Thermal charcteristics of a greenhouse for aquaculture

Branfield, G. R. (2006-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


Successful housing and breeding of exotic animals or plants often requires an environment that is quite different to the ambient conditions present. The current study approached the problem of sub-optimal water temperatures experienced by Central African Bream (Tilapia) housed within a South African greenhouse during winter months. A theoretical and experimental study of fundamental heat and mass transfer processes relevant to an aquacultural greenhouse was conducted. Experimental results were generally in agreement with those of previous researchers; while evaporation tests were found to concur particularly well with an analytical equation developed. The experimental results were used to develop a simple glass greenhouse model to evaluate the expected thermal behaviour during the coldest time of the year. Manipulation of the model revealed that water has the ability to absorb large quantities of solar radiation and regulate temperature fluctuations within such a system, and that the appropriate use of thermal insulation during both the night and day can maintain acceptable water temperatures for extended periods of time. With the conclusions drawn from the experimentation and modelling done, an optimised conceptual greenhouse design was presented, along with associated guidelines and principles for attaining the required water temperatures, and consequently providing the exotic fish specie with a healthy environment.

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