Energy saving: From engineering to crop management

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

18 Citations (Scopus)


In greenhouse horticulture, energy costs form an increasingly larger part of the total production costs. Energy is primarily used for temperature control, reduction of air humidity, increase of light intensity and CO2 supply. Use of fossil energy can be reduced by limiting the energy demand of the system and decreasing energy losses, by intelligent climate control, by increasing the energy efficiency of the crop and by replacing fossil energy sources by sustainable ones. Energy requirement of the greenhouse can be lowered up to 20-30% by using greenhouse covers with higher insulating values and the use of energy screens. A prerequisite is that these materials should not involve considerable light loss, since this would result in a loss of production. In energy efficient greenhouse concepts, durable energy sources should be included. In (semi-)closed greenhouses, the excess of solar energy in summer is collected and stored in aquifers to be reused in winter to heat the greenhouse. Ventilation windows are closed, with specific benefits to the crop: high CO2 levels can be maintained, and temperature and humidity can be controlled to the needs of the crop. Development of new greenhouse concepts is ongoing. Current examples are greenhouse systems which convert natural energy sources such as solar energy into high-value energy such as electricity. Given a certain technical infrastructure of the greenhouse, energy consumption can be further reduced by energy efficient climate control and crop management. Essential elements are to allow fluctuating temperatures, lower crop transpiration, allow higher humidities, make efficient use of light and create fluent transitions in set points. Consequences for plant growth are related to rate of development, photosynthesis, assimilate distribution, transpiration and the occurrence of diseases or disorders. Since processes involved are complex, knowledge exchange between researchers and growers is essential to realize the goals set to reduce the energy consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium on High Technology for Greenhouse Systems: GreenSys2009, Quebec, Canada, 14 - 19 June, 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventGreenSys 2009 - Quebec, Canada
Duration: 14 Jun 200919 Jun 2009


ConferenceGreenSys 2009

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    Dieleman, J. A., & Hemming, S. (2011). Energy saving: From engineering to crop management. In Proceedings of the International Symposium on High Technology for Greenhouse Systems: GreenSys2009, Quebec, Canada, 14 - 19 June, 2009 (Vol. 893, pp. 65-73)