The present study concerns convective flows in the empty volume above the plant canopy in a confined greenhouse. The purpose of this paper is to numerically investigate the effect of the number of spans on the convective heat transfer in closed greenhouses. The initial greenhouse CFD model cavity is validated against experimental results found in the literature. Thermal convection is induced by heating the bottom of the cavity. The numerical model is then modified to represent two-l greenhouse cavities with different numbers of spans. The computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software is then used to analyze mainly the natural convective heat transfer, velocity and temperature distributions for the single span greenhouse, as well as multi-span greenhouses (containing two and three spans). The greenhouse CFD model floor is heated, and the walls are adiabatic, corresponding to Rayleigh-Bénard convection. A mesh sensitivity analysis was conducted to determine a suitable size for the mesh. Results show that adding additional spans to the initial single-span cavity has a pronounced effect on the Nusselt-number distribution on the floor of the cavity. The temperature and velocity distributions were also significantly influenced. The four-span cavity showed three convective cells instead of four as for the lowest Rayleigh number.

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