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New ventilation system could halve energy costs on poultry farms

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Improving energy efficiency is a major challenge for poultry producers and planning consultants at Berrys are working with a specialist energy firm to promote an innovative new ventilation system that could halve energy costs on poultry farms.

TGE Group, a leading installer of renewable energy and energy efficient systems, is trialling a Full House Ventilation System which promises to revolutionise energy and climate control in poultry houses and Berrys will be encouraging its clients to incorporate this technology in new poultry houses.

“This new system will reduce the amount of energy required in a poultry unit by recovering heat energy, treating air to correct humidity and temperature before it enters the poultry shed and reducing odours and emissions,” said Nick Williams, a planning consultant with Berrys at Shrewsbury.

“This will substantially reduce the impact of poultry farming on the environment and will improve condition for the birds, increasing their performance,” he said.

TGE Group is working closely with the Royal Veterinary College to develop the Full House Ventilation system which is to be trialled on two farms, one in Shropshire.

“Part of the technology is being used in the Netherlands and we know from projects in operation there that energy costs can reduce by 30 per cent and ammonia emissions by up to 95 per cent,” explained Matthew Evans of TGE Group at Nantwich.

“The Netherlands are using half our system and so we anticipate that the full system will halve energy costs,” he said.

Currently poultry houses are heated traditionally through LPG direct heaters, biomass or radiant heaters and cooled through tunnel and ridge vent ventilation.  This can lead to overheating in summer, high humidity, high energy costs and uncontrolled odour and ammonia levels.

While traditional systems treat air already in the poultry shed, the full house ventilation system prepares the air before it gets into the poultry house. Exhaust air is scrubbed and cleaned, heat energy recovered and banked to use when needed, supply air is treated to correct relative humidity and temperature and the full control system maintains CO2.

No separate building is required for the heating, although there is an air handling plant to the side of the shed to treat the air.

“The systems use less energy on site and there are no losses of energy through the district main,” said Matthew.

“The system works with all technologies including renewable energy and with less bird stress, there is improved bird performance.”

TGE is currently working with a number of building manufactures to incorporate the full house ventilation system in their designs and planners at Berrys anticipate that the reduced emissions and improved energy efficiency of the new system will enhance planning applications for poultry units.

“”The new system will also give options for increasing the life of existing poultry units that are restricted by ammonia emissions,” Nick added.

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