Numerical Investigation of Temperature Distribution in a Container-type Plant Factory
Keywords:Temperature distribution, plant factory, indoor farming, CFD
AbstractA container-type plant factory is a closed facility for crop production with artificial lighting and a controlled environment allowing year-round crop production. In a plant factory, a poor ventilation system can result in physiological problems and unequal post-harvest quality which will lower the crops' commercial value. This study was conducted to investigate the temperature distribution in a container-type plant factory via computational fluid dynamics (CFD), followed by experimental studies for validation. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to simulate the container-type plant factory with air conditioning and an exhaust fan providing cooling air and ventilation across the plant factory. The predicted airflow distribution on the upper shelves accommodating crops shows that the average temperature is about 23.74 ℃ while for lower shelves is 23.59℃. This shows the temperature distribution is rather uniformly distributed across the plant factory. A validation between experimental data and simulated values indicated that the temperature distribution had a deviation smaller than 2%, suggesting the validity of the CFD studies. Hence, the CFD model was used to simulate several operational conditions towards optimizing the indoor condition of the plant factory.