As the milk cooling process is responsible for about 33 per cent of the energy consumed on dairy farms, it is one of the most important areas to target.
Mr Kennard says: “The first thing to consider is the efficiency of the plate cooler and what reduction in milk temperature it is achieving.
“The minimum should be 10degC, with pre-cooling systems achieving a reduction of 20degC.
“If the plate cooler is working efficiently, milk exiting the system should be within 2-4degC of the temperature of the water entering.”
The efficiency of a plate cooler can be significantly enhanced through a variable speed milk pump, as opposed to a single speed milk pump, says Mr Kennard.
“A variable speed milk pump will ensure a consistent flow of milk through the plate cooler, while a single speed milk pump only transfers milk when a set level is reached,” he says.
“With a single speed milk pump, water is often flowing through the plate cooler when no milk is passing through.
“When the pump kicks in, the volume of milk passing through the cooler exceeds the ideal 2:1 ratio between water and milk flow.
“There is little difference between the energy use of a variable and single speed pump. It is a question of whether the capital investment is worthwhile and is solely linked to the improvement in milk cooling which can be achieved.”
According to Farm Energy Centre, typical dairy farms consume 33 per cent of electricity costs through milk cooling, while a further 33 per cent applies to water heating.
Tom Kennard, director at Granted Consultancy, tells us after considering some small, easily adopted changes on farm, you can save money and ensure a more sustainable future for your business.
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