Assessing the performance potential of climate adaptive greenhouse shells

Lee, Chul-sung and Hoes, P. and Cóstola, D. and Hensen, J.L.M. (2019) Assessing the performance potential of climate adaptive greenhouse shells. Energy, 175. pp. 534-545. ISSN 1873-6785 (

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Agriculture is responsible for 7.2% of the final energy consumption in the Netherlands; most energy is used for heating and lighting in the greenhouse sector. Currently, the greenhouse sector faces major challenges in reducing its energy demand while increasing crop quality and quantity. One route to improve the performance of industrial greenhouses could be based on using climate adaptive shells. These shells are capable of changing their thermal and optical properties on an hourly, daily, or seasonal basis to optimize performance. The climate adaptive shell concept shows considerable potential for performance improvement in the building sector. However, its potential for the greenhouse sector is yet unknown. This paper quantifies this potential by predicting the energy savings and the increase in net profit using a new framework based on numerical simulation and optimization techniques. The simulation results show that climate adaptive greenhouse shells increase net profit between 7% and 20 % for tomato producing Dutch greenhouses. Monthly and hourly adaptation resulted in considerable primary energy savings of 23% and 37%, respectively. It is expected that the predicted net profit increase and energy savings will drive the attention of the greenhouse industry towards the development of climate adaptive greenhouse shells.


Lee, Chul-sung, Hoes, P., Cóstola, D. ORCID logoORCID: and Hensen, J.L.M.;