Modifying walk-in tunnels through solar energy, fogging, and evaporative cooling to mitigate heat stress on tomato

Sharaf-Eldin, MA, Yaseen, ZM ORCID:, Elmetwalli, AH, Elsayed, S ORCID:, Scholz, M ORCID:, Al-Khafaji, Z and Omar, GG 2023, 'Modifying walk-in tunnels through solar energy, fogging, and evaporative cooling to mitigate heat stress on tomato' , Horticulturae, 9 (1) .

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (4MB) | Preview


Global warming is by far the most significant issue caused by climate change. Over the past few decades, heat stress has intensified into a serious issue that has a negative impact on crop production. Hence, it is crucial to modify cultivation systems to cope with this kind of stress, particularly in arid dry regions. In comparison to open-field cultivation, tomato production under protected cultivation techniques in walk-in tunnels that are suited for different farmers’ financial abilities was evaluated during the late summer season. The studied tunnels included a shaded net tunnel with natural ventilation, net tunnel with a fogging system and plastic tunnel with evaporative cooling (wet pad and fans). For the operation of fogging and evaporative cooling systems, solar energy was used as a sustainable, eco-friendly energy source. The results indicated that the solar energy system successfully operated the studied cooling systems. All studied protective cultivation techniques mitigated heat stress on tomato plant and improved the microclimate under walk-in tunnels. Moreover, evaporative cooling and fogging systems significantly increased plant leaf area, cell membrane efficiency and the contents of chlorophyll, relative water and proline compared to the net tunnel with natural ventilation. Furthermore, a marked reduction in physiological disorders was noticed. Improved physiological and biochemical parameters and limited physiological diseases led to higher fruit set, marketable fruit yield and total productivity. The percentage of marketable fruit yield increased by around 31.5% with an evaporative cooling system, 28.8% with a fogging system and 17% with a shaded net tunnel with no positive cooling as compared to an open field. However, the plants grown in open-field cultivation without protection significantly deteriorated from heat stress and had a high incidence of physiological disorders. The most incident physiological disorders were blossom-end rot, cracking, internal white tissues, sunscald, puffiness, blotchy ripening, cat face and exserted stigma. It is recommended to use a solar energy system to modify microclimate conditions through fogging or evaporative cooling under walk-in tunnels to ameliorate heat stress on grown tomato in the late summer season for higher fruit yield and fewer physiological disorders.

Item Type: Article
Contributors: Ronga, D (Editor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: Horticulturae
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2311-7524
Funders: European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Al-Mustaqbal University College
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2023 10:22
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2023 10:30

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year