The perfectly smart greenhouse cover: a simulation study

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The present study explores the opportunities of smart greenhouse covering materials with switchable optical properties. Greenhouse-crop simulation models have been used in the study to explore the potential effect on microclimate, use of resources and crop growth and development. Three main groups of properties were identified to perform first simulation studies: a. filters reflecting both PAR and NIR radiation, b. filters reflecting selectively only the NIR part and c. filters reflecting in the FIR. Different climate regions and greenhouse types were analysed to account for a large variability of possible scenarios, also accounting for other concurrent technological improvements or existing competing techniques. Results indicate that there is an important potential improvement in microclimate and yield associated to the use of switchable filters, particularly in the “Mediterranean/Sub tropical” climate zones, even if optical properties are not completely optimum. In addition, we show that there is a need to improve the radiative properties of cover materials applied in the tropics, without a need of making them switchable. Further research is needed to analyse the technical and economic feasibility of these theoretical filters in more scenario’s; also introducing new crops in the analysis as well as an optimization study of the activation set points and shading factors.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherWageningen University & Research
Number of pages88
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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NameReport WPR


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