Healthy pigs make a happy farmer

So that a pigpen does not live up to its name — at least when it comes to the air — good venti­la­tion is required. Following a retrofit, the Momeyers near Celle are also saving a lot of money.

Phillipp and Lennart Momeyer don’t know the exact year their family started farming. It was a long time ago. “Far before our time,” they laugh. Now in the third gener­a­tion, the Momeyers run a pig farm here in the Lüneburg Heath, with space to feed approx­i­mately 3,000 pigs. Busi­ness is going well but the family saw that there was poten­tial for improve­ment in the oper­a­tion of the barn.

“We have been docu­menting our elec­tricity consump­tion for three years now,” explains Phillipp Momeyer. “Here we discov­ered that the energy costs of our venti­la­tion were simply too high.” When it came to the venti­la­tion, Momeyer was relying on four axial fans, running contin­u­ously with switch-on and switch-off func­tion­ality. “We wanted to change over to EC tech­nology because it saves energy and can be controlled better.”

In agri­cul­ture, the require­ments are strict when it comes to outgoing stale air from the barn. Here one thing counts above all: speed. “With the new venti­la­tion system, it was impor­tant that we still complied with our minimum stale air speed for the neces­sary approvals,” explains Momeyer. To imple­ment this tech­ni­cally, the brothers looked for an expert partner. This they found in Hein­rich Dönsel­mann-Theile. The qual­i­fied elec­tri­cian runs the company HDT Anla­genbau in Diepholz. “Many elec­tri­cians think that all it takes to sort the climate in the barn is to order a controller,” says Hein­rich Dönsel­mann-Theile. “But it involves more.”

Agri­cul­tural exper­tise

Dönsel­mann-Theile has gained a lot of expe­ri­ence over the years. Now in the second gener­a­tion together with his sons, he focuses on the topic of barn climate. With his employees, he creates tailored solu­tions for his customers and builds systems which are state of the art. “At the Momeyer’s, we divided the fans into three groups, each with four fans: two groups for the outgoing stale air and one for the air supply. The four size 900 models for the air supply are also located in a heat exchanger which heats the air supplied, ensuring that the animals don’t get cold in the winter from the venti­la­tion.”

Another key feature of the system is that in order to save energy, the fans only run at 80 percent power. It is only during extreme weather, for example when it is over 38 degrees outside, that the soft­ware acti­vates the remaining 20 percent. “We were only able to adapt the soft­ware in this way because the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the fans are ­perfect for it,” says Dönsel­mann-Theile.

Reser­va­tions against EC tech­nology

Aggres­sive barn air is not only a problem for animals, but also attacks devices such as fans. In agri­cul­ture, there are reser­va­tions against EC fans because their elec­tronics are installed on the devices them­selves. Skep­tics fear that the fans will then break quickly because of this — but this is not the case with the Momeyers. They trust HDT and HDT trusts ebm-papst. “When it comes to the seals and robust­ness of the fans, we don’t have any concerns at all,” says Phillipp Momeyer.

Wolf-Jürgen Weber, Regional Head of Sales at ­ebm-papst, explains: “In compar­ison to competi­tors’ prod­ucts, our fans cope better with the chal­lenges arising from use in a barn. In order to make our prod­ucts more corro­sion resis­tant, for example, we use certain coat­ings and take further special measures to protect the fans against corro­sion.”

“When it comes to the seals and robust­ness of the fans, we don’t have any concerns at all.”

Phillipp Momeyer

Retrofit saves money

The results of the retrofit to the venti­la­tion system have exceeded everyone’s expec­ta­tions. “We orig­i­nally antic­i­pated cost savings of around 35 percent. After six months, we are already at savings of over 50 percent,” says Phillipp Momeyer, who metic­u­lously recorded the power consump­tion. “We would never have expected such savings ourselves,” says barn climate expert Dönsel­mann-Theile. “But it shows that we are on the right path with our control strategy and the EC fans from ebm-papst.”

Sources: Land­wirtschaft­skammer Öster­reich, agrar heute, Destatis, Zeit Online

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