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Computational program to evaluate thermal comfort in animal production facilities

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  10th International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES X)  .(doi:10.13031/iles.18-127)
Authors:   Carlos G. S. Teles Junior, Richard S. Gates, Ilda F F Tinoco, Cecilia F Souza, Monique O Vilela
Keywords:   animal environment ; computational tool; precision livestock farming

Abstract. The aim of this study is to document a computational tool for thermal environment evaluation in facilities for production animals, utilizing the Black Globe Temperature and Humidity Index (BGTHI) value, calculated from air temperature and relative humidity. The software, TCAP, (“Thermal Comfort in Animal Production”) was developed using the C# programming language in the (IDE) Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express®. TCAP takes input data (air temperature and relative humidity) and calculates other moist air psychrometric properties (partial water vapor pressure, pw; saturation water vapor pressure, pws; and dew-point temperature, tdp). The Black globe temperature is estimated, as a function of (Tair), (RH) and the product (Tair x RH), and combined with tdp, to compute BGTHI. Facility thermal conditions were evaluated based on relationships developed between BGTHI and livestock or poultry species housed in the facility. The TCAP graphical user interface is divided into three windows, a program initialization window, a main window where data entry and results are presented, and an information window. Software testing and evaluation involved conducting simulations of different housing and environment scenarios. The simulation results were compared with the literature, in studies that related the thermal environment conditions to the comfort and/or productivity of the animals. This comparison was done to assess whether results obtained through the software were similar to those at the facilities in real conditions. The TCAP software is a practical tool to help producers in decision making, including evaluating the thermal environment in production facilities for different animals‘ species. The TCAP software is free and available from www.ambiagro.ufv.br.

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