After a long wait, and with assistance from an expert installer from the Netherlands, Brant Colony has completed the installation of their HRV unit. The colony becomes the first egg farm in Alberta to install such a system; about 2,500 similar HRV units have been installed on farms around the world.
Back in October, egg manager Darrel Mandell gave a brief explanation about how the HRV system operates, while standing next to the unit as it arrived (in many pieces).
Assembly of the HRV unit was done indoors and was definitely a team effort.
Once assembled, a crane was required to help transport the HRV unit to the egg barn, which the colony just happened to have sitting around for such an occasion.
At the far end, fresh air enters the unit and passes through a giant filter.
The view from atop the HRV unit shows how fresh air flow alternates with channels carrying warm air from inside the barn, which gets exhausted up through the chimney.
The fresh air, which has been preheated within the HRV unit, then enters the egg barn through adjustable baffles.
To prevent all the fresh air from staying in the spot where it enters the barn, the colony came up with an ingenious solution. The fresh air flow hits the tarp and is then circulated towards each end of the barn, thanks to the twin fans.
Another fan, located next to the baffles, helps draw warm air from the barn into the HRV unit. Not only does this help ensure fresh air is continually circulated throughout the barn, but capturing and utilizing this air helps warm the fresh air coming in, which means less heating (energy) is required to do so inside the barn.
To complete the process, another fan within the HRV then blows the used warm air through the plastic channels, before exhausting out the chimney.
EFA will work closely with Brant Colony and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, to monitor the efficiency of the HRV unit and the energy savings it represents. In fact, live data from each piece of equipment in the barn will be monitored to help track actual energy use against expected energy use, to help evaluate how close to net-zero the barn is able to achieve. EFA will capture key learnings and share results in future reports and news bulletins.