Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Spain: Geothermal Helps Grow Tropical Fruit

Geothermal system to grow papayas (FreshPlaza)

(Wikipedia Commons)
The papaya's cycle can last between two and four years, and it can last one single campaign. It all depends on the weather. The plantations can last years in tropical areas, but require to be in annual cycles in places with extreme low temperatures. Thus the strategy is to grow the seedlings in greenhouses and transplant them to the field in spring, when plants are already more than half a meter tall.

Except in winter, the thermal integral prevailing in most coastal areas and the intermediate valleys of Valencia is very adequate for this plantation. The occasional frosts can be fatal to the crop, even if it is under plastic coverage, so it is necessary to have heating in the plant's growing phase, just in case there is a frost. Temperatures below six degrees will affect the plants.

That's when Felix Sanjuan thought about using geothermal energy to increase the temperature of the greenhouses and not spend money to acquire other energy sources. Geothermal energy, it turns out, is one of his specialties. It's worth recalling that geothermal energy entails using the higher temperature of the subsoil to heat a fluid (water or air) that is then circulated in a closed circuit thus transferring heat to a compartment.

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