What is a ventilation system?

Ventilation systems are intended to provide optimum living conditions for cows. A well-managed, functioning, and efficient ventilation system has a significant effect on productivity and animal welfare. Cows that are comfortable and not affected by heat stress produce more milk; have lower respiration rates, higher conception rates, and better health.

The optimum environment should enhance voluntary feed intake and minimize heat and other environmental stresses that affect animal and worker health.

The purpose of a ventilation system is to bring fresh, outside air into a building through planned openings and thoroughly mix it with the stale inside air. Good ventilation will exhaust heat, moisture, and air contaminants from the building, while lowering temperature, humidity, and contamination levels.

Types of ventilation

The ventilation system is a key component to the barn design. The three most common systems are all-mechanical, mechanical/natural, and all-natural.

Mechanical ventilation

There are two categories of mechanical ventilation:

  • A traditional system with air inlets in the ceiling and fans in the sidewall and pits;
  • A three-season (fall, winter, and spring) system with traditional during the three seasons, but, adding tunnel ventilation during hot weather.
Natural ventilation

In natural ventilation, the barn is equipped with curtains in the sidewalls that are powered by motors called curtain machines or winches. These barns are sometimes referred to as “curtain-sided barns”. Natural mode is generally used during mild or moderate weather.

Curtain control uses an idle band. An idle band is a desired temperature range. When the temperature is within the idle band, the control maintains the curtain position. When the temperature rises above or drops below the idle band, the control adjusts the position of the curtains to allow more or less air into the building.

Power mode

In power mode, the barn uses fans and air inlets to exhaust heat and stale air from the building and bring fresh air in. The fans and inlets are on opposite sides of the barn.

The control adjusts the speed of the fans and position of the air inlets depending on the temperature inside the barn. As the temperature rises above the set point, fan speed increases and the inlets open more. When the temperature falls below the set point, fan speed decreases and the inlets close more.

Tunnel mode

Natural and standard power-ventilated barns switch to tunnel mode when the other modes cannot sufficiently cool the barn.

In tunnel mode, one end of the barn has a group of large fans, while the other end has a large inlet area. As the temperature increases, the inlet opens and fan speed increases. The breeze created by tunnel mode, usually 5 or 6 mph, produces a wind chill effect that cools the animals.

Ventilation Controls

Connect Series

AutoFlex Connect controls are a complete facility management solution that provides state-of-the-art control of ventilation and is fully scalable.

  • Intelligent fan control
  • Fully scalable system
  • Accessible from anywhere in the world
  • Smooth ventilation control with VentGrid
  • Remote diagnostic support
  • Limited warranty
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Touch Series

Touch Series controls are easy-to-use and provide intelligent and reliable ventilation control at your finger tips!

  • Intelligent fan control
  • Smooth ventilation control with VentGrid
  • Intuitive touchscreen interface
  • Improve animal health and performance with environmental influencers
  • Limited warranty
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FC Series

The FC series are basic fan controllers that provide dependable performance at economical prices.

  • Automatic and manual control
  • Long-lasting
  • Economical
  • Limited warranty
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Natural Series

Natural Series controls allow you to operate curtains to allow natural airflow through your building.

  • Curtain control
  • Temperature or static pressure
  • Programmable alarms
  • Limited warranty
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