of the measurement of transpiration. One study presented showed how control of the latter parameter (closely related to external radiation) could provide significant practical results. Essentially, the plant is "questioned" by measuring one of its phyiological parameters which is useful in determining the optimal climatic conditions for its environment.

Generally speaking, it seems as though this trend is the most promising path for research in this area. In fact, expectations are high and include increased production, energy savings, etc. Knowledge about the most suitable parameters is limited, however, some are already understood, others require further study, and others have still to be defined. Consequently, research in this area needs to be expanded significantly and organized on an international level.

Seginer, I., Coulon, G. and Hashimoto, Y. (1989). DISCUSSION ON CLIMATE CONTROL TO REDUCE ENERGY INPUTS. Acta Hortic. 245, 519-519
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.245.70

Acta Horticulturae