Development of a model to calculate the overall heat transfer coefficient of greenhouse covers

Adnan Rasheed, Jong W. Lee, Hyun W. Lee


A Building Energy Simulation (BES) model based on TRNSYS, was developed to investigate the overall heat transfer coefficient (U-value) of greenhouse covers including polyethylene (PE), polycarbonate (PC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and horticultural glass (HG). This was used to determine the influences of inside-to-outside temperature difference, wind speed, and night sky radiation on the U-values of these materials. The model was calibrated using published values of the inside and outside convective heat transfer coefficients. Validation of the model was demonstrated by the agreement between the computed and experimental results for a single-layer PE film. The results from the BES model showed significant changes in U-value in response to variations in weather parameters and the use of single or double layer greenhouse covers. It was found that the U-value of PC, PVC, and HG was 9%, 4%, and 15% lower, respectively, than that for PE. In addition, by using double glazing a 34% reduction in heat loss was noted. For the given temperature U-value increases as wind speed increases. The slopes at the temperature differences of 20, 30, 40, and 50 °C, were approximately 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9, respectively. The results agree with those put forward by other researchers. Hence, the presented model is reliable and can play a valuable role in future work on greenhouse energy modelling.


hot box; heat transfer; night sky radiation; polyethylene; TRNSYS

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2017154-10777