Greenhouse; Solar energy; Ground air collector; Earth air heat exchanger; Thermal load leveling; Modeling
The potential of using the stored thermal energy of ground for space heating has been investigated with the help of two buried pipe systems, i.e., ground air collector and earth air heat exchanger, integrated with the greenhouse located in the premises of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. The total length of the buried pipes in both the arrangements was kept same for making a comparative study. A complete numerical model has been developed to predict and compare their thermal performance for choosing a suitable heating method in the composite climate of India. Experiments were conducted extensively during winter period from November 2002 to March 2003, but the model was validated against the clear and sunny days. Performance of these two arrangements was compared in terms of thermal load leveling and total heating potential. Temperatures of greenhouse air with ground air collector were observed to be 2–3 °C higher than those with earth air heat exchanger. The temperature fluctuations of greenhouse air were also less when operated with ground air collector as compared to earth air heat exchanger. Predicted and computed values of greenhouse air temperatures in both the systems exhibited fair agreement. Finally ground air collector was chosen as a suitable option for heating of greenhouse in the above climate.