1.1 Background of Study
Industrial rising of farm
animal indoors under conditions of extremely restricted mobility is
commonly known as factory farming. It is done as part of industrial
agriculture which is set as a method that changes as laws and technology
change. Industrial agriculture which is designed to produce the highest
output at the lowest cost, using economics of scale, modern machinery,
modern medicine, and global trade for financing, purchasing and sales.
The economic growth of industrial agriculture crucially depends on the
long-term availability of energy from sources that are affordable,
accessible, and environmentally friendly. Security, climate change, and
public health are closely interrelated with energy. On the other hand,
Energy is an important factor in all the sectors of any country's
economy. The standard of living of a given country can be directly
related to the per capita energy consumption. The recent
world's energy crisis is due to two reasons: the rapid population growth
and the increase in the living standard of whole societies. Energy
supports the provision of basic needs such as cooked food, a comfortable
living temperature, lighting, the use of appliances, piped water or
sewerage, essential health care (refrigerated vaccines, emergency, and
intensive care), educational aids, communication (radio, television,
electronic mail, the World Wide Web), and transport. Nigeria is Africa's
energy giant [Oyedepo, 2012]. It is the continent's most prolific
oil-producing country, which, along with Libya, accounts for two-thirds
of Africa's crude oil reserves. It ranks second to Algeria in natural
gas. Most of Africa's bitumen and lignite reserves are found in Nigeria.
In its mix of conventional energy reserves, Nigeria is simply unmatched
by any other country on the African continent. It is not surprising
therefore that energy export is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
Also, primary energy resources dominate the nation's industrial raw
Several energy resources are available
in Nigeria in abundant proportions. The sun is considered the best
alternative source of energy because;
- It is there in plenty and free of charge.
- It is non-pollutant and clean.
- It is available everywhere even in the North Pole where solar voltaic can be used.
The available solar energy depends on
the position of the sun, weather condition especially the clouds and
location. Nigeria has significant biomass resources to meet both
traditional and modern energy uses, including electricity generation.
There has been a supply and demand gap as a result of the inadequate
development and inefficient management of the energy sector. The supply
of electricity, the country's most used energy resource, has been
The rural areas, which are generally
inaccessible due to the absence of good road networks, have little
access to conventional energy such as electricity and petroleum
products. The most suitable place for solar energy in Nigeria are the
rural areas where there are difficult terrains, no easy access to fossil
fuel energy source. Effective harnessing of solar radiation using solar
energy technologies would enhance availability of energy for
socio-economic activities and to improve the standard of livelihood of
the people by harnessing it in the agricultural sector.
Although solar energy is available in
abundance and free of charge, it is very discouraging to note that the
initial capital cost of installing a solar powered system is very
constraining. Such capital cost can only make sense if the running cost
of the solar energy is so low as to lead to a high saving to repay the
high initial capital cost in a reasonable period of time. This can only
be achieved by having good knowledge of the amount of energy being
tapped. This would help in deciding the location where the system should
be installed to operate with the highest possible efficiency and lowest
possible fabrication, installation and operation costs.
The application of energy in poultry
production (egg incubation as case study) has not received comparable
attention especially in developing countries. The world’s population is
growing at an alarming rate and so is the demand for protein especially
in rural areas. Poultry is a good source of protein if it is affordable.
The production level is limited with natural incubation because the
number of eggs an adult female bird lays in a year varies from 0 to 365
or one per day [French, 1981]. Nevertheless a broody hen (a hen that
wants to set and hatch eggs and raise its chicks) can hatch just about
10-12 eggs at once in 21 days [French, 1981]. This reduces its
productivity as it takes to incubate and hatch the chicks. For the world
growing population, relying on this natural type of incubation is not
enough. Hence, the need for artificial incubation process became
necessary in agricultural production of chicks. Therefore in order to
ameliorate these problems, there is need to design and fabricate a solar
powered incubator that can meet the poultry need of the growing
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Poultry egg incubation is an activity
that requires sustainable energy supply for efficient performance,
operation and profitability.
With the Nigeria Government’s inability
to supply adequate and reliable energy to ensure energy security in the
urban areas, it then becomes extremely unlikely that the rural areas
will be considered in the short term especially considering their low
load factor and the economy of grid connection. Rural areas that are not
economically viable for grid extension will therefore have to be served
by an alternative source of energy such as solar energy that is
abundant, non-polluting and inexhaustible. A special features of solar
powered incubator is that it could harness solar energy by using
available material and is adaptable to both rural and urban poultry
Some energy and other related problems which affect poultry production in Nigeria among others includes:
- Unavailable and insufficient power from the energy grid.
- Expensive cost of running electricity
- Low quality of chicks produced
- Pollution of environment for poultry breeding as a result of emission from burning fossil fuels
- Lack of commercially owned hatchery machines
These problems will be addressed by this present project.
1.3 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this project is to design and fabricate an incubator that is powered by solar energy source.
The objectives of this project include to:
- Design a solar powered egg incubator
- Fabricate the incubator with more of locally source materials
- Hatch eggs in a clean environment devoid of any energy related pollution
- Encourage the youth to venture into agriculture (poultry farm), small and large scale
1.4 Justification/Relevance of the project
The purpose of this project mainly is to
construct an incubator system that will be powered by energy from
sunlight through the use of solar power equipment. Most important, with
our project we intend improving the process of hatching egg and also
create an environment that is free from pollution and good for
incubating egg. This project will help to fast track meeting the
protein needs of the country and the world using locally available
materials. It will equally motivate youth’s t venture into agriculture
(poultry farming) in small and large scale.
1.5 Scope of the Work
The scope of this work is limited to
design and fabrication of a small size solar-powered egg incubator. Its
capacity is limited to fifty eggs per time. It covers design, component
fabrication and assembly of the various components to form the
1.6 Report Organization
This report presents the combination of
various chapters that contain the introduction, literature review,
methodology, result and discussion and the last chapter is a
conclusion and recommendation of the project.
Chapter 1 is an introduction of the
project. In this chapter, we will explain the background and
objectives of the project. The concept of the project and the
overall overview of the project also will be discussed in this chapter.
Chapter 2 focuses on the
literature review and the project flow for the development of the
Automatic Egg Incubator System for Various Types of Egg.
Chapter 3 will explain the methodologies
of the project. The project development consists of three parts which
are mechanical design, hardware design and software design.
Chapter 4 discusses all the
results obtained and the discussion of the project. Chapter 5
captures the conclusion and recommendation of the project.