THE ENERGY BALANCE OF AN AIR-INFLATED POLYETHYLENE GREENHOUSE

E.M. Slack, J.A. Clark
Greenhouses covered with plastics film offer an attractive alternative to traditional rigid glasshouses, principally because of their lower capital cost, and because their short life and consequent mobility ease problems of crop rotation. However, the environment within plastics greenhouses has received comparatively little attention. The energy balance of a polyethylene-film bubble house at Sutton Bonington, Leics., England, was measured in September and October 1970. The net radiation in the house and the exchange of sensible heat and latent heat, together with ground heat storage, were estimated as hourly averages.

The energy balance of the house and the diurnal temperature cycle within it were consistent with observations by other workers on the limitations of the plastics film house as a plant environment and on the contrast with glasshouse environments. Daytime air temperatures in the house were above those outside, but the high ventilation rate required to support the house depressed air temperatures at night to levels not significantly different from those outside. The bubble house appears to be best suited to sites where water supply rather than low temperature is the limiting physical factor for plant growth.

Slack, E.M. and Clark, J.A. (1975). THE ENERGY BALANCE OF AN AIR-INFLATED POLYETHYLENE GREENHOUSE. Acta Hortic. 46, 109-130
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1975.46.10
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1975.46.10