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Cooling & Cross-Ventilation System: first installation in EU with exhaust fans for dairy cows

28/11/2016

“La Torre” is a family-owned farm located near Torino which hosts about 360 Frisona Italiana dairy cows.
Mr. Mario San Martino carries on the business with his sons in a perfect fusion between tradition and innovation.

Case study

The climate is changing and this is a global truth. Some studies demonstrate that temperatures are constantly rising, transforming typically mild areas into ones with higher temperatures.

In order to ensure the necessary thermal comfort to dairy cows during the hot season,  farmers can go for  building and plant solutions to improve the environmental conditions of the barns and to speed up animals heat loss.  Such systems are called  “heat protection techniques”.

The demand, therefore, is always to keep the cows THI value (Temperature Humidity Index)  controlled, as well as to minimize the loss of milk production and reduce all excessive heat-related problems as much as possible. Some studies in fact estimate that in 2050 we may suffer production losses around 10-15 kg /cow/day due to temperature raising.

In view of these considerations, it is clear that the classic passive techniques (natural ventilation, shading of the barn, insulation of external walls and roof) are no longer enough. In such conditions, it is necessary to make active interventions that require the use of more or less complex systems and facilities.

Pericoli Group in cooperatio with Civa Impianti has successfully developed and designed a completely innovative project that combines the benefits induced by mechanical ventilation and evaporative cooling system, a solution that is widely used in poultry farming.
This system, commonly known as “cross ventilation”, can create a uniform transversal airflow in the barn : this combines  the benefits of the adiabatic cooling produced by the cooling pads and the “windchill effect” generated by the exhaust fans with high levels of energy efficiency in order to minimize the costs.

Interesting data

Barn structure: 70x42m

Exhaust fans: 21 cone fans EOC53s

Gutter frame system: 70x3m MFX

Evaporative panel: PERIcool 1545/7 with anti algae treatment

  • Reduction of energy costs
  • Greater efficiency
  • + 10% of milk production
  • + 10% of dry food ingestion
  • – 50% reduction of mastitis
  • Reduction of lameness
  • Reduction of insects during the hot season
  • Increase in fertility and births
  • Increase animal welfare and vitality
  • More use of bunks

(August-September 2015 vs August-September 2016)

Conclusion

This system turns out to be innovative because it leaves the idea of an open barn characterized by an active air movement by circulation fans, and privileges a closed one but with a cooling system managed by exhaust fans – which work in negative pressure- and the cooling pads that humidify and reduce temperatures,  this ensuring the animals a feeling of freshness and the heat loss.
Furthermore, it has been verified that the “Cooling & Cross Ventilation System” guarantees considerable savings on energy costs thanks to the great efficiency of the exhaust fans.

The Farmer’s opinion

“In addition to the positive results about animal welfare and milk production increase, we recorded great savings related to electricity costs. We are very satisfied with the investment: for us it was an interesting and stimulating challenge, but above all, in few months we’re already gathering  interesting and promising results for the future.
The savings that we can achieve using this system, in terms of energy consumption and efficiency, allow us to pay back the investment costs in a very short time and this is definitely an added value to the positive results already explained”- Mario San Martino (owner).