Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Engineering


Sources of farm energy, which include oil, natural gas and electricity, have more than doubled in cost over the past decade. This increasing cost of non-renewable energy plus the uncertainty of its availability initiated research efforts for alternate energy sources. has been solar energy. One of these sources Farms with ample area for collectors, fuel reserves for backup or peak demands and a wide range of low to intermediate heat requirements provide excellent conditions for utilization of solar energy. However, the use of solar energy as an alternate energy source for agricultural applications has been restricted, largely by system costs. Since the initial investment in a solar system is the main cost of ownership, the more energy the system can provide over its lifetime the more economical it becomes. Multiple-use collectors offer a reasonable payback on investment and should be considered as a possible alternative energy source. Research at South Dakota State University has led to the development of a multiple-use Solar Energy Intensifier-Thermal Energy Storage (SEI-TES) system for two applications for which the agricultural applications. system has been tested and evaluated include grain drying and livestock ventilation air preheating. These applications utilize the system through the fall and winter, but additional use of the system through the spring and summer could improve the economics of the system by shortening its payback period. Water heating is considered as one potential additional use of the SEI-TES system. This led to research being conducted at South Dakota State University to: 1. Design a system to heat water using the SEI-TES system with minimal modification, while maintaining the performance of the SEI-TES system for grain drying and ventilation air preheating. 2. Test the SEI-TES water heating package under actual conditions. 3. Evaluate the performance of the SEI-TES water heating package and -identify design parameters and operational variables that influence the performance of the system.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Solar energy in agriculture

Heat storage devices

Solar water heaters

South Dakota State University Theses



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University