Water use by greenhouse evaporative cooling systems in a semi-arid climate

Nadia C. Sabeh, Gene A. Giacomelli, Chieri Kubota

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Water availability is a common concern in semi-arid regions, such as Southern Arizona, USA, where greenhouse crop production is popular due to high solar radiation. Hydroponic greenhouse crop production greatly reduces irrigation water use; however, water use by evaporative cooling systems has never been quantified. This project investigated water use by two evaporative cooling systems: pad-and-fan (P&F) and high-pressure-fog (HPF) with fan ventilation and a central overhead line. Water use data were collected from a double-layer polyethylene film-covered greenhouse (28 × 9.8 × 6.3 m) with mature tomato plants (1.7 plants m -2) from 08:00-17:00 for each ventilation rate tested under semi-arid climate conditions (T Out,Avg=35°C, RH Out,Avg=10%, Solar Avg=900 W m -2). Total daily water use by P&F was 3.2, 6.4, 8.5, and 10.3 L m -2 for ventilation rates of 0.016, 0.034, 0.047, 0.061 m 3 m -2 s -1 respectively. Total daily water use by the HPF system was 7.9, 7.4, and 9.3 L m -2 for fan ventilation rates of 0.01, 0.016, 0.034 m 3 m -2 s -1, respectively. Total greenhouse WUE (water use efficiency) was calculated using hydroponie irrigation (4.5 L m -2) and evaporative cooling water use. Total WUE values were comparable to sprinkler-irrigated WUE (15-19 L m -2) and flood-irrigated WUE (<12L m -2). Using a "closed" hydroponic irrigation system would increase the WUE greatly and should be implemented to conserve water. Furthermore, HPF water use should decrease under natural ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Technical Papers - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Jun 17 2007Jun 20 2007


Other2007 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Technical Papers
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN


  • Controlled environment
  • High-pressure-fog
  • Pad-and-fan
  • Ventilation
  • Water use efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Engineering


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