Greenhouse Energy Efficiency

Farm Energy February 03, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

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This curriculum module on Greenhouse Energy Efficiency reviews the heat loss calculations needed to determine the (maximum) capacity of a greenhouse heating system. Common greenhouse heating systems are discussed. Natural and mechanical ventilation systems for greenhouses are presented and design parameters provided so that energy consumption by the ventilation system can be determined. Review of several alternative energy sources and systems suitable for greenhouse production. Finally, energy savings strategies are provided along with a calculation tool (Virtual Grower) that can be used to predict energy consumption and costs.

Link to all of the Northeast Farm Energy IQ Curriculum, developed by Extension specialists from Penn State, Rutgers and University of Vermont.

This is part of the Farm Energy Efficiency Curriculum Series: 

Farm Energy Efficiency Principles | Energy Audits | EE for Dairy Farms | EE for Greenhouses | EE for Fruit Production | EE for Field Crop Production | EE for Direct Market Farms

This module includes:


  • Educational Materials for educators, service providers, and farmers:


Module Author: Dr. A.J. Both was appointed as Extension Specialist in Controlled Environment Engineering at Rutgers University in January 2000. Prior to joining Rutgers University, he was a student, Post Doc and research associate at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in Agricultural and Biological Engineering in 1995. He received his M.S. and B.S. degrees from the Agricultural University in Wageningen, the Netherlands, majoring in Agricultural Engineering. Dr. Both’s research focuses on controlled environment agriculture and includes engineering and crop production projects in growth chambers, greenhouses and high tunnels. His research interests include greenhouse environment control, hydroponic vegetable production, supplemental lighting, and energy systems.


If you wish to adapt these curriculum materials for your own educational purposes, please contact the Module Author for permission and files:

A.J. Both
Rutgers University
Department of Environmental Sciences
14 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 932-9534

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.