CFD simulation and uniformity optimization of the airflow field in chinese solar greenhouses using the multifunctional fan–coil unit system

Supplying homogenous and suitable airflow schemes were explored in Chinese solar greenhouses, which had a positive impact on crop yield and quality. This paper provided a multifunctional fan–coil unit system (FCU) to assist in circulating air. This system could collect the surplus heat of daytime air and release it to heat the greenhouse at nighttime. However, the main problem to be faced was the nonuniform airflow distributions. Thus, this paper aimed to optimize and analyze the placement strategy of the FCU system for a Chinese solar greenhouse using numerical methodology.

The computational fluid dynamics model was constructed to evaluate the effect of the FCU system on the airflow field and to uphold its validation. The complex structure of the FCU system was simplified to a fan model by fitting the pressure jump and the air velocity to enhance the practicality of the simulation model. Finally, the coefficient of variation was used to optimize four parameters: the tilt angle, swing angle, height above the ground, and shape of the outlet baffle. The effective disturbance velocity percentage was proposed as the evaluation index to improve the turbulence characteristics. The mean absolute error (MAE) between the measured and simulated values of the air velocity for the two planes was 0.06 m/s and 0.09 m/s, and the root means square error (RMSE) was 0.08 m/s and 0.11 m/s.

The simulated results showed that the coefficient of variation before optimization was 0.76, and the effective disturbance velocity percentages of the planes at 0.7 m and 1.0 m from the ground were 42.73% and 41.02%, respectively. After optimization, the coefficient of variation was reduced to 0.33, and the effective disturbance velocity percentages of the two planes increased to 58.68% and 43.73%, respectively. These results significantly improved the uniformity of the interior airflow field. This paper provides a reference for the design and installation of the FCU system.

Lu, Jiarui, He Li, Xueying He, Chengji Zong, Weitang Song, and Shumei Zhao. 2023. "CFD Simulation and Uniformity Optimization of the Airflow Field in Chinese Solar Greenhouses using the Multifunctional Fan–Coil Unit System" Agronomy 13, no. 1: 197. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010197  

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