Patricia's Construction and Contracting Blog: Tips for Novices to Experts

The Farmer's Dilemma: The Energy Efficient Dairy Farm

by غزل موسوی

With increasing energy prices and an increased focus on carbon emission in Australia, dairy farmers face immense pressure to cut on energy cost. While there are a lot of fixed cost you can't reduce such as animal feeds and veterinary bills, with a few improvements on energy inefficiencies, you can control your energy costs, stay competitive and at the same time shrink your greenhouse emissions. By reducing your energy bill, you can save a substantial amount of money which you can plow back into your farm for increased production and future use.

Where is the main energy used?

The key to cutting cost on a dairy farm is first to understand where the main energy is used.

  • Milk cooling equipment
  • Hot water systems
  • Milk harvesting system
  • Lighting
  • ventilation

Reducing energy consumption in these areas can drastically improve energy efficiency in your farm. Here are some simple steps that you can take to reduce energy consumption and save money.

Improve the efficiency of milk cooling equipment

 Other that hot water systems, milk cooling equipment contribute most to high energy bills on your farm. Scheduling regular maintenance services are one of the best ways to maintain and improve the efficiency of milk cooling equipment. Cleaning heat exchangers and condenser coils in milk cooling equipment at least thrice to four times a year is an effective way of maximizing on function which reduces energy cost.

Optimize the process of your hot water systems

Turn down and maintain water heater temperatures slightly above process requirements. If you are using an uninsulated water heater, install an insulation jacket or consider replacing it with a pre-insulated tank to prevent heat loss which will cut down on electricity consumption.

Move your water heater close to the point of use to limit the distance the hot water travels which minimize potential heat loss. Install timers on the heaters to automatically switch off when hot water is not needed and then on again when the hot water is needed. Timers should be set a few hours before to ensure an adequate supply of hot water.

Milk free solar energy during the day and use it on your hot water systems to help reduce the cost of heating water.

Quick fixes on lighting and ventilation

Reduce energy cost by switching off or dimming the lights where natural lighting is available. A long term solution would be installing energy efficient lighting to reduce energy costs.

Use high-efficiency fans with high volume and low speed to provide widespread air circulation. Install programmable thermostat to control your fans by measuring air temperatures.