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a cow house
29 sep 1998
the american society of heating, refrigerating, and air-conditioning
engineers 1993 handbook of fundamentals (ashrae hof) says a 1,000 pound
dairy cow stanchioned in an 80 f enclosed stable generates about 3,000
btu per hour (880 watts) of heat. they say "the ideal environment for
holstein cattle should not exceed 75 f. jerseys are somewhat more heat
tolerant, and their limit can be 80f..."

some swiss farmers live on second floors of houses with cows on the
first floor, and the cows help heat the houses. how much insulation
would we need for a 1,000 ft^2 house to stay warm in philadelphia in
january, if we kept 8 jersey cows on the first floor?

say the house is 32 feet square, with 100 ft^2 of us r3 windows and
an r40 ceiling and an air infiltration rate of 0.25 air changes (house
volumes) per hour, with zero internal heat in the form of electrical
energy consumption, and walls with an r-value of rv. the house has a
thermal conductance of about 100ft^2/r3 = 33 btu/h-f for the windows,
1024ft^2/r40 = 26 for the ceiling, 0.25x1024x16/55 = 74 for air leaks,
and (128x16-100)/rv for the walls. on a -10 f day, the heat gain
24k btu/h = (70f-(-10f))(133+(2048-100)/rv), so rv = 11.7. we might
use r13 insulation.

the first floor ceiling might have r2 insulation and a vapor barrier for
noise and odor control, and we might heat the second floor living space
with an air-air plastic film heat exchanger hanging down from the first
floor ceiling, with barn air outside the film and house air inside, using
a a small fan or natural convection. if it's 80 f on the first floor and
70 f on the second floor when it's -10 f outdoors, and the second floor
needs (70f-(-10f))(33+26+37+(1024-100)/r13) = 13.4k btu/h, and the first
floor ceiling transmits (80f-70f)1024ft^2/r2 = 5.1k btu/h, that leaves
8.3k btu/h for the heat exchanger. if the slowly-moving air films near
the plastic each have an r-value of 2/3, for a combined resistance of
1.5 ft^2-f-h/btu, we need 8.3k = 10fxa/r1.5, ie a heat exchange area
a = 1,245 ft^2, eg 3 plastic film pockets 32' long x 3" wide x 6.5' tall 
hanging over a watering trough.

a compost bin might provide additional heat and moisture vapor. on
warmer days, the first floor might be vented to remove excess water
vapor, or the water might be recycled using the air-air heat exchanger
as a condensor with outdoor air on the house side. an air-conditioner
might cool the basement while making hot water for the house...


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