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Wind Diverters Boost Fan Efficiency
Add a "wind diverter" to your building exhaust fans and Charlie O'Kelley says you'll cut fan operating costs and help the fans do a better job of ventilating. On livestock buildings, the diverters also reduce the spread of odor and noise, something neighbors appreciate.
"I put them on a greenhouse in Canada, and they said the diverters paid for themselves the first year in reduced natural gas bills," says O'Kelley, who invented the diverters.
They work by shielding fans from winds blowing directly into them. Even a 5 to 7 mph wind can reduce fan efficiency by 25 percent, says O'Kelley. Increase the wind to 15 mph, and efficiency is cut in half. A direct hard wind can actually stall out a fan and move it backwards, spilling cold air into the building.
O'Kelley compared fans equipped with cones and grills against identical fans equipped with his housing in an on-farm test. With an 18 mph wind gusting to 25 mph, diverter-equipped fans used 30 percent less electricity and exhausted 30 percent more air.
O'Kelley says the increase in efficiency more than makes up for the additional cost of pushing air through the diverter on windless days.
To install the diverters, fan grills must be removed. "On poultry buildings, feathers and dust often freeze up on these grills," says O'Kelley. "We've had people tell us they can pay for the diverter out of the cost for brooms they have to use beating the ice off their fans."
Exhausted air is split into two streams, up and down. O'Kelley says this is the secret to reducing odors from confinement buildings.
The top current is shot out and dispersed, and the bottom half is dropped onto the ground where it settles.
O'Kelley offers diverters to fit 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 24, 36 and 48-in. fans. Prices for diverters range from $39 for the 8-in. size fan to $385 for the 48-in. model.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, O'Kelley's Mfg., 1270 170th Ave., Diagonal, Iowa 50845 (ph 641 734-5362 or 800 525-3276; email: okelleymfg@email.com; website: www.okelleymfg.com).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2