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Energy Cost Savings are Fullwood's Dairy Event Focus
22/08/07

A NEW initiative designed to help dairy farmers cut their energy costs for milking and milk cooling is to form a key focus for milking parlour and milk tank experts Fullwood at this year’s Dairy Event (stand number EH2 - 236, 19 and 20 September 2007, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire).

Fullwood milk tank

Fullwood milk tank

Based around a number of cost saving components that the company is launching or has developed, the initiative also seeks to help reduce carbon emissions.

“Electricity consumption is a major contributor to the costs of running a dairy farm,” explains Fullwood technical director, John Baines.

“Typically, electricity costs in a parlour and dairy are split into three parts: one third for running the vacuum pump in the parlour; one third for heating water for washing; and one third for milk cooling. We are focused on helping producers make savings in all three of these areas, with plans to launch several new energy-saving components on the stand.”

Assessing vacuum costs first, Mr Baines says for most of the time during milking, full operation of the vacuum pump isn’t required. Full capacity is required during washing, he says, but once milking has started, full vacuum reserve may only be needed when clusters are attached or kicked off.

With the new Fullwood vacuum sensor and speed controller unit designed for fitting to vacuum pumps, pump capacity is only made available as and when needed. In this way, it has the potential to more than halve electricity costs for running the vacuum pump, estimates Mr Baines.

“The new sensor and speed controller will be exhibited in conjunction with a new high capacity pump which we are also launching on the Dairy Event stand,” he points out.

To help reduce water heating costs, the company is also exhibiting its new heat recovery unit – which re-cycles heat emitted from the compressor on the milk refrigeration unit and uses this to heat water for washing.

“On one farm, water reached 62 degrees C where the heat recovery unit was used. Based on an ambient water temperature of 15 degrees C, this equates to 47 degrees out of the total 75 uplift normally needed to heat water to 90 degrees C. In other words, over 60% of the energy needed could be provided by the heat recovery unit alone.”

For milk cooling, with rising energy costs, Mr Baines says now is the time for producers to reconsider ice bank tanks. These use cheap rate electricity to build up a store of ice which is used to cool milk later as a way of making savings, rather than drawing on electricity during peak times. “By spreading electricity consumption over the day, farmers can reduce peak demand and may be able to access cheaper tariffs.

“All three of these areas are part of our drive to help farmers lower their cost of ownership of milking parlours and bulk tanks. These include savings on energy but also savings on items such as ease of cleaning, which we are tackling with other parlour developments” he adds.

link Capital Milk to Buy and Sell Milk on Behalf of UK Dairy Farmers
link New Research Reveals Opportunities for Dairy with Provenance
link New Fullwood Milking Parlour Design Offers Hygiene Boost

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