Low Energy Greenhouse Cooling

Industrial design and horticulture students worked collaboratively over the course of a semester to create novel solutions to develop energy-efficient and cost-effective designs for a greenhouse that will allow for year-round food production. More than 40,000 farms use greenhouses to grow crops in the United States (23,000 acres of growing area), but many must slow or stop production during the summer months due to the high temperatures and expense. Students explored a variety of potential solutions to the barriers to year-round use that could cool the greenhouse in an energy-efficient and cost-effective manner. Ideas explored include evaporative cooling floor, highly localized cooling, efficient natural convection, and compressed CO2 cooling.

Carlton “Rusty” Lay is Assistant Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design.

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Rusty Lay