PaperComprehensive Design and Thermodynamic Analysis of a Greenhouse


This is a report Michael Clark, Nick Jones, Chase Kauffman, Thomas Mayo-Smith, Cory Nissly, and I compiled in Summer 2011, as part of the Cornell Summer College program at Cornell Univeristy, in Ithaca, NY.

As part of the report, we performed a thorough economic analysis on potential locations, a small amount of construction rendering and CAD, a thermodynamic analysis of energy balance and thermal conductivity, and a model circuit.


The recent discoveries involving carbon emissions and global warming have led to worldwide concern for more “green” ways of producing goods and energy; our team has been researching and conceptually designing a “green” greenhouse, to produce crops in an energy efficient and environmentally friendly manner. In a modern world, where capitalist democratic policies reign in most civilized countries, it is important to understand global concerns and to adapt business and production methods to what the world needs, collectively. In this, pursuing this “green” greenhouse was a legitimate business endeavor as well as an attempt to meet the world’s desires.

Since different geographical locations all have their respective crops, prices, and growing seasons, it was important to understand what the people wanted and where that product could be grown cheaply. Our team researched the prices of crops in different places, the prices of land in different countries, the efficiency of each location’s growing seasons, and many other factors of the business end of things. As a result of the geographical information that we reviewed, we decided that the best location for a greenhouse would be the Dominican Republic for its cheap land and climate stability. Our economic research into the construction and energy costs of a greenhouse yielded a very efficient rectangular model, designed to maximize sun time and climate stability on minimal energy usage and pollution. Our crop research showed that the most economically feasible crops were Garlic Chives, Cilantro, Spinach, Poinsetta, and Orchid. Given all of this information and the calculated results that constituted them, the T14 group has constructed a very comprehensive array of graphs and statistics, a physical scale-model of their future greenhouse, a detailed and very accurate computer aided design of the model to portray it for the public in a reasonable fashion.

The implications of this very well thought out design are that these ideas are completely feasible. It has overarching energy, economic, and environmental implications for the future that are relatively astounding. With the proper research, motivation, funding and willpower this new greenhouse just may be the future of crops and the water to douse the fire of global energy demands.