Regular maintenance of the pig house cooling equipment is very important. For evaporative cooling high performance, the water handling equipment of the evaporative cooling system needs to be kept clean. Different evaporative cooling system needs different maintenance procedures, and there are 3 types of evaporative cooling systems:
1. Evaporative sprinkler systems: using sprinklers, such as drippers, sprinkler nozzles, and soakers or sprinkler hoses to spray or drip water on pigs to increase evaporative cooling.
2. Evaporative cooling pad systems: having water running down over the pad’s surface and allowing water to evaporate from the surface to cool the air entering the building.
3. Evaporative fogger systems: using low-pressure (less than 50 psi) or high-pressure (up to 200 psi) nozzle to spray water into the air as a fine mist or fog to cool the air.
Water Quality Impacts
Regardless of what kind of system type is used, water quality can and often does have an impact on cooling system maintenance requirements. Improving water quality when possible will reduce cooling system maintenance.
Sprinkler System Maintenance
Sprinkler systems typically have the lowest overall maintenance requirements.
1. Periodically (at least monthly or more often) check the filter and remove sediment.
2. Daily or weekly or at least monthly check if sprinklers are operating at the desired pressure.
3. On a daily or at least a weekly basis, check the flow from each emitter or nozzle to ensure water flows smoothly. Clean or replace any non-functioning emitter or nozzle.
Evaporative Cooling Pad System Maintenance
Pad systems can be relatively maintenance-free depending on the operation and installation parameters of the system.
1. Monthly or more often check the filter and remove sediment if water has significant sediment amounts.
2. Shade outside of the pad system to reduce algae growth on the pad. Add a chemical for algae control weekly during summer if algae growth is a problem. Allow the pad to dry periodically (overnight) to reduce algae growth.
3. Reduce mineral buildup on pads by:
1) Ensuring water is uniformly distributed over the pad.
2) Increasing the water flow rate which will tend to wash the pad while keeping the pad wet.
3) Periodically cleaning and flushing distribution, sump, and pump system.
4) Bleed off water from the sump storage tank on a regular basis.
4. Pads using a water re-circulation system can be cleaned using the following basic steps:
1) Drain the sump storage tank and refill it with fresh water
2) Remove the screen from the inlet to the sump pump
3）Add a chemical cleaning solution to the sump storage tank
4）Turn on the sump pump and run it for at least one hour to wet and soak the entire pad, and then shut off the sump pump
5）Rinse the pad with fresh water using low pressure so as not to damage the pad
6）After cleaning the pad, drain and rinse the sump storage tank
Fogger System Maintenance
Fogger systems may require daily maintenance depending on the quality of water and the type of system. Low-pressure fogger systems (less than 50 psi) will tend to require less than a high-pressure fogger system (up to 200 psi). Below is a basic list of maintenance steps for fogger systems:
1. Periodically, at least monthly, or more often check filter and remove sediment.
2. Check operating pressure on a weekly basis to ensure nozzles are operating at desired pressure.
3. Check all nozzles on a daily basis to ensure they are functioning well and clean clogged nozzles or replace them if necessary.
4. If nozzles require cleaning often (typically on a daily basis when using a high-pressure system), keeping an extra set of nozzles allows the system to be kept operating. Mineral buildup on nozzles can be removed more easily by soaking the dirty nozzles in vinegar or some other mild acid to soften and remove the mineral buildup.