According to The Farm Energy Centre over 60% of the energy costs in running a dairy unit are used to remove the heat from milk for refrigeration and then to add heat to water, to wash and clean the plant.

There are a number of technologies Dairy Farmers can deploy to reduce energy costs. These include installing variable speed milk and vacuum pumps and also heat recovery systems. For example, heat exchangers that transfer the heat from freshly extracted milk to provide hot water for cleaning the plant, are just such a smart move to reduce carbon and save costs. The Farm Carbon Toolkit is a great resource for advice and details.

Solar Technologies also play a significant role in reducing energy costs and providing a return on investment. These include:

  • Solar PV deployed on barn roofs to directly generate electricity onsite to operate the plant and refrigeration
  • A Solar Thermal system installed to directly produce hot water for plant and bulk tank cleaning

A dairy milking parlour replacing electricity by using a 100 tube solar thermal system for hot water

System size11.42kWp
Expected annual generation 5,860kWh
Expected Carbon saving3.5tCO2e
Estimated savings in electricity £843 per year
Estimated Generation Tariff (BUS)£562 per year
Estimated annual financial gain£1,405 per year
Initial Rate of Return14.4%
Expected system payback 7.1 years

Technologies for Dairy Farming

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