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Efficient ventilation system in livestock farming

21/09/2022 Yves Vinck

The use of an efficient ventilation system in livestock farming not only improves animal welfare, but also improves returns. After all, such a ventilation system takes care of the removal of ammonia, maintains the relative humidity and regulates the temperature. Sentera offers numerous solutions in the form of sensors and fan speed controllers with an IP54 or IP65 classification. Our equipment can be used under the most demanding conditions and enables an efficient and demand-driven ventilation system.

Efficient ventilation system in livestock farming

Modern livestock farms not only strive for better efficiency, they also provide increased comfort for the animals. After all, increased animal welfare automatically leads to increased productivity. An important aspect here is a good and efficient ventilation system. Depending on the type of company and the animals that live there, different ventilation techniques are possible. In addition to using natural ventilation, it is also possible to opt for mechanical ventilation with overpressure, underpressure or balance control.

Ammonia, moisture and temperature
The droppings produced by animals generate harmful gases such as ammonia. Particularly in poultry, high concentrations of ammonia can cause inflammation of the airways. Because temporary elevated concentrations of ammonia can also be problematic, it is necessary to continuously monitor the air quality and to supply fresh air continuously. Because there is often less ventilation at night to avoid heat losses, this does encourage an increased concentration of ammonia. However, research has shown that the level of ammonia on a poultry farm is quite parallel to the level of humidity. Because humidity monitoring is simpler and requires less expensive equipment, maintaining humidity levels can also control ammonia concentrations.
For dairy cattle, the indoor temperature of the stables plays a major role. A cow functions best at a temperature between 0 and 15 degrees Celsius. However, from a temperature of 22° Celsius she can already suffer from heat stress. Because a cow uses a large part of her energy to maintain her temperature, it is important to keep the barn climate optimal. By means of good roof insulation or misting installation, the temperature can largely be maintained. However, on hot days, a good ventilation system will be necessary. The placement of the fans is also important here. These are preferably placed above the cubicles and not above the feed troughs. When these are placed above the feeders, the feed will dry out faster, but the dominant animals will also demand the feeding place because they want to stand under the fan.

Intelligent sensors with one multi-proportional output
Ventilation systems for poultry and dairy cattle therefore each require a different approach. However, Sentera offers numerous sensors that measure humidity and temperature in addition to air quality and can therefore be perfectly integrated into both applications. These intelligent sensors are equipped with one multi-proportional output that can control a ventilation system based on three measurements: air quality, moisture and temperature. Via the Sentera 3SModbus software, these sensors can be tailored to the company and in function of the local requirements, so that optimum air quality, relative humidity and temperature can always be maintained. Thanks to the IP65 classification, these sensors can be used under the most demanding conditions.

Modbus communication
These sensors can be directly linked to a BMS system via Modbus. However, Sentera also supplies speed controllers that can directly control an AC fan based on Modbus communication with these intelligent sensors. The Sentera RTVS8 is such a speed controller with transformer technology, that can communicate with these sensors via Modbus. Variable speed drives with transformer technology are cost efficient and have proven to be very reliable and robust. They can also be used perfectly in circumstances where the supply voltage is not stable.

Control solutions for HVAC and ventilation systems
Sentera is one of the leading manufacturers of control solutions for HVAC and ventilation systems. Their mission is to create intelligent HVAC solutions that are easy to use! They develop, manufacture and commercialize fan speed controllers, HVAC sensors, HVAC controllers and valve actuators to control airflows and monitor indoor air quality. Today the Sentera group has 8 companies and 150 employees located at 4 different locations. The head office and central warehouse are located in Temse, Belgium. The Sentera group is a 100% family business. For more information, contact Sentera!
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