Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Engineering


Solar energy has been recognized as a potential source of energy for low-temperature agricultural applications. Many processes, such as space heating, drying of farm products or waste materials, and water heating require low-temperature heat which can be supplied by solar radiation. Hellickson, et. al. circumstances attractive to which make solar energy the agricultural industry circumstances were: 1. Adequate land area, 2. Numerous processes requiring low temperature rise, 3. Compatibility between low temperature rise and high solar system efficiency, resulting in lower cost, and 4. Availability of the necessary air moving equipment as part of existing crop drying and livestock ventilation systems. Research was begun at South Dakota State University in 1976 on a practical solar system for agricultural applications. Investigation centered around a low-cost, multi-use system which was portable and required a minimum of maintenance. The present design evolved through extensive testing and evaluation of several design configurations and various construction materials. The system was designed to be in use year-round for crop drying, ventilation air preheating, and water heating so that the economic return on the investment could be maximized. Performance of the solar system was tested in laboratory and field conditions for short durations. However, long term performance of the SEI -TES system in a commercial application had not been documented. Clearly, the most reliable performance ratings belong to those systems which have undergone extended testing in the field. Therefore, research was initiated with the following objectives: 1. Evaluate and document the performance of the SEI-TES system under actual ventilation air preheating conditions at an operating livestock production facility. 2. Compare conventional solar-assisted facility non-solar facility. 3. Identify problems that result from actual field use and recommend design changes which will improve the effectiveness of the system. 4. Recommend design parameters for sizing systems to be installed in ventilation heating applications. 5. Compare solar-system costs with the value of conventional fuel saved.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Housing -- Heating and ventilation
Solar heating
Heat storage devices
South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University