When a client of Applied Poultry, an established agricultural consultancy, embarked on building four new poultry sheds to house 200,000 birds, the farmer needed a heating system that would deliver reliable and energy efficient heating.
Broiler farms have high heat demands as part of a continuous rearing cycle throughout the year. The farm was therefore looking for a system that would deliver cost-effective heating to combat rising energy costs.
GeoCube – a British manufactured ground source heat pump system – was the obvious solution, as it could deliver four times the heat output for every kilowatt of electricity used to power it.
IPT specified a 1.2MW GeoCube heat pump system. Underfloor heating and low temperature fan coil units (OptiRad) were added to ensure an even distribution of heat throughout the sheds.
Broiler poultry farm
Four 50,000 bird capacity sheds
1.2MW GeoCube heat pump system
GeoCube, underfloor heating and OptiRad, low temperature fan coil units
1,600MWh per year (heat pump)
The installation project took place over four months with our teams laying 30,000m of horizontal ground collectors, fitting 10,000m of underfloor heating (per shed) and six OptiRad units (per shed) on site. At the same time, the 1.2MW GeoCube heat pump system was manufactured at our production site near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
As a fully-packaged system, GeoCube is housed in a compact, purpose-built unit. This was pre-assembled and delivered to the farm fully prepared for final connections and then commissioning.
The heat pumps, underfloor heating and radiators not only guarantee efficient heating, but also provide the sheds with passive cooling. Passive cooling removes excess heat from the sheds via the underfloor pipework and fan coils. GeoCube’s circulation pumps then return it to the ground, where it is stored for future heating cycles.
The farm therefore has the benefit of switching from energy efficient heating to free cooling (when required), without affecting response times.
Improved animal welfare
Underfloor heating and cooling removes excess moisture, helping keep litter dry, reducing the need to spread new bedding and lowering the risk of hock burn. It also helps keep litter temperatures low during the second half of the growth cycle, reducing ammonia emissions and improving the internal environment for the birds and staff.
A comfortable and controlled temperature encourages the birds to spread out evenly through the shed and eat less. Calmer birds mean the farm can optimise feed conversion rates (cutting feed costs) and bird growth rates – ultimately improving profitability.
The farm receives a 20-year income from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, providing a return on investment of less than six years and the ability to make a profit for the following 14 years.
Lower running costs
Using GeoCube, the site has greater control over future energy and running costs. With an extended warranty and a life expectancy of 25-30 years, GeoCube will deliver sustainable and reliable heating and cooling for the lifetime of the installation.