Abstract

The following study presents a simulation of the temperature inside a greenhouse, in order to evaluate thermal behavior according to crop requirements. The model was calibrated using climatic data during four months divided in two intervals (December 2009 and August, September and October 2010) and validated the interactions between the greenhouse´s atmospheric conditions, the crops requirements and the external climatic factors such as radiation, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction. The internal temperature was compared with the optimal recommended by the literature for different crops, i.e. sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and melon (Cucumis melo). The results generated a relative root medium square error of 2.99% and 4.69% for the simulated temperature in two different intervals. This showed that it is possible to predict the thermal behavior of the greenhouse, and if the location, overall design and climate control equipment are suitable for the chosen crops. The methodology also allowed the assessment for different type of crops within the protected environment and may be applied to evaluate the technical feasibility to implement improvements in the design and equipment selection, in order to achieve the optimum conditions required for the specific crops. It was concluded that the facility is suitable to produce melon and sweet pepper to a lesser degree, and was not recommended for tomato production during certain months.
Keywords: protected environments, climate control in protected environments, selection of crops in protected environments, steady modeling.