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Stackyard News July 2003
       
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The new tank being lifted by crane through the roof of the existing dairy building.
Milk cooling system is the cream of the crop!

One of the largest on-farm milk cooling systems in the UK has been installed on a Cumbrian dairy unit.

The Mueller direct expansion tank with a capacity of 28,700 litres is now cooling and storing the milk for the 400 head of pedigree Holsteins at the Dent Company’s farm at Greengill, near Penrith.

The tank is believed to be the biggest on-farm milk cooling system in the UK, sold by Carlisle-based agents GD & M Dunglinson, of Brunstock.

The tank which is 6 metres long, 3 metres high and 3.2 metres wide was lifted by crane through the roof into the existing dairy at Greengill between the twice daily milkings.

It was delivered by low loader from Lichtenvoorde, Holland, home of the manufacturing plant for Mueller milk cooling systems for the U.K. market.

The Dents lost their noted Greengill herd – one of the early Holstein herds in the country founded three decades ago by Gordon Dent – to foot and mouth. Now numbers have been built up to 400 milkers averaging 10,200 litres and eventually the herd will be restored to its former PI status.

Herd numbers are being increased due to the economics of milk production and the recent acquisition of the Penrith based milk processing business North Lakes Foods.

The extra milk produced has resulted in the need to replace the previous 10,000 litre DX tank with the new larger tank which almost triples the capacity and will be suitable for further expansion to 450 cows.

" We are aiming to supply 50 per cent of the milk ourselves for North Lakes Foods. We had considered installing an outside silo to store the milk but this option would have been a lot more expensive," said Thomas Dent.
" Because the new tank was able to fit into our existing dairy this helped save on building costs. The price of the new tank was competitive and the reputation of Mueller will leave the tank with a good residual value.

" Also importantly, particularly for the supply of liquid milk, the tank is very efficient and fast at milk cooling," he added.

GD & M Dunglinson's tank installation technician Simon Armstrong at the control panel of the newly-installed tank.
Malcolm Douglas, manager of specialist milking equipment suppliers and installers GD & M Dunglinson, said: "Mueller is a leader in the manufacture of bulk milk tanks and this 07000 model is from a proven range of milk cooling systems.

" The system is efficient and compact because it does not require an ice builder or other complications. The tank is simply connected to the dairy’s existing plate cooler."

Phil Valentine, managing director of Mueller Cooling’s UK operation based in Pershore, near Worcester, said: "Mueller pioneered large direct expansion milk cooling systems in the UK back in the mid 70s, a system which replaced milk tanks that relied upon expensive ice-building techniques to cool the milk.

" Today all milk tank manufacturers adopt the DX principle. To the best of our knowledge and that of our national distributors, there is no competitive DX system of this capacity and design available."

He added: "At Mr Dent’s request we have installed the refrigeration system at Greengill to cool the milk down to 2 degrees centigrade as opposed to the dairy industries standard of 3.5 degrees. This is easily achieved due to the very large cooling surface area we build into our milk coolers and the reason we rarely need our clients to purchase additional, expensive and complicated ice-builders.

" Calculations given by the farm energy centre and the Milk Development Council concerning milk cooling costs with ice-builders can take up to 31 years to recover the investment of the ice-builder alone."

 

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