© Ordemilk

Perfect Micro­cli­mate for the High-Tech Barn

When cows are happy, they produce more milk. The Vale do Jotuva Farm in southern Brazil works according to this simple prin­ciple. Orde­milk uses ebm-papst fans to ensure the perfect climate in the new high-tech barn.

The pride in Robin Vink’s voice is unmis­tak­able when he talks about his busi­ness in the state of Paraná, Brazil – a busi­ness which he heads together with his brother-in-law Johannes Arthur Van Der Meer: “Some 53 years after the company was founded, we now employ 32 indi­vid­uals, and produce more than 30,000 liters of milk per day.

Robin Vink manages the farm with 32 employees. (Photo | Orde­milk)

Apart from the figures them­selves, the way we do this has always been impor­tant to us.” The company gener­ates around 60 percent of the energy it requires from a biogas plant, and also makes sure that effi­ciency and animal well-being go hand in hand when it comes to looking after their live­stock.

Vink also had this prin­ciple in mind when he began plan­ning the new barn. The barn should not just be any old building, rather a state-of-the-art freestall barn that provides the dairy cows with more space to move freely, and an opti­mized and comfort­able envi­ron­ment. “It’s clear that modern tech­nology can help us to keep improving live­stock farming,” says Vink.

“In this project, our most impor­tant objec­tives were to make optimum use of the space, keep the energy consump­tion of the new building as low as possible, and to increase milk produc­tion per animal in terms of time. The latter is best achieved when the animals are happy and healthy.”

Experts in Air Condi­tioning for Barns

Vink brought the company Orde­milk on board to imple­ment the project. He had worked with Orde­milk, a company that special­izes in automa­tion and air condi­tioning solu­tions in agri­cul­ture, before, and had good expe­ri­ences with them. The Order­milk engi­neering team explains: “For a project of this size, it is impor­tant to install reli­able and effi­cient compo­nents. Our part­ner­ship with ebm-papst enables us to opti­mally meet this require­ment when it comes to the fans.”

In the modern stable air-condi­tioning system, 80 EC axial fans with guard grilles and a diffuser from ebm-papst are in oper­a­tion. (Photo | Orde­milk)

For the freestall barn, Orde­milk suggested a modern barn air condi­tioning system with 80 EC axial fans with guard grills, and a diffuser, all from ebm-papst. These ensure effi­cient air flow that can easily be controlled, as the Order­milk engi­neers explain: “Depending on the outside temper­a­ture and the layout of the barn, the fans can be indi­vid­u­ally controlled in a targeted manner. This is possible using a central control system.”

The commu­ni­ca­tion channel between the fans and the control system is the MODBUS inter­face that ebm-papst prod­ucts are equipped with. It is not only possible to actuate the fans, but their exact state can also be trans­mitted to the control system.

In addi­tion to moni­toring the air flow, sensors in the barn also record other factors such as the humidity and ammonia content of the air. This results in a compre­hen­sive picture of the micro­cli­mate in the barn, which the farmer can react to at any time. After all, they can view all the para­me­ters together on a dash­board using a smart­phone app.

800 cows live in the freestall barn and enjoy an optimal temper­a­ture of 18 degrees Celsius all year round. (Photo | Orde­milk)

A Good Climate All Round

Robin Vink imme­di­ately saw the bene­fits of this solu­tion, so Orde­milk received the order to install the air condi­tioning in the barn as planned. After several months of construc­tion, 800 cows now live in the freestall barn and enjoy an optimum temper­a­ture of 18 degrees Celsius all year round. As planned, their milk output has increased consid­er­ably.

Vink is completely satis­fied with his new barn: “The cost-benefit ratio is excel­lent. The solu­tion was not the cheapest that we were offered, but after a year of using it, I can safely say that it has proven to be the right option in terms of tech­nology, and is also the most energy effi­cient.”

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