A study by Farm Energy into the use of de-stratification fans in a poultry shed application has demonstrated a saving of 15% in energy usage and a significant improvement in temperature distribution which enhances bird health and litter quality.
The “De-stratification Fan Study” was carried out by Farm Energy for agricultural ventilation specialists Hydor at a Midlands based poultry farm. The study involved five evenly spaced de-stratification fans in a 50,000-bird building, which was ventilated by 22 ridge fans and heated by eight direct-fired LPG heaters. Over the period of a month, the de-stratification fans were operated on alternate days, with temperature and energy usage data collected each day from which the findings of the study were derived.
The results from readings taken every 45 seconds by 14 sensors located throughout the building showed temperatures were more evenly distributed in both the vertical and horizontal planes when the de-stratification fans were running.
In addition to monitoring the effects of the fans on maintaining an optimum temperature, the study investigated the potential cost savings from reduced energy usage. The improvement in temperature distribution and the reduced temperature differential between the floor and ridge of the building significantly reduced energy consumption. The resulting saving in gas during the brooding period of 15% represents a saving in cost terms of £1,102.
When the fan running costs of £43 were introduced into the equation, this represented an overall saving of £1,059. For sheds currently operating low level circulating fans, they are no longer necessary with the installation of de-stratification fans which serve to circulate the air with approximately equal running costs.
The study was undertaken in December 2010 when heating costs would be expected to be particularly high, a point made by the study’s author, OIi Coe – “It is difficult to draw out a yearly projection, due to the fact that the test was carried out in the winter weather, so generally gas use will be more. Nevertheless, in terms of pure percentages, there is no technical reason why a 15% heating fuel saving could not be sustained throughout the whole year.”
Commenting on the findings of the study, Mike Tanton, Technical Sales Executive from Hydor said – “We know from our experience in supplying de-stratification fans to a number of poultry farmers that it can have a significant impact on the environment in which the birds are kept, improving growth rate and feed conversion. From anecdotal evidence we were also conscious that they can assist in lowering fuel costs. However, we had no hard figures to substantiate this. With the results from the study we now have statistics from an independent source which are particularly useful given the focus on energy saving at a time when fuel costs are at an all time high.”