Barn Owl Wireless from Martin Lishman cools faster and saves energy

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An unpredictable climate, the environmental crisis, uncertain food security and now soaring energy prices are just some of the on-going challenges facing agriculture today. The negative effects these events are having on the industry has spawned radical new thinking in technology to improve farming productivity and efficiency.

Crop Storage Specialists Martin Lishman Ltd believe that promoting best storage practice plays an important role in reducing energy consumption and food waste. Their award-winning Barn Owl Wireless system has helped farmers throughout the UK and beyond optimise their crop storage conditions to achieve these two aims and retain a higher-quality yield.

For brothers Chris and Tom Owen of J.G.Owen & Co, a Barn Owl Wireless system was the number one choice for taking full control of their 6000 ton crop store in Shrewsbury. “We farm around 3500 acres, with some owned, some tenanted and the vast majority being contract farmed for 9 different customers”, explains Chris and Tom Owen. “We specified Martin Lishman Pile-Dry Pedestals and Fans when putting up a store in 2013 so it was a natural step to use Barn Owl Wireless to monitor temperatures and control the fans”.

Barn Owl Wireless gives store managers the ability to monitor crop store temperatures from anywhere in the world. Wireless crop temperature sensors are installed in a configuration to suit the shape and size of the store or silo and transmit temperature data to the user via the mobile phone network and a cloud-based server. Store managers can then log on to their Barn Owl Wireless web page on any internet-enabled device to check temperature, humidity and even CO2 readings for all their stores.

“It’s very easy to see how the entire shed is looking in terms of temperature at the click of a mouse, rather than trooping through with a spear and writing down readings”, adds the Owens.

Barn Owl Wireless systems can turn cooling fans on and off remotely using fully automatic fan control modes. Utilising Martin Lishman’s wireless fan controllers, almost any cooling fan can be connected to the Barn Owl Wireless network and controlled automatically. In automatic mode, the system uses a choice of control programmes and only turns the fans on when it is most efficient to do so, which results in faster cooling and a reduction of at least 40% on energy bills.

Piece of mind

For the Owens, it gave them peace of mind that the fans would only be turned on when needed: “It’s very easy to forget to turn fans off during the day, or turn them back on again in the evening, so it’s good to know that this is happening every day without anyone having to remember. There’s no point in having them running if the ambient temperature is too high and with electricity prices doubling, the onus on only using them as much as absolutely necessary is only increasing.”

Barn Owl Wireless from Martin Lishman cools faster and saves energyWith the clear success of the system, when it was time for J.G.Owen & Co to build another grain store, the decision was already made when it came to choosing the monitoring and control system. “We’ve had no reliability issues with the system in the old store. It works extremely well, so we saw no reason to run a different system in the new shed when what we’ve got is bombproof. The new 6000 ton store will be of the same size and we are having Barn Owl Wireless system installed in that too”, the Owens concluded.

“We were thrilled when J.G.Owen & Co announced they would be installing another Barn Owl Wireless System,” says Joel Capper, Sales Director for Martin Lishman Ltd. “Stored crops can suffer a drastic loss of quality if not managed correctly so having the ability to drive grain temperatures down quickly to an acceptable level significantly reduces the risk. Plus, with rising electricity prices, the energy cost savings are going to become even more apparent.”

The beauty of Barn Owl Wireless is that it can be adapted to suit any size storage facility. The modular design means anyone can gain the benefits of fast, efficient cooling and reduced energy costs. The use of a cloud-based online portal removes the potential complications of PC software, such as bugs or compatibility issues with device changes and updates. All that’s required to use Barn Owl Wireless is a web browser and internet connection.

Many farmers have realised the true potential of Barn Owl Wireless for optimising the monitoring and control practices of their stored crop. With 100s of farms using the system, Martin Lishman continues to lead the way in crop store monitoring and control.


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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.