Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in APPLIED ENGINEERING in AGRICULTURE Vol. 5(2):June 1989. Copyright 1989. Used by permission.


Performance data of two modified-open-front non-mechanically ventilated swine nurseries have shown that solar energy can be effectively utilized to maintain a productive environment within the animal space during cold weather (temperatures as low as -26°C ( - 15 °F). The nurseries feature a monoslope roof design and passive collector panels that also function as warm weather ventilation panels. An active solar-heating system uses a ground-level collector operated in conjunction with an in-floor solar heat distribution and storage system. The nurseries were designed to handle pigs weighing from 7 to 23 kg (15 to 50 lb). An average of 19% of the solar energy incident on the collector was transferred to the floor surface during the heating seasons from October 1980 to January 1982. Season "heating" costs were approximately 1.0% of the estimated cost to heat the nursery by conventional means.