A General Purpose Laboratory for Small-Scale In-Barn Swine Discoveries

Ramirez, Brett
Harmon, Jay
Ramirez, Brett
Harmon, Jay
Anderson, Daniel
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American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
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Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringElectrical and Computer Engineering
Specialized animal environment experiments needing swine facilities calls for novel technology creation to enable unique experimentation without the drawbacks of traditional swine facilities. In a full-scale swine facility, there are challenges with cost, increased travel time to sites, additional labor is required, the facility cannot be fully controlled, and biosecurity becomes a risk. A small-scale, mobile swine confinement laboratory was designed and built to mitigate the challenges faced in a full-scale barn. The mobility of the laboratory enables it to travel to swine farms to obtain fresh animal specimens, which allows the experiments and data collected to be more representative of an in-barn application. The model facility, built on a flat-bed trailer, has two identical, fully instrumented rooms (L x W x H) of 2.24 x 2.29 x 2.05 m (88.0 x 90.0 x 80.5 in.) with a 0.46 m (18 in.) shallow pit, replicating typical swine finishing rooms. Walls were composed of typical wood-frame construction with interior paneling and metal clad on the exterior. Instrumentation allows the environment and air quality of the rooms, along with other parameters, to be controlled and monitored. The rear portion of the trailer includes an instrumentation room to house necessary computers, controllers, and associated equipment. Commissioning of components and verifying function of equipment were performed, which included quantifying infiltration and performing a thermal analysis for each room. Analysis showed that the infiltration equation was distinct for each room. The use of this laboratory for qualitative and quantitative evaluation of in-barn experimentation on a controlled, small-scale will mitigate the challenges presented in a typical barn.
This article is published as Weyer, Sara E., Benjamin C. Smith, Brett C. Ramirez, Jay D. Harmon, and Daniel S. Anderson. "A General Purpose Laboratory for Small-Scale In-Barn Swine Discoveries." Applied Engineering in Agriculture 37, no. 5 (2021): 941-949. DOI: 10.13031/aea.14411. Copyright 2021 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Posted with permission.
Building, Commissioning, Facility, Heat transfer, Mobine, Pig