While summer break is over for many, summer temperatures are far from gone. August heat has swine producers across the country working to limit the detrimental effects of heat stress on sows and piglets. Signs of heat stress include panting, increased water consumption, lethargy and intestinal distress.
Pigs can’t sweat to lower body temperature because they lack sweat glands. They rely on forces in the environment to help cool them such as ventilation, water droppers, stir fans and evaporative cooling systems. That means ventilation system efficiency is vital for proper pig cooling.
ARE COOLING SYSTEMS WORKING?
Proper air movement and the efficiency of the ventilation system can be assessed by smoking the facility in order to visualize directional airflow. Often system maintenance is needed to reach or maximize air flow. Areas that often require attention include fans and shutters, temperature and humidity sensors, and cool cell pads.
Cool cell pads should be checked for damage, and blockages from debris or mineral scale. By measuring air speed with an anemometer or windspeed meter, you can determine the efficiency of the system. Minimum air speed is about 420 feet per minute. If your system fails to reach the minimum speed, maintenance on the system and/or pads will be required.
COOL CELL MAINTENANCE BASICS
• Start by dumping the water in the reservoir. When your systems are being frequently used, the water should be dumped one to two times monthly.
• Gently clean pads using a soft brush. Avoid the use of high-pressure water, acid or chlorine bleach as these can reduce the life span of pads.
• Don’t forget the water filters! Water distribution headers and filters can be clogged by dirt, insects and other debris. Clean filters weekly to make sure there is adequate water flow to the pads.
• Extend the life and maximize the efficiency of pads by using SWASHCOOL-CELL™. Add 1 gallon of SWASHCOOL-CELL™ to the sump water for every 20 feet of cool cell length to remove mineral scale and algae stains and keep them from building up on the pads.
According to manufacturers, most cool cell pads are expected to have a life span of 10 years. However, if not properly maintained, pads can only be expected to perform for five to six years at a maximum. Taking time to understand the challenges pads might face based on water quality can provide a hefty return.
WATER MINERAL CONTENT AND COOL CELL PADS
Each day, evaporative cool cell systems can go through a tremendous amount of water. As water evaporates, the minerals are left behind on pads. The amount and type of scaling visible on pads can say a lot about water quality on a farm. The main component in water that effects pad life are minerals, most notably iron, magnesium and calcium. Over time, the concentration of minerals can:
• become corrosive to the pads
• destroy pad rigidity
• build up and cause pads to be hard slabs that hinder airflow
Even pads that don’t visibly show signs of mineral build up can be causing airflow restrictions. A reliable sign of this is the inability to maintain static pressure. A water quality analysis can help you understand why you’re seeing scale buildup and create a plan to address it (high calcium, hard water, high pH, etc.).
ADDRESS MINERAL BUILDUP WITH SWASHCOOL-CELL™
When added to clean sump water, SWASHCOOL-CELL™ works to extend the life and maximize the efficiency of pads by:
• Removing mineral scale and stains from algae to improve airflow and system efficiency
• Shortening cleaning time, allowing for adequate cleaning between groups even with tight turnaround times
• Reducing drying time between cycles, keeping pads drier, longer so they can quickly return to full cooling capacity without developing algae stains.
Contact us now to learn how SWASHCOOL-CELL™ can help maximize the efficiency and life span of your cool cell pads to better cool your pigs.
FOLLOW THESE FIVE STEPS TO HELP MAINTAIN A MORE EFFECTIVE EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEM.