Air quality in hog barns is of great concern, both for the safety of employees and of the animals in the barn. Extended exposure to ammonia has been proven to cause respiratory issues in humans and livestock, contributing to chronic health problems for barn employees and reduced performance for the pigs.
Big Dutchman’s Dol 53, developed by Dräger, is able to continuously read ammonia levels and provide real-time data. It has been designed especially to be used in livestock facilities, with robust electrochemical sensors that can withstand the environment inside a livestock barn. Even in the presence of fluctuating temperatures, humidity, methane, CO2 and hydrogen sulphide, the Dol 53 provides clear and continuous readings for ammonia levels. The Dol 53 has been tested in the laboratory and in livestock barns, and has proven time after time to stand up to this harsh environment where other sensors could not. Optimum operation is achieved in temperatures ranging from zero to 50 degrees C and between 15% and 95% humidity.
Ammonia concentrations are measured between zero and 100 parts per million, with an accuracy of 1.5 ppm or ± 10% of the measured value.
The Dol 53 was designed to integrate seamlessly into already functioning livestock barns; it uses a 0- to 10-volt interface like other conventional sensors and can be installed directly into the barn environment. Once connected, it will begin transmitting continuous and real-time readings of ammonia levels. The Dol 53 can be used in conjunction with Big Dutchman’s new 307pro climate computer to automatically manage ammonia levels in the barn.
Even without upgrading to an automated computer, producers can use the Dol 53 to monitor ammonia levels and determine for themselves the best ammonia management methods. By experimenting with temperature and air circulation producers can, as never before, see the results of these methods clearly, in real-time, without relying on rudimentary environmental indicators, such as smell.
Advantages at a glance
■ exact and continuous measuring of the NH3 concentrations in the barn air
■ measuring range covers concentrations typical for livestock production
■ easy integration into existing barns and their climate control systems
■ robust and reliable
■ easy to install
■ analog 0- to 10-volt output
New uses and applications for this product are conceivable in all areas where constant ammonia monitoring is useful and necessary. The Dol 53 is a product that will drive future innovations as more computers are developed to integrate ammonia management into their controls and other useful applications are discovered.
The uniqueness of the DOL 53, compared to conventional methods, is that the DOL 53 is able to withstand continuous exposure to ammonia inside barns while producing continuous data, whereas the highly perishable nature of conventional ammonia sensors means they are used only periodically and need to be replaced after only a few readings.
Aaron Lower, veterinarian and New Product Tour panel member, says, “This sensor gives the caregiver objective data, as a way to set minimum ventilation of the barn.”
Pat Thome, Minnesota hog producer on the panel, says, “This is kind of icing on the cake. If we can get the feed right, and the temperature right, and minimum ventilation right, if we’re managing to that level, boy, we’ve really done a good job.”
For more information on the Big Dutchman Dol 53, contact Lyle Jones, 217-652-2522 or visit bigdutchmanusa.com.