Tunnel Ventilation systems along with evaporative pad systems are effective at reducing summer temperatures in swine and poultry buildings. Here are some tips to keep your houses running at peak efficiency.
1) Bleed off water to control mineral content
As water is circulated and evaporated in a pad system the concentration of minerals is increased. This is especially true in areas that have hard water with its higher levels of dissolved minerals. It is suggested that 5% to 10% of the circulated water should be continuously bled out of the system. Alternatively you can also dump and replace the sump tank water weekly. Products such as Scale-Stop or Cool-N-Kleen Cool Cell Descaler can be effective in controlling scale buildup for farms with very hard water when coupled with bleed off.
2) Check pH
Desired pH level of the water should be between 6 and 9. The pH levels outside of the this range shorten pad life by leaching out the stiffening agents in the pad. You can alter the pH of the water by adding one of the descaler agents listed above or Grower Select’s Kool-Cell Kleen.
3) Eliminate dry spots on the pad
Dry areas on the pads allow uncooled air to enter the building. Simply put, if the pad’s not wet it’s not cooling. Dry streaked areas on the pad are a clear sign that you have clogged holes in the distribution system. Remove the cover and unstop the clogged holes in the header system. It is a good practice to clean the distribution system by opening the ball valves and flushing water through at least once a month.
4) It’s a pain…but you have to clean the filters
Install a spin down water filter with a clear housing and 60 mesh screen on the system and keep it clean. It will prevent clogged distribution pipes and dirty pads. The poorer the water quality the more often the filters need to be cleaned. Installing a filter with a ball valve will simplify the chore.
5) Prevent algae growth
Although H2PADs are treated with an fungicide and come with ProTech edging to prevent algae from adhering to the pad surface, this does not completely eliminate the problem. Treat the system water with a good preventive product like Bio-Stop or Grower Select’s Kool-Cell Kleen to keep algae under control. In addition, the pads should be allowed to dry out once every 24 hours to improve the longevity of the pad. Program your ventilation system to allow the fans to continue to run awhile after the pad system is turned off at night. This will pull air through the system, drying the pads out and killing any algae spores.