Tips on Saving Money on Energy in Pig Houses

CANADA - A number of energy-saving measures have been identified by B. Predicala and E. Navia of the Prairie Swine Centre Inc., and they are summarised by Robert Chambers of the Ontario Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
calendar icon 19 April 2010
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In a study conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre Inc., energy usage in swine barns and potential energy conservation measures were evaluated. A survey of 28 swine facilities showed large variability in energy used per hog produced, between barns ranging between C$3.00 to C$13.00 of utility costs per pig sold. Energy audits conducted in four selected barns identified the various areas, equipment, and practices in the barn that contributed significantly to the total overall energy consumption.

Using computer simulation, various potential strategies that can be applied in a barn in terms of lighting, creep and space heating, fans, feed motor and heat recovery were examined. Simulation results for a typical western Canadian 600- sow operation showed that potential annual savings up to 47,391 kWh electricity (79 kWh per sow) or 88,404 cubic metres of natural gas (147 cubic metres per sow) can be attained.

Significant savings per sow per year can be found in converting lighting from T12 to T5 fluorescent, 43 kWh; creep heat lamps to heat pads, 79 kWh; recirculation fan to high-efficiency motors, 16.4 kWh; and exhaust fans to high- efficiency motors, 71 kWh.

Installing a heat-recovering system reduces 70 per cent of gas consumption and replacing conventional space heaters with radiant heaters reduces 40 per cent of gas consumption.

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