Greenhouse models are important tools for the analysis and design of greenhouse systems and for offering decision support to growers. While many models are available, relatively few include the influence of supplementary lighting on the greenhouse climate and crop.
A new study presents GreenLight, a model for greenhouses with supplemental lighting. GreenLight extends state of the art models by describing the qualitative difference between the common lighting system of high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, and the newest technology for horticultural lighting - the light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
LEDs differ from HPS lamps in that they operate at lower temperatures, emit mostly convective heat and relatively little radiative heat, and can be more efficient in converting electricity to photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). These differences can have major implications on the greenhouse climate and operation, and on the amount of heat that must be supplied from the greenhouse heating system.
Model predictions have been evaluated against data collected in greenhouse compartments equipped with HPS and LED lamps. The model predicted the greenhouse's heating needs with an error of 8–51 W m−2, representing 1–12% of the measured values; the RMSE for indoor temperature was 1.74–2.04 °C; and the RMSE for relative humidity was 5.52–8.5%.
The model is freely available as open source MATLAB software at https://github.com/davkat1/GreenLight. It is hoped that it may be further evaluated and used by researchers worldwide to analyse the influence of the most recent lighting technologies on greenhouse climate control.