Crop monitoring in energy efficient greenhouses

The conditions in energy efficient greenhouses differ from those in conventional greenhouses. Temperature, humidity, irradiance and CO2 concentration in greenhouses fluctuate more because of the limited use of resources.

This limitation requires a good understanding of what is desirable for the crop. Determination of the effects of changing conditions on the physiology of the crop is important. To achieve a large reduction (50%) of energy of the cultivation in greenhouses substantial changes of cultivation conditions are needed.

The goal of this project is to develop online monitoring methods based on plant physiological processes. So energy efficient greenhouses can achieve a large reduction (50%) of energy and water use efficiency of crops in greenhouses by controlling environmental factors without decrease of production or quality.

Sustainable growers have a clear need for accountability of the production system to minimize the use of resources. Monitoring techniques are an important factor in this matter.

This project develops no product but knowledge of sensor technology and integration into a model that facilitates interpretation. This is of benefit to the horticulture sector. The results will be available in the form of scientific publications. Growers and suppliers have the opportunity to see and discuss the experiment. The results are presented in journals and thematic meetings.