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Fanless System Heats, Cools This Hog Barn
"It seemed to me that a lot of horse-power was being spent in barns making air do things against nature," says Robert DeBrabandere, a hog farmer in St. Marys, Ontario, who built a modern new hog barn that's naturally ventilated without the aid of fans.

Robert did a lot of looking before building his barn. "The real break-through came after a tour of some greenhouses. To my great surprise, I found a system which could be adapted with almost no modification in a hog barn."

The ventilation system has three parts: Tip-out wall doors hinged at the top, a 2-ft. opening in the ridge with tie-up doors, and winter air in-takes or ducts between the rafters.

Fresh outdoor air comes into the barn when the side doors are opened. As air is warmed by the body heat of the pigs, it rises and escapes through the ridge opening. The 4 by 8-ft. wall doors and the ridge doors are opened by commercial automatic vent drive units. The door openers are controlled by Honeywell thermostats the same type used for ventilating fans.

High partitions and self-feeders arranged in the front of the pens give pigs almost complete protection from drafts. The ceiling, sides, and doors are insulated, so the barn stays cool in summer and warm in winter.

The barn has so far "worked great" through a warm and cold season, says Robert. The thermostats are set at 70?in summer, which keeps the ridge doors open almost constantly. On windy days, doors on the windward side do not open at all; air enters from the leeward side and exits through the ridge.

In winter, cold air comes in through cold air intakes between the rafters. The air mixes with warm air above the pigs, avoiding most drafts in the pens below. Air exiting through the ridge doors keeps them from freezing shut.

The 36 by 90-ft. barn has 27 finishing pens facing outward with a gutter at the rear. There are seven doors approximately 4 by 8 ft. on each side. Although somewhat more expensive to build, Robert figures he'll save about $800 per year.

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1981 - Volume #5, Issue #6