Biosystems Engineering, a recent paper - Development of a crop growth model for the energy analysis of controlled agriculture environment spaces

Author: Marie-Hélène Talbot, Danielle Monfet

École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada



In controlled environment agriculture spaces, the conditions fluctuate between photoperiod and dark period, with crops growing continuously. As crops grow, their impact on the energy demand and energy use, often estimated using a building performance simulation tool, becomes more prominent. In this paper, a dynamic crop model integrated into a building performance simulation tool is proposed to estimate the yield and heat gain/loss from crops by combining a growth model and an energy balance model of the crops. The developed growth model is an adjusted version of a greenhouse lettuce growth model modified for high-density controlled environment agriculture applications by calibrating the sensitive parameters for several indoor environment conditions (temperature, lighting, etc.) using an experimental growth dataset. The yield, the energy demand and the energy use were assessed for a case study modelled in TRNSYS. The results obtained using the greenhouse and developed growth models were compared to those generated with the experimental growth dataset. Depending on the indoor environment conditions, the difference in specific energy use estimated using the experimental growth dataset and the developed model varied between 0.1% and 3.5%, indicating that the model led to an acceptable level of accuracy. The dynamic crop model estimates yield and heat gain/loss from crops for various indoor environment conditions, which are essential for carrying out energy, financial, and environmental analyses.


The full paper is here.