With the ever increasing cost of electricity taking up a large proportion of production cost, any savings that can be made in this area will help improve profit margins.
When looking at the electricity usage within a typical parlour, the high energy items are the vacuum pump, the water heating for washing and the milk cooling. South West Dairy Services Ltd can help with the costs of all of these high energy items.
One of the first things to consider is Vacuum on demand (VOD). A traditional vacuum pump runs at full speed all the time with a regulator valve to let off spare vacuum. With Vacuum on demand we simply vary the speed of the motor according to the demand requirements. In systems we have fitted we have seen savings of around two thirds of the vacuum pumps energy usage, although this can depend on individual conditions of each farm. Vacuum on demand also substantially reduces noise levels around your farm which is an added bonus, especially if your vacuum pump can be heard from the farmhouse or neighbours. This also decreases the amount of noise pollution associated with farms.
A heat recovery system is the next thing to consider. With a heat recovery system we are utilising the heat energy taken from cooling the milk into heating the water for parlour washing etc. A traditional system would normally just blow this heat away into the atmosphere using a fan. Heat recovery simply captures this heat into water which is stored in an isolated thermal store ready for when you need it. We see temperatures typically 60°C or higher being achieved and therefore saving a large proportion of the water heating costs in the dairy. This heat energy can also be utilised for other purposes such as heating a room, hand washing and feeding calves.
Plate coolers are the third main user of energy. The plate cooler is used to reduce the temperature of the milk going to the bulk milk tank. This is done by pumping cold water through the plate cooler. New plate cooler systems are significantly more efficient than the old type ones, which means many existing plate coolers are not giving the full benefit of maximum energy saving. By cooling the milk rapidly we reduce the bacteria growth in the milk, therefore maintaining the quality of your milk and maximising its value.
South West Dairy Services can look at each of these areas of your system and can advise where savings can be made. We are happy to send someone out to look at where savings can be made on your system and advise on current availability of any government or European grants available at the time of visit.
All of these energy saving improvements also reduce your carbon footprint, so whilst you are saving money you are also helping to secure valuable resources for future generations of farmers.