Evaluating and Miniziming Water Use by Greenhouse Evaporative Cooling Systems in a Semi-Arid Climate
AuthorSabeh, Nadia Christina
AdvisorGiacomelli, Gene A
Committee ChairGiacomelli, Gene A
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWater availability is a common concern in semi-arid regions, such as Southern Arizona, USA. Hydroponic greenhouse crop production greatly reduces irrigation water use, but the study of water use by evaporative cooling has been limited.This project investigated water use by two evaporative cooling systems: pad-and-fan and high-pressure-fog with fan ventilation. All studies were performed in a double-layer polyethylene film-covered greenhouse (28 x 9.8 x 6.3 m) with mature tomato plants (2.9 plants m-2). Water use efficiency (WUE, kg yield per m3 water use) was calculated daily according to ventilation rate, as well as for a 6-month croppipng period, which used temperature-controlled pad-and-fan cooling.Pad-and-fan water use was 3.2, 6.4, 8.5, and 10.3 L m-2 d-1 for ventilation rates of 0.016, 0.034, 0.047, 0.061 m3 m-2 s-1, respectively. High-pressure-fog water use with a single central, overhead line was 7.9, 7.4, and 9.3 L m-2 d-1 for ventilation rates of 0.01, 0.016, 0.034 m3 m-2 s-1, respectively. For pad-and-fan ventilation rates less than 0.034 m3 m-2 s-1, total greenhouse WUE (20 - 33 kg m-3) was similar to field drip irrigation. For the temperature-controlled high-pressure-fog system, total greenhouse WUE (14 - 17 kg m-3) was similar to field sprinkler irrigation.For the 6-month crop cycle, combining water use by closed irrigation and pad-and-fan systems produced a total WUE of 15 kg m-3. Pad-and-fan WUE increased during monsoon conditions due to lower water use rates.Evaporative cooling water use and air temperature were well-predicted by the energy balance model. Predictions of air temperature improved when outside climate the measured conditions at one greenhouse location. Wind tunnel and full-scale studies of natural ventilation demonstrated the value of knowing airflow patterns when designing and operating a high-pressure-fog systemIt is possible for greenhouse tomato production to have a higher WUE than field production, if ventilation rates are not excessive, if closed irrigation is used, and if control methodologies are improved. Water use can be minimized by knowing how the evaporative cooling system affects greenhouse climate and plant responses.
Degree ProgramAgricultural & Biosystems Engineering