• Brian Norton
Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 18)


The driving process in plant growth is photosynthesis; the transformation of co2 and Ho, using solar energy, to carbohydrates and oxygen. Metabolism involves the conversion of these carbohydrates into energy which maintains the life processes of the plant. Photosynthesis is highly sensitive to environmental factors. The basic function of a greenhouse is to provide environmental conditions which either make possible, or accelerate, the process of photosynthesis. The interior microclimate of a greenhouse can be characterised by its temperature, the illumination therein and the constituents of the enclosed atmosphere including water vapour, carbon dioxide and pollutants, such as oxides of nitrogen and sulphur. The supply of nutrients is a further factor affecting the rate of plant growth, and should be taken into account when designing to achieve optimal conditions. These requirements vary according to the particular plant species and its stage of growth. The method and economic viability of creating a specified environment depend on the prevailing ambient conditions and the value of the crop eventually to be harvested. A given greenhouse in a particular climate can produce an environment suitable for a certain botanical species yet the same greenhouse, in another location or at a different time of year, may be unsuitable for that same plant. So, to some extent, the plant varieties to be grown should be chosen to suit the artificial environment which can be achieved economically within the greenhouse.


Cover Material Solar Pond High Humidity Level Solar Heat Gain Solar Gain 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Norton
    • 1
  1. 1.Dublin Institute of TechnologyDublinIreland

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