Development of concepts for a zero-fossil-energy greenhouse

A. van 't Ooster, E.J. van Henten, E.G.O.N. Janssen, G.P.A. Bot, E. Dekker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Dutch government and greenhouse horticultural practice aim for strongly reduced fossil energy use and of environmental loads in 2010 and energy neutral greenhouses in 2020. This research aims to design a greenhouse concept with minimal use of fossil energy and independent of nearby greenhouses. The concept is called the zero-fossil-energy-greenhouse. This paper presents a theoretical design study and analysis to assess the viability of a zero-fossil-energy-greenhouse concept. The greenhouse was designed for Dutch circumstances and relies on available state-of-art technologies. Nine concepts were generated and evaluated by a panel of experts. Although, none of the concepts was unanimously selected, one of the concepts received on-average highest votes. It uses an aquifer for long term heat and cold storage. Geothermal heat and a heat pump connected to the warm pit of the aquifer are used to heat of the greenhouse. Electricity need is covered by green-electricity. Cooling and dehumidification of the greenhouse is realised by a heat pump combined with the cold aquifer pit. This concept was more thoroughly evaluated in a simulation study that assessed design consistency and evaluated greenhouse performance in view of design requirements. From the simulations it was concluded that a combination of geothermal heat and a heat pump/aquifer can cover the heat demand of the greenhouse with help of heat buffers, but a fully closed greenhouse concept is not manageable in the summer season. With given technology the chosen concept was not able to cool and dehumidify greenhouse air to target temperature and humidity. A semi closed greenhouse solves this problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-732
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Aquifer
  • Closed greenhouse
  • Geothermal heat
  • Heat pump
  • Methodical design


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of concepts for a zero-fossil-energy greenhouse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this