Description of prototype Greenhouses



The experimental facility located in the IFAPA Center “La Cañada” (Almería, Spain), closed to the University of Almería, consists in a multinunel greenhouse of 2000 m2 of surface area, E-W oriented, divided in two sectors (1000 m2 each), and prepared for soil and soilless cultivation with a independent fertirrigation system.

The greenhouse is equipped with two external weather stations with the main climatic variables (PAR and Global radiation, temperature, relative humidity, CO2, wind speed and direction, and raining presence). Also, seven different internal weather station has been installed, all of them include: PAR and global radiation, temperature, relative humidity, CO2, leaf wetness and temperature, cover temperatura, soil temperatura, soil or substrate water content and EC, irrigation water EC and flow, drainage EC and flow, and plant weight for transpiration and growth), and two cameras for crop monitoring.

The actuators included in the facilities are diverse, two different system for CO2 enrichment: two patented CO2 storage system from biomass combustion and a liquid CO2 tank. As heating systems, the greenhouse integrates a solar thermal field (250 m2) and two biomass boiler (150  kW each) and heat-pump, distributed alternatively by fan-coils and aerial tubes. The cooling facilities are constituted by natural ventilation (eight top windows and four side windows) and active cooling (heat-pump). The air humidity concentration is controlled by humification and dehudification systems and the radiation with whitening and LEDs lights. Finally, the water needs for the facilities (fertigation, heating by aerial tubes, biomass boilers and humidification) are covered by a inverse osmosis and by a membrane distillation systems.


UNIBA (Universita Degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro)


The experimental centre “P. Martucci” of the University of Bari is in Valenzano (Bari, Italy). The site has latitude 41° 01' N, longitude 16° 54' E and elevation 124 m a.s.l. and it is characterized by a typical Mediterranean climate It is provided with 10 greenhouse/screenhouse structures, having different orientations, shapes, dimensions and covering materials, equipped with climate control and soilless cultivation systems.  

Data loggers connected to sensors are used to record the external weather parameters (solar radiation, air temperature and relative humidity, wind speed and direction) and greenhouse climatic parameters (air temperature and relative humidity, growing substrate temperature). Irrigation is provided by a system composed of an electronic control unit, pump, and water tanks.  

The cooling facilities consist of shading screen, natural and forced ventilation, and of a single-effect LiBr-H2O absorption chiller fed by solar collectors and by a biomass boiler. A geothermal heat pump and an air to water heat pump are used, as well. 

The heating facilities consist of passive thermal screen, solar collectors, biomass boiler, geothermal heat pump and air to water heat pump.  

Electrical energy is partially provided by a grid connected PV system. 

Three different systems for the distribution of cold/hot water inside the greenhouse are used: pipes located inside the substrate, pipes on the substrate and pipes at the edge of the vessels in contact with irradiating aluminum plates.

UPatras (University of Patras)


A real scale greenhouse installed in the University of Patras, Dept. of Agricultural Science will be used, which will be the main test bed of the proposed technologies. 

The North-South axis of the greenhouse is designed in such a way that it has an absolute physical resemblance to productive greenhouses and will host greenhouse production activities to assess the quality of the products produced. 

 Its dimensions are as follows:


  • 1 full-scale experimental production greenhouse with frame dimensions 
  • span width:  9,60 m  
  • gutter height 4.00m  
  • ridge height : 6,50 m            

and dimensions of production plant 

  • width: 9,60 m  
  • length: 12,0 m   
  • area  of the greenhouse: 115,2 m2 
  • Meteorological station equipped with specialized instruments and sensors for monitoring and controlling greenhouse micro and macroclimate. Indicatively reported: Data logger (CR1000X) with two relay analog multiplexer units 
  • sensors, including a silicon type pyranometer (model SPLITE), a Thermopile-type pyranometer (model CMP3), a Photo-synthetically active radiometer (model PAR-LITE), a Pyrgeometer (model CGR3), a temperature and relative humidity probe (model MP101A), a Temperature and relative humidity probe (model S3CO3), a rain gauge (model 52203),  an anemometer (model A100K) with threshold sensitivity 0.15 m s-1 
  • Analyzer Datalogger Software 
  • Photovoltaic panel and accumulators of electricity