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Comprehensive Review on Climate Control and Cooling Systems in Greenhouses under Hot and Arid Conditions

Soussi, Meriem; Chaibi, Mohamed Thameur; Buchholz, Martin; Saghrouni, Zahia

This work is motivated by the difficulty of cultivating crops in horticulture greenhouses under hot and arid climate conditions. The main challenge is to provide a suitable greenhouse indoor environment, with sufficiently low costs and low environmental impacts. The climate control inside the greenhouse constitutes an efficient methodology for maintaining a satisfactory environment that fulfills the requirements of high-yield crops and reduced energy and water resource consumption. In hot climates, the cooling systems, which are assisted by an effective control technique, constitute a suitable path for maintaining an appropriate climate inside the greenhouse, where the required temperature and humidity distribution is maintained. Nevertheless, most of the commonly used systems are either highly energy or water consuming. Hence, the main objective of this work is to provide a detailed review of the research studies that have been carried out during the last few years, with a specific focus on the technologies that allow for the enhancement of the system effectiveness under hot and arid conditions, and that decrease the energy and water consumption. Climate control processes in the greenhouse by means of manual and smart control systems are investigated first. Subsequently, the different cooling technologies that provide the required ranges of temperature and humidity inside the greenhouse are detailed, namely, the systems using heat exchangers, ventilation, evaporation, and desiccants. Finally, the recommended energy-efficient approaches of the desiccant dehumidification systems for greenhouse farming are pointed out, and the future trends in cooling systems, which include water recovery using the method of combined evaporation–condensation, as well as the opportunities for further research and development, are identified as a contribution to future research work.
Published in: Agronomy, 10.3390/agronomy12030626, MDPI