Green Energy and Sustainability ISSN 2771-1641

Green Energy and Sustainability 2022;2(3):0007 |

Original Research Open Access

Agricultural uses in a greenhouse structure with an integrated solar desalination system on the roof

Anastasia Martzopoulou 1,* , Vasileios Firfiris 2 , Thomas Kotsopoulos 2

  • School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
  • School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
  • † These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence: Anastasia Martzopoulou

Academic Editor(s): George Papadakis

Received: Sep 30, 2021 | Accepted: Feb 15, 2022 | Published: Jul 4, 2022

This article belongs to the Special Issue

Cite this article: Martzopoulou A, Firfiris V, Kotsopoulos T. Agricultural uses in a greenhouse structure with an integrated solar desalination system on the roof. Green Energy Sustain 2022; 2(3):0007.


Background: Today there is a variety of desalination systems supporting the production of water for agricultural uses. However, these systems are still characterized by relatively high installation and operation costs and are not particularly suitable for isolated areas. The present work proposes the development and operation of an innovative and sustainable greenhouse structure that utilizes simultaneously its roof to produce irrigation water, with the method of solar desalination, and its inside space to house livestock and poultry.

Aims: The main objective of this work is to study the agricultural livestock uses that can be welcomed by this greenhouse-solar desalination construction. The design and operation of this unit aims to produce irrigation water in arid areas, creating significant environmental and social benefits by protecting the water resources of these areas as well and by developing agricultural economic activity in drought conditions. Moreover, multiple land use such this case offers the possibility to urban and spatial planners to take decisions towards sustainability.

Methods: This study examines the design of such structures in combination with the internal environmental conditions (temperature, humidity, ventilation, lighting) that are required for animal production, in order to propose the proper design techniques and modifications needed for the animals’ welfare. The optimum environmental conditions and control systems of each type of productive animal differ and thus those are studied separately.

Results & Conclusion: Regarding productive animals due to the special conditions required for maximum yields with a satisfactory level of well-being, the greenhouse-type construction with the solar desalination system can be adapted accordingly. The environmental control systems that affect the initial study and design of the construction are mainly those of ventilation and cooling, while heating and lighting systems affect basically the structural analysis and not the design. The operation of such an innovative system for combined agricultural use and irrigation water production creates the opportunity for local communities to benefit from the increase of locally produced products at lower prices, and from the upgrading and utilization of arid areas that are not suitable of any other land use or they previously had no other use.


Solar desalination agricultural structures, Arid areas, Irrigation water, Greenhouse, Enhancement of agricultural economy, Sustainable land uses

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