Environmental controls in the UVM greenhouse
Environmental Controls in the UVM Greenhouses
The desired temperature range for each separate compartment, with both
night and day settings, is programmed into our computer system. It will
monitor and control the temperature, keeping it within the set range under
a variety of outdoor weather conditions. In winter, we are able to program
temperatures from 35 to 90F. In summer, most compartments are kept in the
70s unless it is very hot outside. Compartments 6 and 11 have air conditioning
units to help maintain cooler temperatures in the summer, if they are needed.
Our computer system monitors the temperature in each compartment through
two temperature probes, one static and one with circulating air. When the
average temperature from the two probes approaches the set upper limit,
the computer begins cooling the compartment by opening eve vents. If the
temperature continues to rise, it activates exhaust fans that draw cool
outside air in through the open vents. If it is still getting hotter, the
evaporative cooling pads are activated, which cool the incoming air with
re-circulated water. These pads are used a lot during the hot summer months.
Automatic shade cloths help maintain cooler temperatures under the hot
mid-day summertime sun. They also reduce the light intensity in the summer,
and in the winter they help to insulate the warmer compartments during
During the winter months, the greenhouses are heated by steam radiators
that line the perimeter. In the short winter days, some plants may need
supplemental light. This is provided by portable lights plugged into built-in
timers in the West Bay or portable ones in the East Bay.
All compartments are serviced by direct lines containing tap water, fertilizer,
and compressed air. The tap water and fertilizer lines are used for watering,
and the compressed air is used for aeration in hydroponics and other uses
in research projects. Circulation fans provide a constant air flow to help
maintain healthy plants. Relative humidity and CO2 levels are not monitored
or controlled by the computer, but humidity levels can be controlled indirectly
through misting, watering, and ventilation practices.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions
regarding the environmental controls in the UVM greenhouse.
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Last modified June 24 2002 09:22 AM