Real-time airflow rate measurements from mechanically ventilated animal buildings

Steven J. Hoff, Dwaine S. Bundy, Minda A. Nelson, Brian C. Zelle, Larry D. Jacobson, Albert J. Heber, Jiqin Ni, Yuanhui Zhang, Jacek A. Koziel, David B. Beasley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This paper describes techniques used to determine airflow rate in multiple emission point applications typical of animal housing. An accurate measurement of building airflow rate is critical to accurate emission rate estimates. Animal housing facilities rely almost exclusively on ventilation to control inside climate at desired conditions. This strategy results in building airflow rates that range from about three fresh-air changes per hour in cold weather to more than 100 fresh-air changes per hour in hot weather. Airflow rate measurement techniques used in a comprehensive six-state study could be classified in three general categories: fan indication methods, fan rotational methods, and airspeed measurement methods. Each technique is discussed and implementation plans are noted. A detailed error analysis is included that estimated the uncertainty in airflow rate between ±5 and ±6.1% of reading at a building operating static pressure, air temperature, relative humidity, and barometric pressure of 20 Pa, 25 °C, 50%, and 97,700 Pa, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-694
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for funding this research project under the USDA-Initiative for Future Agricultural and Food Systems (IFAFS) research and demonstration program. This work is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Bob Bottcher, our colleague and friend.


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