16 June 2008
Research has shown that many dairy farms are spending much more money on heating water than they need to. With nearly half the energy used in a dairy going towards heating water, it’s worth making some simple changes.
CowTime’s Darold Klindworth has some tips for cutting costs of cleaning in the dairy, without affecting milk quality.
Check the settings on the hot water system. Many are set to a much higher temperature than needed. Most dairy farmers don’t realise that using too hot water causes problems in cleaning.
Check the manufacturers recommendations for your cleaning products. Most chemicals are designed to work in solutions of 75-80 degrees Celsius.
Before you lower the thermostat on your hot water system, make sure you allow for heat loss between the tank and the hot water barrel.
Water can lose 10 degrees on a hot day and even more in cold weather. This loss can be minimised by insulating pipe-work, keeping the lid on the washing barrel and plumbing the barrel so that the water fills from the bottom rather than spraying in from a tap.
Review your cleaning routine. Can using cold acid sanitizer reduce your power costs? Think about reusing washing water. Some farmers use their hot alkali wash more than once. This can save water, chemicals, and money.
Consider using a solar energy or heat recovery system to pre-heat water for use in the dairy which is stored and used as feedstock for the water heater. These can significantly cut the amount of electricity used to heat the water.
CowTime has a useful Dairy Energy Savings Checklist for simple things you can check to ensure your dairy is using energy efficiently – without costing a cent!