I want to… Be more Energy Efficient
With increasing energy costs farm businesses are under increasing pressure to become more energy efficient. Milk cooling, water heating and vacuum pumps amount for the biggest proportion of energy use on dairy farms, it is these areas that offer scope for the greatest savings. Each of these three areas accounts for 20-30% of electricity consumption on a typical farm.
As electricity is consumed daily there are opportunities to improve electrical efficiency, particularly as new technologies become available. However, this often involves capital expenditure therefore it is important to identify the main consumers of electricity. Begin with evaluating energy consumption, collect data from bills, read meters regularly or install a smart meter. Next ensure that the business is on the best tariff and maximise the use of off-peak electricity. Basic measures such as using timer switches, lagging pipes (hot and cold) and water tanks, replacing halogen floodlights with sodium lights, and ensuring that equipment is well maintained can also make a big difference.
Once all these have been reviewed, we can then look at investing in new technologies. In previous years (Source – 2019 Teagasc publication) the cost of equipment and return on investment varied from 3-7 years. However, the cost of equipment has not inflated as rapidly as the cost of electricity and today this return on investment could easily be halved.
Areas to Consider
Installing variable speed milk and vacuum pumps, and heat recovery systems offer the greatest potential energy savings – farmers report energy savings of over 60%.
Heat exchangers and variable speed pumps help cool milk to the necessary temperature and reduce energy costs. For example, heat exchangers will transfer the heat from freshly extracted milk to another liquid before entry in the bulk tank – this process can save 60% of energy costs. Variable speed milk pumps cool the liquid by an extra 15-20 degrees.
Energy, noise and maintenance costs can all be reduced by using variable speed vacuum pumps. These operate at different levels in response to capacity requirements, not at a constant rate as with conventional pumps, therefore reducing wear and tear and energy used.
Dairy producers can significantly cut energy costs by equipping their vacuum pump with a variable speed drive from BouMatic.
The variable speed drive can speed up or slow down the vacuum pump to produce just the amount of airflow needed at any point during milking or cleaning. On-farm trials have produced electrical savings of up to 60% when using a vacuum pump equipped with a variable speed drive. BouMatic’s VSD manages your vacuum pump, so it supplies all the air your system needs, but at much more efficient, cost-saving level.
Conventional, fixed drive vacuum pump systems have only a full-on or full-off setting. Air demands in a milking system vary widely throughout the milking cycle. The key to reducing wear and tear on your vacuum pump motor is to run it at the slowest speed necessary to provide the air volume needed. Reducing RPM’s also reduces wear and tear therefore extending vacuum pump life and reducing maintenance costs.
The AirStar DSL vacuum pump is more durable and long-lasting than ever and provides a stable, reliable and efficient vacuum level in the heart of your milking system. The AirStar DSL is suited to dairy farm conditions and will meet your needs, no matter whether your installation is large or small.
The optional VSD monitors vacuum levels and will supply all the air your system needs, but at a much more efficient, cost-saving level. Increased pump efficiency comes with the optional Variable Speed Drive that monitors vacuum levels and will supply all the air your system needs, but at a much more efficient, cost-saving level.
Other benefits of the AirStar DSL are reduced noise pollution and as it is a dry vacuum pump there is no emission of pollutants.
Save on cooling costs with the OptiFlo CF. An electronic milk pump speed controller that operates a 3 phase milk pump at variable speeds during milking when used with the new analogic milk level probe, resulting in gentler milk transportation.
Enables optimum cooling when used with a pre-cooling plate cooler, maximizing the heat exchange from the milk to the coolant by operating the milk pump at the slowest speed possible dependent on milk flow and the pre-set minimum speed. The continuous float provides precise speed control reducing demand on the cooling system.
The ultimate in cost-saving efficiency! Capture waste heat energy from your refrigeration system to provide hot water while allowing your compressor to run more efficiently.
The Heat Recovery System is a double-walled heat exchanger with water storage tank that captures lost heat from your cooling system to heat your water for free. The heated water is then stored in the system until it is needed.
Fast Efficient Milk Cooling for the highest quality milk. The plate heat exchanger (Plate Cooler) uses well water and/or chilled water to pre-cool milk before it enters the bulk tank. Pre-cooling milk can save on cooling energy costs and can help maintain milk quality; use for partial pre-cooling or 100% instant cooling.
All Plate Coolers are CIP ready.
BouMatic Plate Coolers are unrivalled for fast, efficient milk cooling and will use your well water or chilled water for the most effective milk cooling.