Main research question/goal
To which extent, and using which measures, can we reduce electricity consumption for mechanical ventilation in animal houses? This project drafts a code of good practice for energy-efficient or economical ventilation. Half of the electricity consumed in the intensive animal husbandry is used for ventilation. In most cases, the farmer can still substantially reduce the energy cost by using more energy-efficient ventilation or by making small adjustments to either the existing installation or the climate computer settings.Research approach
We compare the most common ventilation systems in terms of energy use. We gather the available knowledge about the correct settings of these systems. We compute (calculate, value) the extra energy consumption by suboptimal settings or poor maintenance of the ventilation system by measurements in existing animal housing and in a test set-up. We develop a calculation tool for farmers to determine the potential energy savings of several measures. We collate all the information into a user-friendly 'code of good practices' that teaches how to optimise the settings of the climate computer and the operating system of the ventilator. The code also reports on how to create the optimal conditions for an energy-efficient ventilation. Relevance/Valorisation
This project addresses an urgent need in animal husbandry. Farmers currently have insufficient knowledge about energy-efficient ventilation, as evidenced by the many calls that the Support Point for Innovation in Agriculture and Horticulture has received on the subject. A main focus of this research is to disseminate the results and distribute the code of good practice. Via seminars, we introduce the farmer to the topic of energy-efficient ventilation. Using the test set-up, educational demonstrations are held at trade fairs (Agriflanders, Agribex) and open house demonstrations (at Inagro). The code of good practice is widely distributed and is freely available. A short summary of the project results will appear in the popular trade press.