CFD as a Game-Changer:
In the ever-evolving field of agricultural science and engineering, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has emerged as a game-changer. CFD simulation software is cutting-edge technology that is transforming the way we approach agriculture and crop production.
In recent years, researchers and practitioners have harnessed the potential of CFD applications to optimize airflow, air temperature distribution, and ventilation systems within agricultural buildings, greenhouses, and plant factories.
Let’s take a look at CFD in agriculture, exploring its manifold applications, from optimizing ventilation rates and the mechanical ventilation system to predicting wind speed, humidity levels, and gas concentrations.
We’ll provide an overview of various applications and delve into a real-world industrial project, showcasing a greenhouses HVAC analysis and design enhancement conducted by a Master CFD client.
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Bridging the Gap Between Agriculture and Food:
The convergence of CFD technology with CFD in Agriculture and the Food industries has offered food engineers valuable insights into achieving optimal performance with CFD modeling. In this blog, we’ll illustrate the complete process of designing a greenhouse, a project executed by our partner, Ansys, to shed light on the possibilities CFD simulation brings to overcome challenges.
The Greenhouse HVAC Analysis and Design Project:
The objective in this project was to design a greenhouse capable of maintaining standard environmental conditions during the summer with a CFD model. These conditions included maintaining an acceptable temperature range, high air relative humidity, and low ammonia concentration. However, challenges such as dense vegetation and sensitive plants posed constraints, allowing for only six rows of longitudinal carriers at two different heights.
Initial Challenges and Solutions:
The greenhouse initially featured two industrial fans, but they failed to meet the client’s requirements. CFD simulations of the initial conditions revealed inefficient air circulation and temperature inconsistencies. Additional analysis indicated that the ventilation system was incapable of effectively recirculating air, leading to a constant bulge of air around the fence region.
To address these issues, we proposed the installation of a water-cooled air conditioner, strategically placed to improve air circulation, decrease temperature, and increase humidity. While this solution showed promise, the sensitivity of the plants to high-speed airflow led to another limitation. Consequently, we relocated the air conditioner close to the ceiling, harnessing natural convection to achieve our objectives.
Achieving Optimal Conditions:
The implementation of these enhancements, shown by the CFD results, successfully achieved all the project’s targets. Improved temperature distribution and enhanced air circulation ensured that all rows of plants experienced similar conditions without direct contact with high air velocity and a proper ventilation rate, preventing potential damage.
This example exemplifies how CFD tools are revolutionizing the Agricultural and Food Industries, offering innovative solutions to complex challenges based on agricultural engineering research. From general greenhouse design to improving efficiency, CFD plays a pivotal role in enhancing operational excellence and sustainability within these critical sectors.
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