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Numerical Modeling and Optimization of the Purdue Hog Cooling Pad Design

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100060.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100060)
Authors:   Tyler C Field, Robert M Stwalley, III
Keywords:   cooling pad, finite volume, heat transfer, swine.

Abstract. The Purdue hog cooling pad has been shown to effectively mitigate heat stress in lactating sows by conductively transferring heat from the animal to convective cool water coils within the pad. It consists of a high-density polyethylene base with a series of copper pipes in channels underneath the main area of the cooling pad. An aluminum extrusion was attached to the copper pipes to increase the contact area with the aluminum diamond plate top on the cooling pad. The original design utilized six pipes, but a second iteration with eight pipes was shown to remove heat more effectively from the animal. Initially, water flowed continuously through the pipes of the cooling pad, which provided high heat transfer rates, but required large volumes of water. A control system has since been designed to allow for water to be flushed intermittently, which reduced the volume of water used and increased how much heat was removed per liter of water. Here, to further optimize the cooling pad design and reduce the costs associated with creating and testing new prototype units, a numerical model utilizing the finite volume method has been developed for the cooling pad analysis that will eventually allow future design choices to be evaluated numerically, prior to physical testing. A fully implicit time scheme was used to evaluate the transient response of 360 different cooling pad scenarios with different environmental conditions, flush control schemes, and cooling pad designs to help guide future design iterations of the Purdue hog cooling pad. Preliminary results indicated some promise, but they also showed several areas within the computational code in need of further improvement.

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