A research report published in the recent issue of HortTechnology named the use of single-slope solar greenhouses as an important basic facility for the growth of horticultural crops in China.
The research paper is presented by a group of researchers from the College of Agronomy and Biotechnology at China Agricultural University. The report indicates that the increased use of solar greenhouses in China will open up new venues of study to solve the global energy problems and climatic changes.
The single-slope solar greenhouses in China are constructed to face south and utilize the support and insulations over the walls on the east, west and north sides and a short roof covers the top of the north wall. The south side of the greenhouse is backed by bamboo or metal frames or a mixture of both and enclosed with plastic film and a protecting insulation blanket. The energy conserving greenhouses utilize solar energy to produce enough heat to enable production of winter crops such as cucumber and tomato in hilly regions between 32°N and 43°N latitudes. The use of solar green houses in locations such as Beijing and north of Huai River has largely lessened the requirement of electric power and is found to have low level carbon dioxide emissions. Countries such as Russia, Korea and Japan have adopted the solar greenhouse structures utilized in China.
The researchers have also pointed the notable disadvantages in the use of single-slope solar greenhouses. The structures, which rely on the sun for the production of energy do not function properly in winter and during periods with low level of solar radiation. The structures will have a negative impact on the production of warm seasonal vegetables and it will be difficult to overcome the problem.