Numerical modeling of greenhouse floor heating

Eugene Reiss, David R. Mears, Thomas O. Manning, George J. Wulster, Arend Jan Both

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


A numerical simulation model of a greenhouse floor heating system was developed and validated using data collected in a research greenhouse located at Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. The model was then modified and used to evaluate two different heat pipe diameters and spacings that are typical in the greenhouse industry today: 13 mm (0.5 in.) diameter pipe placed on 22.9 cm (9 in.) centers, and 19 mm (0.75 in.) diameter pipe placed on 30.5 cm (12 in.) centers. Two heat pipe elevations within the solid concrete floor system were also simulated, and the effects of the pipe's vertical position, diameter, and spacing on surface heat flux, surface temperature, and surface temperature uniformity were evaluated. The simulation results showed that the smaller diameter pipe placed closer together and at a lower elevation provided the best temperature uniformity without compromising other performance criteria. The model was then further modified to simulate flats with growing media placed on the floor surface. Model simulations were conducted for six different supply water temperatures ranging from 32.2°C (90° F) to 60°C (140° F), while maintaining a target ambient greenhouse air temperature of 15.6°C (60° F). The simulation outputs showed that using the smaller diameter pipe placed closer together resulted in a higher surface heat flux, a higher growing media temperature, and greater temperature uniformity within the growing media, for each supply water temperature simulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


  • CFD
  • Concrete floor
  • Pipe diameter
  • Pipe spacing
  • Supply water temperature
  • Uniformity


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical modeling of greenhouse floor heating'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this