Assessment of a low-cost solar water heating systems in farrowing facilities
¹Department of Engineering, Federal University of Lavras, BR37200-000 Lavras - Minas Gerais, Brasil
²University National of Colombia, Faculty of Agrarians Science, Department of Agricultural and Food Engineer, Calle 59 A N 63-20, CO050001 Medellín, Colombia
³Department of Engineering, Federal University of Ouro Preto, BR35400-000 Ouro Preto – Minas Gerais, Brasil
The objective of this study was to develop a prototype solar heater using alternative materials and then to compare its thermal efficiency against that of two other commercial solar heating systems when heating the floor of piglet housing. To evaluate the thermal heaters, temperature sensors were installed in the inlet and outlet of each floor and the thermal reservoir. The results showed good performance, however the thermal efficiency of the alternative heater was lower than the conventional systems. However, due to the construction of this solar collector with alternative materials its cost was relatively low and its operation is easier than the other conventional heater, therefore this heater is a good alternative to use for small livestock producer.