Improving Energy Efficiency in Hog Buildings

US - Wasted heating energy due to excessive ventilation is a costly problem for hog producers during the winter months.
calendar icon 23 November 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

A new publication from Iowa State University Extension illustrates examples for evaluating minimum ventilation to improve energy efficiency in hog buildings.

Eighty to ninety per cent of heat loss in swine housing during the winter months is due to over-ventilation, according to Jay Harmon, ISU professor in Ag and Biosystems Engineering.

“Unfortunately, over-ventilation during the winter months is more common than you would think,” said Professor Harmon. “In particular, wean-to-finish buildings present one of the greatest challenges to efficient winter heating and proper ventilation.”

Proper sizing of minimum ventilation and use of variable speed fans can improve overall energy efficiency. This publication addresses recommendations regarding air flow, fan speed and wind protection. It also describes factors that affect fan performance.

“Weather conditions this fall have allowed farmers to catch up on many outdoor projects that may have fallen through the cracks in years past,” said Dana Petersen, ISU Extension programme coordinator. “Investing time to winterize livestock buildings can improve efficiency and conserve energy during the coming months.”

The publication is part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the Farm Energy Conservation and Efficiency educational initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to increase farmers’ awareness of farm energy conservation practices. Sponsored by a grant from the Iowa Energy Center, it is also helping farmers explore alternatives to reduce farm energy demand and to improve their farms’ overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.

Further Reading

- You can download the new ISU publication, Sizing Minimum Ventilation to Save Heating Energy in Swine Housing, by clicking here.
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