DOI: 10.3390/en16237843 ISSN: 1996-1073

Energizing Sustainable Agriculture: Advances in Greenhouse Heating through Microwave-Based Technologies

Francesco Cepolina, Federico Silenzi, Leonardo Cirillo, Corrado Schenone, Matteo Zoppi
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction

For the agricultural sector to develop sustainably in the future, progress toward more environmentally friendly technologies and methods is crucial. It is necessary to increase output while reducing the demand for energy, agrochemicals, and water resources. Although greenhouses can be utilized successfully for this purpose, significant technical advancements are required, especially when it comes to heating, to lower the use of fossil fuels and boost energy efficiency. Microwaves can warm plants without heating the entire greenhouse volume, which takes a significant amount of energy to compensate for heat loss in the outdoor environment. In this paper, through a thorough examination of the state of the art, a general overview of novel greenhouse heating systems based on radiation is reported. First, the strengths and weaknesses of microwave heating are discussed, and finally, the use of microwaves for soil sterilization is examined. All outcomes suggest these irradiation-based technologies can contribute significantly to energetically sustainable agriculture; moreover, they can be used to increase plant comfort.

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