Smart Heating of Greenhouse using Sensors Coupled with Earth Tube Heat Exchanger under Cold Arid Region of Ladakh
Keywords:ETHE systems, Greenhouse temperature management, Automated sensor-based control, Blower operation, Energy consumption optimization, Sustainable agriculture
Protected structures such as greenhouses, trenches in the challenging terrain of Ladakh, India represent a lifeline for producing green vegetables, especially during the harsh winter months in this region. To address the temperature control challenges, this research paper explores the innovative use of Earth Tube Heat Exchangers (ETHE) to harness the Earth's stored thermal energy for efficient heating and cooling within a greenhouse. In this paper, the ETHE system was rigorously evaluated during the peak winter months of December 2021, January 2022, and February 2022, specifically during night-time when temperatures plummeted to their lowest levels. The findings reveal a substantial difference in temperature profiles among various monitored parameters, specifically, the mean outlet temperature of the ETHE system, the temperature within the control greenhouse, the temperature within a non-ETHE equipped greenhouse (check greenhouse) and the ambient temperature over these three critical months averaged at 8.8°C, 0.2°C, -3.9°C, and -11.9°C, respectively. This remarkable disparity demonstrates the ETHE system's ability to maintain a consistent and favourable climate within the greenhouse, with an impressive temperature differential of approximately 4°C compared to a non-ETHE equipped greenhouse. The implementation of an automated sensor-based control system for the blower operation has further enriched the findings, significantly reducing the need for human intervention, saving valuable labor time, and optimizing energy consumption. These results underscore the potential of ETHE systems as a sustainable solution for greenhouse temperature management in challenging agricultural environments.