Potential for large-scale solar collector system to offset carbon-based heating in the Ontario greenhouse sector
International Journal of Sustainable Energy
carbon emissions, energy demand, Greenhouse, solar collector
In the Ontario greenhouse sector the misalignment of available solar radiation during the summer months and large heating demand during the winter months makes solar thermal collector systems an unviable option without some form of seasonal energy storage. Information obtained from Ontario greenhouse operators has shown that over 20% of annual natural gas usage occurs during the summer months for greenhouse pre-heating prior to sunrise. A transient model of the greenhouse microclimate and indoor conditioning systems is carried out using TRNSYS software and validated with actual natural gas usage data. A large-scale solar thermal collector system is then incorporated and found to reduce the annual heating energy demand by approximately 35%. The inclusion of the collector system correlates to a reduction of about 120 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per acre of greenhouse per year. System payback period is discussed considering the benefits of a future Ontario carbon tax.
Semple, Lucas M.; Carriveau, Rupp; and Ting, David S.K.. (2018). Potential for large-scale solar collector system to offset carbon-based heating in the Ontario greenhouse sector. International Journal of Sustainable Energy, 37 (4), 378-392.