In Barns, Measuring Air Movement Is a Breeze With FANS
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Hank Becker, (301) 504-1624, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 15, 1999
Ventilation fans in animal barns and poultry houses are critical for
delivering fresh air and removing heat, moisture and dust. But measuring a
fan's performance has been difficult. So, Agricultural Research Service
scientists designed and built FANS, short for "fan assessment numeration
FANS combines a portable anemometer--an instrument to measure wind
speed--with a computer and software to record and analyze measurements. This
system helps solve measurement problems that until now had not been
technically feasible to fix.
Traditional techniques are cumbersome, inaccurate by 8 to 10 percent, and
take 30 to 45 minutes. The anemometer in the FANS system can measure
air-volume flow with 99 percent accuracy in less than 4 minutes, according
to John Simmons and colleagues at ARS' Poultry Research Unit in Mississippi
State, Miss. ARS is USDA's chief research agency.
Simmons and ARS colleagues assembled and calibrated the anemometer in
cooperation with the Aerospace Engineering Department at Mississippi State
University. It was validated by a major fan manufacturer in Bremen, Ala.
FANS can pinpoint the best location for ventilation fans. For example, fans
placed at the end of a long poultry house are more efficient than fans along
the side walls at the end.
The scientists have used FANS to study effects of fan shutters, exhaust
cones, belt guards and propeller deterioration. They plan studies of light
baffles, fan belt condition, dust and static pressure.
While primarily a research tool, FANS has many applications. It saved an egg
company more than $200,000. The company had just installed belt guards on
1,100 fans in 115 poultry houses to protect employees from possible hand
injuries. FANS showed that ventilation remained adequate with the guards
installed; the company did not have to buy additional fans.
A story about FANS appears in the July Agricultural Research magazine and on
the Internet at:
Scientific contact: John Simmons, ARS Poultry Research Unit, Mississippi
State, Miss. phone (662) 320-7480, fax (662) 323-3535,
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