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Mathematical Modelling and Characterization of a Poultry Egg Incubator

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Hatching chicken eggs is an extremely rewarding experience, which requires good organization, dedication flexibility, and good observation capacity. Chicken eggs have a 21-day incubation period and can be hatched with a specialized incubator under carefully controlled conditions. The incubator is the apparatus that gives the eggs it contains the same conditions of temperature, humidity, aeration, and movement that the eggs receive under the broody hen. The proper functioning of the incubator is based on the correct regulation of temperature and humidity. The losses in productions explain the errors of settings of these two parameters. This work proposes a mathematical model for a commercial chicken egg incubator. The approach that uses the thermal energy of egg incubation is used in conjunction with the construction details of the incubator in order to model the heat transfer between an egg and its microenvironment. The thermal model of the microenvironment is similar to the ones used for the analysis and control of other HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Studies have been conducted to verify and validate the mathematical model for both types of the incubator: ventilated that are fan-equipped and static that does not have a fan. The values of the system tested under real conditions have given good results. T = 37.5 °C is the ideal temperature for a better development of the embryo and an optimal hatching and, H = 60% is the relative humidity value which facilitates hatching and digging; in addition, it influences the weight of the chick.
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Egg Incubator; Temperature; Humidity; Thermal Energy; Heat Transfer

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