GREENHOUSE DESIGN: CONCEPTS AND TRENDS
Greenhouses provide fresh vegetables and ornamentals year-round, worldwide; the type and equipment used in any region generally suit the local weather, construction materials availability, and type of crop. In each region, elements such as structure, cover materials, climate-control systems, and irrigation and fertilization equipment are routinely evaluated by growers, designers and researchers, to improve their efficiency, reduce inputs, and minimize undesired environmental effects. The term greenhouse design includes too many aspects to be covered in one paper, therefore, this paper mainly addresses developments related to possible effects of manipulations of structure and cover materials on microclimate; it also emphasizes the main concepts and trends in greenhouse horticulture that emerged during the last decade. The major driving forces toward improving greenhouse design have sprung from the desire to achieve a sustainable greenhouse that is energy neutral, consumes only the essential amount of water, and has minimal negative environmental impact all while maximizing net financial return. Consequently, recent years have witnessed the development and expansion of tall and large structures, innovative cover materials, and closed and semiclosed greenhouses, and progress in solar greenhouses that harvest solar energy for heating. Most recently the incorporation of arrays of photovoltaic cells for power generation in protected cultivation became popular: a trend that still has to be carefully evaluated. In warm climates we have witnessed the expansion of screenhouses and innovative insect-proof screens that provide a reasonable environment for various crops, with much lower capital investment than fully equipped greenhouses. Progress was also made in development of tools for better and faster design of structures for protected cultivation. For example, CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations were extensively used to investigate the effects of structure shape, and ventilator size and arrangement (with or without insect-proof screens) on microclimate. These studies indicated that there is still scope for improving the currently prevailing designs of structures and their components.
Teitel, M., Montero, J.I. and Baeza, E.J. (2012). GREENHOUSE DESIGN: CONCEPTS AND TRENDS. Acta Hortic. 952, 605-620
structure, cover materials, ventilators, screenhouse, solar energy