The new sty is getting closer to completion every day. The roof is now on, so it already looks the part. We’re just waiting on the new ventilation system components, which will be delivered in three weeks. This system will bring us much closer to our goal of an energy-neutral farm.
Energy saving is an important spearhead for us, because we want to drastically reduce the impact of farming on the environment. That’s why one of our requirements for the new sty was to make big energy savings on ventilation. The current end-of-pipe solution was no longer good enough.
That system uses lots of energy, is maintenance-intensive, and only cleans the air of ammonia when it leaves the sty. But other existing technologies didn’t appeal to us either.
80% savings with the new system
Two years ago we found out about a new type of ventilation management system, called the CoMoCos. We installed it during our pilot project and used it in our test sty for a year. After a year of testing and measuring, it was clear that it was delivering massive savings. Where the old Triac management system would use 2000 kWh, the CoMoCos system only uses 400 kWh – a saving of over 80%. I’d expected to make savings, but this was a result I could never have dreamed of! So we were no longer in doubt about which system to install in the new sty. A system as clean as that is worth the investment because, with energy savings like that, it will easily have paid for itself in four or five years.
The big difference between this and our current ventilation system is that the CoMoCo ‘looks’ at how the individual ventilation elements move. It manages the ventilation system in the same way you’d push a swing. Always at exactly the right moment, the CoMoCo gives the motor a ‘push’ to keep the ventilation system running at the right speed. A pigsty doesn’t always need maximum ventilation. You need less ventilation on cold days, and the piglets’ sty doesn’t need as much ventilation. So you don’t always need maximum ventilation – far from it. And that’s where you can make savings. With the old ventilation system, even at lower speed it would carry on running at full power and therefore produce heat. But the (frequency-controlled) CoMoCo doesn’t, so there are savings to be had here.
Since this technology allows you to establish and maintain the exact number of revolutions per minute, the ventilation system is not affected by wind. With the old system you had to install a diaphragm valve and a ventilation fan to ensure that the system didn’t cut out when it was windier than usual. The disadvantage of this was that the ventilation holes got smaller, so the ventilation system had to work harder and therefore used more energy. There’s no need for a diaphragm valve or ventilation fan with the new system, which reduces purchasing and maintenance costs. And that means extra profit.