This study proposes a new type of greenhouse for water re-use and energy saving for agriculture in arid and semi-arid inland regions affected by groundwater salinity. It combines desalination using reverse osmosis (RO), re-use of saline concentrate rejected by RO for cooling, and rainwater harvesting. Experimental work was carried at GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India. Saline concentrate was fed to evaporative cooling pads of greenhouse and found to evaporate at similar rates as conventional freshwater. Two enhancements to the system are described: i) A jet pump, designed and tested to use pressurized reject stream to re-circulate cooling water and thus maintain uniform wetness in cooling pads, was found capable of multiplying flow of cooling water by a factor of 2.5 to 4 while lifting water to a head of 1.55 m; and ii) Use of solar power to drive ventilation fans of greenhouse, for which an electronic circuit has been produced that uses maximum power-point tracking to maximize energy efficiency. Re-use of RO rejected concentrate for cooling saves water (6 l d-1 m-2) of greenhouse floor area and the improved fan could reduce electricity consumption by a factor 8.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2011|
- greenhouse cultivation
- reverse ormosis