Barn gas monitoring with automated ventilation control - Ontario Pork - Completed Research

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Completed Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals once a year. These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Jessica Fox at

Completed Research

Barn gas monitoring with automated ventilation control

Project 18-06 - John Van de Vegte, OMAFRA

Project Start: August 2018
Project Completion: September 2021
Researchers: John Van de Vegte, OMAFRA

Farrowing, nursery and finishing barns do require a designed ventilation system to manage air quality within the pig housing areas. Ventilation system performance is optimized through the use of a sophisticated ventilation system controller that must include automated static pressure management.

Within the farrowing and finishing barns, carbon dioxide and ammonia levels indicated that there is some room for improvement possible through the optimization of the existing ventilation system settings.

The data collection conducted in the nursery barn does indicate that improved air quality does have a positive impact on pig health and performance and thereby on cost of production as well as revenue generation. The associated reduction in cost of production justifies the increase in electricity and gas expense. A key outcome of this project is the demonstrated importance of active modulated static pressure control to manage static pressure levels within the pig housing areas. Active static pressure control is critical to manage air inlet velocities, especially in the cold winter months. Higher fresh air inlet velocities are required to promote mixing to improve air quality at pig level and also reduce heater gas consumption by driving the hot air at ceiling back into the pen. This effect was demonstrated in the final 2 production cycles in the nursery room. The gas consumption in the test room which employing actuated ceiling inlets was lower than that in the control room which employed counterbalanced ceiling inlets.

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