Potential reduction in water consumption of greenhouse evaporative coolers in arid areas via earth-tube heat exchangers

Article


Al-Ismaili, Abdulrahim M., Fadel, Moustafa A., Jayasuriya, Hemantha, Jeewantha, L. H. Janitha, Al-Mahdouri, Adel and Al-Shukeili, Talal. 2021. "Potential reduction in water consumption of greenhouse evaporative coolers in arid areas via earth-tube heat exchangers." Journal of Arid Land. 13 (4), pp. 388-396. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-021-0057-6
Article Title

Potential reduction in water consumption of greenhouse evaporative coolers in arid areas via earth-tube heat exchangers

ERA Journal ID210794
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsAl-Ismaili, Abdulrahim M. (Author), Fadel, Moustafa A. (Author), Jayasuriya, Hemantha (Author), Jeewantha, L. H. Janitha (Author), Al-Mahdouri, Adel (Author) and Al-Shukeili, Talal (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Arid Land
Journal Citation13 (4), pp. 388-396
Number of Pages9
Year2021
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationChina
ISSN1674-6767
2194-7783
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-021-0057-6
Web Address (URL)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40333-021-0057-6
Abstract

This study aimed to explore the potential of developing a novel cooling system combining a greenhouse and an earth-tube heat exchanger (ETHE). In this system, greenhouse air is circulated through the underneath soil mass to use the deep-soil cooling effect. This was achieved through the following steps. First, soil temperature profile inside and outside the cultivated greenhouse was monitored for almost one year to study the possibility of using deep-soil coldness for cooling the greenhouse air. Second, a prototype ETHE was built to practically investigate the potential reduction in air temperature as the air flows inside the deep earth pipes. Third, a prototype greenhouse was erected to study the ETHE concept. Results from the first experiment revealed that soil temperature at a soil depth of 2.5 m inside the greenhouse offers good conditions to bury the ETHE. The soil temperature at this soil depth was below the maximum temperature (32°C) that most greenhouse crops can withstand. Results from the prototype ETHE showed a slight reduction in air temperature as it passed through the pipes. From the prototype of the integrated greenhouse and ETHE system, reduction in air temperature was observed as the air passed through the ETHE pipes. At night, the air was heated up across the ETHE pipes, indicating that the ETHE was working as a heater. We concluded from this study that greenhouses in arid climates can be cooled using the ETHE concept which would save a large amount of water that would otherwise be consumed in the evaporative coolers. Further investigations are highly encouraged.

Keywordsearth-tube heat exchanger, greenhouse, fan-pad cooling system, water saving, arid areas
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020409901. Agricultural engineering
Byline AffiliationsSultan Qaboos University, Oman
United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
Centre for Future Materials
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Funding source
Grant ID
CL/SQU-UAEU/15/04
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