Towards user accepted optimal control of greenhouse climate

G. van Straten, H. Challa, F. Buwalda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Theoretically, using information about crop growth would allow the extension of present greenhouse control strategies towards a truly economic optimal control strategy. A brief survey is given of developments in the scientific literature. A full solution would require to consider the long-term crop development as well as all relevant short-term dynamics of the crop, the greenhouse and the external weather. Obstacles for the acceptance of such solutions are briefly discussed. One of the key factors is the lack of reliable crop development models for the wide variety of crops encountered in practice, and the need to leave part of the decision freedom in the hands of the grower. An analysis is given of simplified approaches resulting from integrating the crop equations over a day or more. The temperature integral concept, a specific example of such approach, is gaining popularity, despite the fact that it lacks exploitation of knowledge about the fast crop responses. The discussion leads to the concept of separation of responsibilities, where the short-term effects, including photosynthesis and evapo-transpiration, are handled by an automated model-predictive optimal controller, while the long-term effects are left to the grower, with support from a flexible decision support system based on crop models whenever they become available
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-238
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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