Ventilation System Requirements for Converted Gestation Barns
Computer simulation was utilized to assess the performance of different ventilation system configurations needed for a sow gestation barn newly converted to group housing. Various configurations of the ventilation system involving varying capacities and locations of exhaust fans as well as size, design and location of air inlets, were examined based on indoor air quality (i.e., air temperature, humidity, and air speed at the animal level) and ventilation effectiveness (i.e., air distribution and airflow pattern, inlet air velocity, and room static pressure). Based on the computer simulation results, horizontal flow ventilation system with air inlets on one side and exhaust fans on the opposite side showed the best simulated performance among all ventilation design configurations tested. The horizontal flow ventilation configuration was then selected for further evaluation in an actual group sow housing facility, where energy use, temperature and air quality, and sow welfare and performance were assessed.