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Development of an Environmental Monitoring and Control System for Weaner Pig Houses

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

Citation:  2019 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1900124.(doi:10.13031/aim.201900124)
Authors:   Yi-Chich Chiu, Pei-Wen Huang, Yi-Kai Lin, Ming-Yih Chang
Keywords:   Pig nurseries, farming, monitoring and control, wireless communication.

Abstract. This study aimed to develop an environmental monitoring and control system for pig nurseries by using an Internet of Things framework. In the system, environmental data, namely temperature, humidity, ammonia content, and wind speed, were collected using a microcontroller connected with environmental sensors; the collected data were transmitted to a remote server through WiFi. The system enabled users to monitor and control their nurseries at any time through mobile or web applications. At the site of the research farm, a programmable logic controller (PLC) was used to collect data from environmental sensors, detect environmental changes, and apply corresponding control strategies. Devices used in the strategies included wet pads, exhaust fans, roll-up curtains, and circulation fans. This study examined processes in which the user sends control commands from a remote control center to a PLC, and those commands are communicated to other devices. Such processes can be measured to test the accuracy, delivery time, and response time of bilateral transmission. All of these results indicated highly stable transmission of signals in this system. The stable and instant bilateral communication facilitated the presentation of real-time nursery environmental conditions on mobile and web applications; furthermore, the environmental data were uploaded to a database for future statistical analyses. Future studies may incorporate Big Data computing and analysis into their research and continue collecting more environmental data from pig nurseries to provide more comprehensive recommendations for pig farmers, increase the quality of nursery environments, and decrease the onsets of diseases.

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