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Alternative Heating/Ventilation Systems

by 5m Editor
30 August 2011, at 8:11am

CANADA - Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre shows pork producers can save anywhere from 39 to 52 per cent on energy costs by using alternative heating and ventilation systems, Bruce Cochrane writes.

An analysis of the energy bills for various types of swine barns over three years conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre has shown the average cost of energy to produce one pig ranges from seven to 12 dollars.

Scientists are now comparing the energy costs associated with three different heating systems, conventional forced convection air heaters fired with natural gas, heat exchangers which recover waste heat and ground source heat pumps or geothermal systems.

Research scientist engineering Dr Bernardo Predicala says energy consumption and productivity of the pigs are being tracked.

Dr Bernardo Predicala-Prairie Swine Centre

What we're finding is that using the heat exchanger the overall energy use in that room is as much as 52 per cent lower compared to the conventional room with the forced convection air heater but in the room with the ground source heat pump the overall consumption is about 39 per cent less compared to the conventional room.

However I would like to point out as well that these numbers that we have so far is over the winter season so that is likely the highest savings that we can get from that system but we're still going through evaluation of all the systems through the summer where in some of those alternative heating systems will not be needed but the ground source heat pump will be used for cooling the rooms during the summer season so they'll be used year round.

Then after collecting all of this data we'll be recalculating again the overall energy usage from all the three systems.

Dr Predicala expects to have a full year round comparison of the three systems available this winter.

For more on the research, visit the Prairie Swine Centre web site at prairieswinecom.