Using Thermochemical Materials as a Heat Source for Poultry Egg Incubation

Document Type : Original Article


1 Agricultural Engineering Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University,Cairo, Egypt

2 Poultry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Ain Shams University,Cairo, Egypt


This study aims to use one thermochemical storage materials system as a heat source for poultry egg incubation. Three types of activated thermochemical storage materials (TCMs) were used as an energy storage medium. These materials are Silica gel self-indicating (blue/pink), commercial white Silica gel, and Natural Zeolite. An open thermochemical system was applied inside a poultry egg incubator. The TCMs were humidified by the vapor produced from the evaporation of the water by an ultra-sonic humidifier at atmospheric pressure. The thermal recovery process aims to release the stored energy in TCMs. Two types of poultry egg incubator used during this study. The first one was the traditional poultry incubator (electricity incubator). The traditional egg incubator dimensions were 57×66×59 cm with capacity of 125 hen egg- 76 hatching. The second one was the prototype of a thermochemical poultry egg incubator. The thermochemical poultry egg incubator contained sensors to control and measure the temperature and humidity inside the incubator. The designed incubator egg dimensions were 56x39x28.5 cm, with a capacity of 25 eggs. The total heat losses by the wall and ventilation were 9.8 and 1.5W, respectively. The heat production by 25 eggs due to metabolic activities was 3.65 W. The total energy needed for the incubation process was 36.09W. The container of storage material with dimensions of 35x35x5 cm with 3.5 kg capacity allocated inside the incubator. The container's surface is covered with aluminum sheet with 0.5 mm thickness supplied with fins. The egg tray is placed on the aluminum sheet, and the eggs were placed horizontally in the tray. The energy consumption for traditional and thermochemical incubators for 21 days was 19.25 kWh and 11.2 kWh, respectively. The energy saving by thermochemical prototype incubator was 41.8%. The percentage of hatchability for traditional and prototype incubator was 80.9% and 71.4%, respectively.