A direct method of measuring gaseous emissions from naturally ventilated dairy barns

H. S. Joo, P. M. Ndegwa, A. J. Heber, B. W. Bogan, J. Q. Ni, E. L. Cortus, J. C. Ramirez-Dorronsoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Air pollutant emission rates from mechanically ventilated (MV) dairy barns are determined from the product of the differences in concentrations of pollutants in air at the inlet and exhaust points and the corresponding ventilation rates. In contrast to well defined entry and exit points in MV barns, large area air inlets or outlets characterize naturally ventilated (NV) freestall dairy barns. Complicating this scenario even more, pertinent airflow characteristics (velocity and direction) necessary for determining ventilation rates vary continuously, both temporally and spatially. This paper describes implementation of a direct method, generally equivalent to the approach used for MV barns, for determining air emission rates of NV barns. Ultrasonic anemometers (sonics) located at salient points in the barn openings mapped air inflow and outflow velocities necessary to calculate ventilation rates. Pollutant concentrations in the air entering or leaving the barn during a given period were measured at sampling points located next to the anemometers. The air inflow rates were, in general, higher than the air outflow rates from the barns, but diurnal profiles were similar. The observed ventilation characteristics were consistent with prevailing wind directions. Air inflows were observed predominantly at windward openings of the barn, while the outflows were mainly at the barn's leeward openings. Results indicated that either: (i) the average of the air inflow and outflow rates (averaging approach), or (ii) the air inflow rates (inflow-only approach) were credible representations of ventilation rates. Results also revealed use of an on-site weather station and one sonic mounted in the middle of each wall of the barn as a possible approach for determining barn ventilation rates. The suggested use of ventilation rates for interpolating missing concentrations from intermittent gas measurements could potentially increase the integrity of emission rates at significantly lower capital investment and operational costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Agricultural Air Research Council (AARC) , the National Dairy Board , and the Dairy Research Institute for funding and administration of this research, and the cooperation and assistance of the producer.


  • Area inlets
  • Area outlets
  • Direct ventilation rates
  • Emission rates
  • Indirect ventilation rates
  • Ultrasonic anemometer


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