The fresh water floating collectors solar pond was investigated both experimentally and theoretically in a previous work, and it is now matched, by simulation, with the heat load requirements of a greenhouse. Results of the simulation indicate that such a pond is a potential energy source for greenhouse heating. This is especially true when the material properties are such that solar absorption and storage are enhanced. To demonstrate this point, three sets of collectors constructed with materials of different physical (radiation) properties were tested. One set is constructed of common materials which are readily available and are normally used as covers for greenhouses. The second set is made of improved materials which are also available but have a smaller long-wave transmittance. The last set is made of “ideal” material which additionally possesses selective radiation absorption properties. Collectors made of “ideal” materials make a superior solar pond; thus, manufacturing films with improved properties should become a worthwhile challenge for the agricultural polyethylene-films industry. Preliminary economic studies indicate that even with the low oil (< $20/Bbl) prices which exist between 1986-1989, the fresh water floating collectors solar pond provides an economically attractive alternative to the conventional oil-burning heating system. This is especially true in mild climate areas and when the large initial investment is justified by long-term greenhouse utilization planning.

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