Keeping farm animals and livestock warm in the winter and cool in the summer is of vital importance. Ag-Barrier® Radiant Barrier products’ flexibility, and ease of installation, makes it the farmer’s problem solver.
Introducing Ag-Barrier® Radiant Barrier
Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier is a product similar in look to Tri-Ply. It is a woven film, 8mm thick, with aluminum radiant barrier on one side and white polypropylene on the other. Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier has added UV and corrosion protection which, helps manage the harsh environments found in agricultural barns. Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier comes in solid and perforated versions.
How Ag-Barrier® Radiant Barrier Improves Barn Performance
Heat energy moves three different ways in metal buildings, by conductivity, convection and, radiation. Agricultural buildings like poultry barns, hog barns or dairy barns, use insulation associated with an R-Value. R-values measure only conductivity. The challenge with all metal pole barns is that they are highly conductive and radiate heat quite efficiently. 93% of metal building heat gain in the summer is from solar radiation. In winter months, up to 75% of heat loss is through radiation. The fact is, in metal buildings, traditional R-Value rated insulation alone is not effective in managing the “radiant heat” challenge. Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier reflects 95% of radiation back to its source, keeping the sun’s radiation out of your building in the summer and, keeping the heat inside during the winter.
Ag Barrier® Radiant Barrier in New Construction
In new construction, Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier is the superior option as a drop ceiling material. It is considered an upgrade over existing Try-Ply material (used as a drop ceiling material), or house wrap because it blocks 95% of radiant heat from entering the confinement area. In confinement houses where bubble foil insulation is already being used, Ag-Barrier radiant barrier is an upgrade and a less expensive option, saving farmers as much as 50% in the cost of insulation. According to the Department of Energy, the energy cost savings can be as much as 50%.
Ag Barrier® Radiant Barrier and Retrofits
Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier in existing buildings can be beneficial as well. By adding Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier as either a poultry curtain, ceiling material, or wall material, you get all the benefits of a radiant barrier while increasing the lifespan of the current insulation already installed. Many farms use fiberglass insulation in their roofs and the walls. Over a period of 5 years or so, the fiberglass loses much of its efficiency. Instead of having to constantly add more insulation, installing Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier as part of a reflective insulation system, drastically improves the efficiency of the insulation already in place; as much as 50%.
Most insulation specifically addresses conductive and convective heat which, is only a fraction of the overall heat load on buildings. By addressing the main contributor to the heat load, the existing insulation does not have nearly as much heat to combat to make the confinement area more habitable.
Other Problems Solved Applying Ag-Barrier® Radiant Barrier
Over time, traditional insulation fails. The fiberglass begins to compress, the foam begins to flake, and the beetles start to ravage the rest of the existing insulation. These are natural occurrences. They happen due to moisture accumulation, condensation, dusting, and just insect breeding. Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier will give you one more line of defense as the other forms of insulation start to fail. Ag-Barrier® radiant barrier does not face the same issues as traditional insulation. Beetles are unable to penetrate the product, humidity does not accumulate around it, and condensation rarely becomes an issue.
Another issue the agriculture market faces is power outages. This is just something that cannot be foreseen but causes severe complications. Having a proper radiant barrier surrounding the confinement area will give you more time during power failures because the heat load traditionally being stored in your building cannot pass through even when your fans stop blowing.
The Black-Globe Effect
A little-known natural phenomenon called the “black-globe effect” has a pronounced stress factor relating to the cost efficiency (or inefficiency) of weight gain in meat producing animals and birds. Whether an animal is outdoors or out in temperatures exceeding 78° F, the animal absorbs a tremendous increase in radiant energy from the sun. Although the animal may be confined to a building, the “black-globe effect” on the animal is the same as if it were 10 to 20° F higher than the air temperature.
Studies show eliminating the “black-globe effect” using reflective metalized film insulation, produces numerous immediate improvements. For example, in the dairy industry, an increase in milk production has been noted, up to 10%. Also noted, was a conception rate improvement of nearly 24%. Broiler house feed conversions went from an average of 2.3lbs - 2.8 lbs. of feed per pound of bird, to a much improved 1.99 feed conversion. Farmers will find when they remove harmful heat radiation by installing AgBarrier radiant barrier, barn animals will grow faster and more efficiently.