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Underground Ventilation System Keeps Pigs Warm In Winter,Cool In Summer
Twenty years ago during the energy "crisis", farm magazines were full of stories on using "earth energy" to heat and cool buildings.
Have you ever wondered how those systems stood up to the test of time?
In 1978, George Holsapple saved a bundle by equipping a new farrow-to-finish barn with an "underground" ventilation system that helps keep hogs cool in summer and warm in winter.
The Jewett, Ill., farmer buried 14 pipes in the field surrounding the barn. Pipes are buried 10 ft. deep where ground temperature is a constant 55 degrees.
The 14 pipes run into a 2 ft. dia. black plastic pipe that connects up to a squirrel cage fan at the barn, which pulls air through the pipes.
A sump pump in the 2 ft. pipe pulls out the water that collects in the underground pipes.
The 14 8-in. dia. aluminum stand pipes are fitted on top with bird and rain guards. They're spaced 14 ft. apart and are arranged in a big 150-ft. semi-circle leading to the building. The pipes extend 5 ft. above.
The fan runs at 1,720 rpm's in winter and 3,450 rpm's in summer. Air is then directed through a stainless steel air duct, with 2-in. dia. holes every 1 ft., suspended from the ceiling and running the length of the building.
"Even on the hottest days of summer, the temperature inside never gets above 80 degrees and on the coldest days the air coming out the ground never goes below 36 degrees," says Holsapple, who supplements the under-ground heat with an Aero Vent heater inside the barn.
Holsapple estimates he saved $5,000 over the cost of fans and ventilators when he in-stalled the system 20 years ago. And he's saved money every year since in reduced heating and cooling costs.
Components were all purchased locally.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, George Holsapple, 21341 North 500th St., Jewett, Ill. 62463 (ph 217 924-4163).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6