New Controller Makes Dairy Barns Smarter
Researchers at UC Davis may have developed a key technology to making dairy barns smarter and more efficient. Theresa Pistochini is the engineering manager at the UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center.
Pistochini… “This optimized controller that we developed at UC Davis, where basically what we're doing is we're basing all the control that decisions off heat and mass transfer model we built of a cow fur coat. So we basically are able to calculate the drying time and the heat rejection at any given fan speed and outdoor air temperature and outdoor air humidity. And so from there, we can calculate what the optimal water spray is and what the optimal fan speed is.”
Pistochini says this is a dramatic improvement from the old settings of these fans.
Pistochini…. “There are some controllers out there that like might step the fan speed. Like, okay, if it's 70 degrees you get speed one, and if it's 80 degrees you get speed two, for example. But in the Western United States where humidity varies a lot, and in the summers it's very dry. The way essentially we cool cows iswe get them wet, and see we get all this evaporation of the water. So, this is not just a function of temperature, it's also a function of humidity. And I have not seen a controller that takes all that into account in the way that we've done it.”