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Geothermal Source Heat Pump Performance for a Greenhouse Heating System: An Experimental Study

Anifantis, Alexandros Sotirios, Pascuzzi, Simone, Scarascia-Mugnozza, Giacomo
Journal of agricultural engineering 2016 v.47 no.3 pp. 7
demonstration farms, energy, energy costs, enthalpy, geothermal energy, greenhouses, heat, heat pumps, surveys, temperature
Greenhouses play a significant function in the modern agriculture economy even if require great amount of energy for heating systems. An interesting solution to alleviate the energy costs and environmental problems may be represented by the use of geothermal energy. The aim of this paper, based on measured experimental data, such as the inside greenhouse temperature and the heat pump performance (input and output temperatures of the working fluid, electric consumption), was the evaluation of the suitability of low enthalpy geothermal heat sources for agricultural needs such as greenhouses heating. The study was carried out at the experimental farm of the University of Bari, where a greenhouse was arranged with a heating system connected to a ground-source heat pump (GSHP), which had to cover the thermal energy request. The experimental results of this survey highlight the capability of the geothermal heat source to ensue thermal conditions suitable for cultivation in greenhouses even if the compressor inside the heat pump have operated continuously in a fluctuating state without ever reaching the steady condition. Probably, to increase the performance of the heat pump and then its coefficient of performance within GSHP systems for heating greenhouses, it is important to analyse and maximise the power conductivity of the greenhouse heating system, before to design an expensive borehole ground exchanger. Nevertheless, according to the experimental data obtained, the GSHP systems are effective, efficient and environmental friendly and may be useful to supply the heating energy demand of greenhouses.