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Conceptual Study for a Net-Zero-Energy Poultry House in Mediterranean Climate in the USA

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

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100432.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100432)
Authors:   Fermin Banuelos-Gonzalez, Nathan Shang, Roxanne Wilcox, Md Shamim Ahamed
Keywords:   net-zero energy, steady-state model, energy efficiency, and sustainability.    

Abstract: Global food production must increase significantly as the world population is expected to grow by 2.5 billion by 2050. Increasing food production, particularly animal production, results in environmental strain. Producing 1 kilogram of eggs emits up to 1.8 kilograms of CO2 equivalents through energy usage and feed costs, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas effects. Additionally, the high energy costs put an economic strain on poultry farmers, constituting about 12% of a poultry farm's total budget. The concept of Net Zero Energy (NZE) has been practiced in commercial and residential buildings in the past decades to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment. NZE concept could have significant potential for agricultural buildings to reduce the high energy usage impacts in controlled environment settings like a standard caged poultry house. A quasi-steady-state energy balance model has been developed to analyze the energy usage in a conceptually designed poultry house in California. The developed model was used to explore different energy-saving potentials in poultry production facilities. Finally, the study analyzed the potential feasibility of implementing the NZE concept for a poultry production facility in California. The results indicate that solar panels covered 15% of the roof area could generate enough power to achieve the NZE status for the conceptually designed poultry house.

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