Honors Theses


Robert Brecha


Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


One energy intensive part of raising livestock in colder climates is keeping water warm and easily accessible to the animals in the winter. The objective of this project is to increase the sustainability of livestock farms by developing and implementing an energy conservation measure to decrease electric energy usage on the heating of water for livestock in the winter. One thing farmers have in excess is manure, an abundant and renewable resource for the farmers. This project will capitalize on that excess to encourage a creative use of resources often seen as waste, through implementing aspects of sustainability and conservation in the design of a compost heat recovery system to generate warm water by using the heat released in the breakdown of goat manure. The design uses concepts of passive solar energy in addition to the goat manure compost to warm water to a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius. The design is also able to be modified into a more complex system for future improvement and mechanization. Theoretical work and system modeling in MATLAB has been completed to show the expected behavior of the designed system. Future studies should validate the system design through testing. Future testing will also allow for the collection of additional data to support more research and work in this area. A successful application of this design has the potential to save money for farmers as well as increasing the sustainability and energy independence of agriculture across the country and around the world.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research


Mechanical Engineering