When HVAC work needs to be completed for agriculture applications in Ontario, Canada, Gleeson Plumbing & Heating has a reputation of delivering impressive results time and time again. This would continue to ring true for the company’s latest project of a 43,200 square-foot chicken barn in Ethel.

Gleeson Plumbing & Heating was contacted by a barn owner looking to build a new barn to house 55,000 chickens — the owner’s largest barn to date. Each previous barn contained HVAC systems powered by only a single boiler. The single unit HVAC systems caused the owner trouble when they would go down, leading to improper barn conditions, and eventually delivery deadlines not being met. This new barn needed to have an HVAC system with redundancy that could provide the owner with peace-of-mind should part of the system ever be out of commission.

Brandon Gleeson of Gleeson Plumbing & Heating was also tasked with the challenge of making the installation cost effective for the barn owner while delivering an efficient, safe and robust system. Gleeson worked with Ryan Carr, business development manager for Air Solutions, to find a solution that could meet all of the barn owner’s needs. Gleeson and Carr suggested using three Navien NFB-399C commercial fire tube boilers to provide heat for seven down blast air handlers.


Cascading boilers

Each Navien NFB-399C commercial fire tube boiler provides 399 MBtu with a turndown ratio up to 15:1 and a 97.5% thermal efficiency rating. The wall-hung design, top and bottom piping connections and 7-inch easy-to-use full color touchscreen display helped Gleeson perform a smooth installation that was both timely and cost effective. All three NFB-C units were cascaded together, which allows the units to distribute the load when a call for more heating is needed, enhancing system life expectancy and creating built-in redundancy.

When it was time to put the system in, it was smooth sailing for Gleeson. 

“The project ran very smoothly,” Gleeson says. “The Navien NFB-C boilers were very easy to install, and the touchscreen display was very intuitive and informative. The barn owner was very pleased with the information they could see on the screen, and is looking forward to seeing the results of the added efficiency of this system versus their other barns.”

“Cascading the units was simple, fast and easy” Carr adds. “Navien builds the logic into their controller, making it as simple as connecting the boilers with a single cable and starting the cascade sequence. All parties involved appreciated and were impressed with the ease of set up.”

With the new Navien system running, the barn owner is looking forward to moving all 55,000 chickens into the barn and no longer has to worry about missing deadlines due to a down HVAC system.