National Hog Farmer

PERC Partners with L.B. White to Engineer More Efficient Livestock Heating System

WASHINGTON (November 9, 2011) - The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and heater manufacturer L.B. White have joined forces on a research project that could lead to the development of a more efficient livestock building heating system, PERC Director of Agricultural Programs Mark Leitman announced today.

The research project will verify the cost savings that pork producers can achieve by using variable-rate technologies and electronic controls on propane-fueled heating systems in swine confinement buildings, while also improving the comfort of the animals in their care.

“PERC is committed to helping farmers be more productive by bringing new, more efficient agricultural equipment to the marketplace, like grain dryers, irrigation engines, and now livestock heating systems,” Leitman, a former pork producer, said. “L.B. White is a leading manufacturer of heating technology, and we’re pleased to be working with them on the project.”

PERC approached L.B. White to propose the research project earlier this year. L.B. White had already started developing the Smart Box, a variable-rate heat control that works with the Guardian with Smart Sense variable-rate, forced-air agricultural heater. The Smart Box was named one of the “most promising products” at the 2011 World Pork Expo by National Hog Farmer magazine.

“Development was already under way for the L.B. White Guardian with Smart Sense and Smart Box variable rate heating system, which we anticipate will reduce fuel consumption as well as improve animal productivity and health,” L.B. White Director of Engineering John Tomlinson said. “The partnership with PERC is allowing L.B. White to accelerate the demonstration of improved fuel savings, presently documented as 15 to 35 percent. And more importantly, it allows us to document the improvement in animal productivity and health with dedicated trials that are starting shortly.”

Variable rate control provides a more consistent temperature at the desired warmth for animal health. And because propane is a clean-burning energy source, propane-fueled heating systems can provide a cleaner and more comfortable environment for livestock animals. Demonstration results are expected in fall 2012.

PERC’s vision is that the agricultural industry will embrace propane as a preferred energy source that offers cost-effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, reliability, portability, and environmental friendliness. For more information on PERC and its programs to promote the safe and efficient use of propane in agriculture, call 202-452-8975 or visit