Qatar University’s Solar Greenhouse project is funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), National Priority Research Program (NPRP), in collaboration with Department of Agricultural Research of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME).
During the past 15 years, Qatar witnessed rapid economic and exponential population growth. Thus, the research and development projects of Protected Agriculture is essential for healthy population and are key to enhance food security.
Commenting on the Solar Greenhouse project, Dr. Saud Ghani, lead researcher of Greenhouse project and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at College of Engineering, said: “Qatar has set food security as a priority for the country and set out a commitment to sustain about 70 percent self-sufficiency on greenhouse vegetables. Achieving sustainable food security was further ascertained by the ongoing geopolitical tensions and the imposed blockade on the country.”
This project developed a thermally insulated greenhouse that allows the entry of optimum solar radiation levels through negative linear Fresnel lenses located in its roof. The lenses distribute the solar radiation over the plant rows. The performance of the proposed greenhouse in terms of providing the required levels of solar radiation for plant growth and the reduction in cooling load were assessed using ray tracing simulations, cooling load calculations and field trials in Nabati farm.
Dr. Saud added: “The greenhouse prototype is currently under field tests for yield assessments at the Nabati farm in Mekanees, south of Doha. For the last two summers (2018, 2019), the field tests have proven very promising and the Ministry is looking forward to develop Qatar’s first agriculture greenhouse standards using this prototype as a blue print.”
Read more at The Peninsula.