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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Large Environmental Chamber: Design and Operating Characteristics

Authors
item Lefcourt, Alan
item Buell, Brian
item Tasch, Uri - UMBC

Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: It is often important to know how environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and wind speed affect biological, physical, and chemical processes. To examine these relations for agricultural systems such as a dairy barn, a large environmental chamber was built at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The chamber is 35 ft. long by 24 ft. wide by 11 ft. high. Initially, the chamber will house six dairy cows in tie-stalls, and gaseous emissions will be measured under different environmental conditions. The affects of different management procedures such as scrapping or flushing the manure will also be studied. Of particular interest are emissions of ammonia and odorous compounds. Construction of the chamber was hindered because information concerning how to build a large environmental chamber was lacking. Discussed are the chamber design and operating characteristics, how to avoid costly mistakes, and tradeoffs that can be made to decrease construction and operating costs.

Technical Abstract: Described is the design and operating characteristics of a large environmental chamber. The primary purpose for which the chamber was constructed was quantification of gaseous emissions including ammonia and odorous compounds. The chamber is normally used to house six dairy cows in tie-stalls. Exhaust air temperature can be controlled to within 0.3 deg. F. Mass air flow for the chamber can be set in the range of 5 to 30 air exchanges per hour, and is measured to within 1% accuracy and controlled to within 1.5% of the measured flow. Discussed are the chamber design and operating characteristics, how to avoid costly mistakes, and tradeoffs that can be made to decrease construction and operating costs.

Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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