‘The best piglet house in the world’

Last year we realised a project with the Van Asten group for a Piglet house located in Sterksel, Noord-Brabant in the south of the Netherlands. According to Frans Lemans (climate consultant pigs) this is the best piglet house in the world!

Over the recent winter period, we have taken the opportunity to measure the results with the farmer, which initially proved to be very encouraging.

The expected return on investment for the new innovative climate system is approximately 4.69 years.

Optimal air inside

The philosophy behind the Inno+ 4G approach to climate is that we introduce optimal air in the house in terms of temperature, relative humidity and eliminating draft risks. The intention, that we minimise disturbance to the animals and at the same time supply a well ventilated house to reduce the risk of disease. The stable uses several climate-conditioning concepts:

The first one is the use of groundwater for preheating the incoming air in the winter and cooling of the incoming air in de summer. In the winter, the incoming air is brought to a temperature of at least 7 degrees using ground water from 11°C and in summer, the system cools the incoming air with this cold water. Cooling and heating of this air is done with an air-water heat exchanger, which is then sent to the inlets of each compartment. These inlets are equipped with wind pressure hoods. The air then passes through a second heat exchanger where it is pre-heated from 7°C to between 12 to 15°C. This is done with the energy coming from the heat pump. The air is then blown above the ceiling via fans ensuring homogenous mixing of the air and optimum air distribution that excludes any residual wind influence. It is then pulled into the room by negative pressure.

In each section, a ventilation ceiling with wood wool cement panels ensures that the air gradually reaches the animals. Apart from underfloor heating, there is also post-heating via twin tubes. This ensures that the department is 100% dry and the desired 28 degrees temperature is always there at the start, (this is an extra luxury step because of the combination with pre-heating and underfloor heating). Cooling via groundwater means no addition of moisture, only cooling and dehumidification. The cold groundwater is also used in summer to cool the air for the 4,000 sows on the farm.

This ‘Smart barn’ is then constantly monitored using Ammonia, CO2, and humidity and temperature sensors. According to Paul Venner the manager, the level of ammonia and CO2 is about 30% lower than normal. “We therefore expect that ammonia emissions will also be lower than the standard’’.

So has this been a good investment?

The commitment to a ‘high-end’ system is clear with no corners being cut on cost.  However early assessment with Marko and Paul have lead us to conclude the follow results:

ROI from top climate

Based on energy saving and calculated production benefits:

  • Medication – 120,000 piglets x 10 cents saving (due to climate) = 12,000 euros
  • Feed – 120,000 x 3 euros improvement = 360,000 euros (5% due to climate)  = 18,000 euros
  • Quality of pigs – 1 Euro per pig – 120,000 euros (20% due to climate)  = 24,000 euros
  • Slaughter cost reduction  – 120,000 x 0.5% x 30 euros/piglet   =  18,000 euros
  • Sow mortality (2% less dead sows) – 80 sows x 500 euros  =  40,000 euros

Return on investment 

  • Total benefit = 112,000 euros
  • Energy saving = 48,000 euros
  • Total = 160,000 euros per year
  • Net additional investment for the system = 750, 000 euros

ROI = 750, 000 euros / 160, 000 euros =    4,69 years.

For more information about this project and the ROI calculations, please download the attached document

Also, follow the link to read more about the Inno+ approach to energy recovery from animals using air scrubbing wash water and our Triple EEE system.

Else, please contact us here. Our advisors will be happy to help you