Chapter 6

Greenhouse Environmental Monitoring and Control Systems

(book excerpts)

A greenhouse environment is an incredibly complex and dynamic environment and strongly influences crop cultivation. The efficiency of plant production in greenhouses depends significantly on the adjustment of optimum climate growth conditions to achieve high yield at low expense, good quality and low environmental load. To achieve these goals several parameters such as air temperature, humidity, light intensity, and carbon dioxide concentration must be monitored and controlled. All of these systems are independent. They may affect or be affected by the other functions, so monitoring and controlling them in an integrated mater is of great importance towards obtaining maximum crop production. Good crop management depends on having the right information to make necessary decisions. In the past, the grower has been the greenhouse sensor and control system—checking conditions and adjusting equipment settings as needed to optimize crop growth. However, even at the smallest facilities, this method is inefficient, time consuming and vulnerable to error. The grower or staff can’t physically watch every inch of the operation around the clock, but a remote monitoring and control system is on duty 24/7. To improve crop management, a number of sensors and instruments can (and should) be used to monitor crop conditions. A control system can then use this information to make regular adjustments to equipment settings to optimize growing conditions. Today, monitoring and control systems are the standard for modern greenhouses, with continued improvements as the technology advances. Environment conditions can be maintained by these control systems, where the system can be operated manually and/or automatically.

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