Print this page
16 October 2012

ABB drives help regulate temperature in pig farms

Intensive piggeries are a type of factory farm specialized in the raising of pigs. Within large warehouses, stalls are located in which high numbers of grower pigs are kept.

The temperature within the buildings is kept high so that the pigs spend less energy keeping warm, thus maximizing the efficiency of the pig growing process. As pigs lack sweat glands and cannot cool themselves, it is important that the buildings are ventilated and their temperature regulated. Maintaining a more specific temperature within the pig-tolerance range also maximizes growth and growth-to-feed ratio. These pig farms breed thousands of animals per annum. Within the buildings there are up to 42 fans installed into five or six groups, with each group designed to circulate and exchange air while keeping the temperature fixed.

The drives are arranged in groups of five or six, each drive controlling a fan. A temperature sensor measures the ambient temperature and feeds this back via a programmable logic controller (PLC) which is monitoring each group. The fan speed is then adjusted according to the ambient conditions.

Remarkable energy savings
The system has reduced energy costs by 60%, on average, with payback estimated to be within 15 months. AC drives control the fan motor's speed and ensure that it runs no faster than the air flow requires. This results in the reduced noise level. The drives with IP66/67 protection class means they can operate safely in the wet and humid environments such as when pigs are hosed down with high pressure warm water. The shape of the heat sink fins allows water to drain away, allowing easy and complete cleaning. They are easy to install & commission and maintenance is minimal.

Ventilation control reduces energy costs
Traditionally, the ventilation fans were controlled by simply turning them on or off. This proved to be energy inefficient as the fan motors were operated at full speed regardless of the temperature.

ABB drives with IP66/67 protection class controlling fans case-pigfarm-drives

AC drives ensure accurate temperature regulation.
Using 2.2 kW, ABB low voltage AC drives as part of its ventilation system design. The system consists of 126 fans, each of 1.5 kW, that keep the air moving and exchanges the fresh air while maintaining a fixed temperature. The drives vary the speed of the fan motors to ensure the temperature remains at its fixed point.


  • Maintain adequate air flow and temperature in warehouses
  • Wet and dusty environment
  • Need for low noise levels


  • 126 ABB drives controlled by PLC to vary air flow and maintain set point temperatures
  • Drives with IP66/67 protection class for use in wet and humid environments
  • Fan motor's speed runs no faster than the air flow requires, thereby reducing noise


  • Desired air quality achieved
  • 60% energy cost saving compared to previous system
  • Drive design resists water and dust, allowing pigs and sheds to be cleaned without risk to drive
  • Drives easy to use and maintain

If you would like further information, please contact us or phone 0113 2631509

Related items