Potential water recovery for indoor hydroponic lettuce irrigation

A research by A. Pacak, A. Jurga, P. Drag, D. Pandelidis and B. Kazmierczak shows operating system characteristics for water recovery from exhaust air in moderate climates in 2010–2019.

The proposed water recovery system uses the phenomenon of condensation in a cross-flow heat exchanger operating as an element of the air conditioning system. The parameters of exhaust air behind the heat exchanger have been determined using a mathematical model of the so-called black box.

The mathematical model considers the risk of the cross-freezing of the heat exchanger. The calculations carried out for variable parameters of external air during the analyzed period confirm that the system allows covering the demand for water for lettuce irrigation during the cold and transitional period, which is a major part of the year.

It has been noted that the effectiveness of the system is very high (av. 67.12% per year) due to the specific parameters of the internal air in which the lettuce must be grown and the need for continuous air exchange in such facilities. This means that air is a stable source of water recovery, where the recovery rate depends on the parameters of external air.

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