Renewable Energy, Vol.170, 133-140, 2021
Energy cost and ef fi ciency analysis of greenhouse heating system enhancement using phase change material: An experimental study
The growing production of greenhouse gases and fossil fuels price obligated decision-makers in communications to implement energy sources more efficiently. The greenhouses have been developed through the years for the safe production of food sources. Thermal energy devotes a large portion of energy need in greenhouses. In developing countries, the rate of fuel consumption in the greenhouse is high, and there is an urgent need for improving heating systems. Here the possibility of reusing and storing the waste heat by phase change material (PCM) in a sample greenhouse studied experimentally. The PCM heat recovery system (PCM HRS) is a 20cm x 50cm x 140cm plate type heat exchanger where the plates are replaced with PCM plate containers. The charge and discharge of the system are performed in two separate sections. The discharge stage organized in two separate schemes: delivering the stored heat directly inside the greenhouse space and using stored heat to preheat the combustion air of the burner. The heating system analyzed from the viewpoint of energy and the results show that the effect of preheating the heater air gives rise to a 23.7% reduction of gas consumption and the effect is much more pronounced compared to the direct using of the stored heat. Also, the resulted energy saving obtained by using the PCM HRS returns the initial investment within four months. (c) 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.