Estimating the latent heat flux accurately is important to improve greenhouse crops irrigation schedules. Aerodynamic and canopy resistances, as two key parameters in the Bulk transfer equations, are already difficult to measure in the open field and even more in greenhouses.

In a new study, an experiment was conducted in a Venlo-type cucumber greenhouse where meteorological data and the latent heat flux were measured with lysimeters. Two methods: (1) Inversing Bulk Transfer equation (IBTE-method) and (2) Applying a convective heat transfer coefficient (CHTC-method), were used to evaluate the aerodynamic resistance. A fixed aerodynamic resistance ( = 35 s m−1) was decided by analyzing the sensitivity of heat fluxes to its changes.

The reproduced sensible and latent heat flux were compared to the measured values and the good agreements between measured and estimated values were obtained. The variation of daily canopy resistance which was calculated by IBTE-method was simulated by days after transplanting of cucumber plants and net radiation inside the greenhouse. Quadratic polynomial equations between canopy resistance and days after transplant were obtained, and were integrated into the Bulk transfer equation to predict the latent heat flux.

The comparing of the measured and estimated latent heat flux showed that the Bulk transfer equation integrating the fixed aerodynamic resistance and canopy resistance sub-model could be used to predict the latent heat flux of greenhouse cucumber with the index of agreement higher than 0.8.

Access the full article at ScienceDirect