Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Engineering (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Advisor/Mentor

Yi Liang

Committee Member

Thomas Costello

Second Committee Member

R. Selvam

Keywords

Agricultural Technology, CFD, Cooling, Poultry Transportation, Ventilation

Abstract

Broiler production in Arkansas was valued at over $3.6 billion in 2013 (University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service). Consequently, improvement in any phase of the production process can have significant economic impact and animal welfare implications. One area of concern for the poultry industry is thermal stress experienced by the birds after arrival at the processing plant and before they are taken in to be processed, during which time they are left to wait in holding sheds. Various cooling strategies exist to mitigate heat stress in holding sheds, but in most cases it is unlikely that they are optimal. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed using the commercial package ANSYS Fluent to simulate airflow through a poultry trailer in a typical holding shed configuration. The CFD model was compared to experimental data gathered from a poultry processing plant in Northwest Arkansas. The CFD model was able to replicate general trends and relative magnitude of air velocity through the trailer. In addition, three different design alternatives were created to evaluate the usefulness of the model as a tool to improve holding shed cooling strategies. This research showed that CFD could be a potential method to simulate conditions on poultry trailers in holding sheds and test various holding shed cooling strategies. However, it was concluded that a more robust system of validation was necessary to prove the accuracy of CFD for this purpose for most applications.

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