CowTime's cool tips
9 July 2008
Plate coolers can be an extremely cost effective way to cool milk, but they are poorly utilised on many dairy farms. CowTime’s Darold Klindworth has some tips to make sure you get the most out of your plate cooler. It will save you energy and money.
It is easy to find out if your plate cooler if working efficiently. Simply compare the temperature of incoming cooling water with the temperature of milk leaving the plate cooler. Milk leaving the plate cooler should be no more than 2 degree C. warmer than the incoming water.
If it is warmer, your system is not working effectively and it is time for some basic maintenance and to check your system set up.
Your regular maintenance checks should include making sure the plates are clean. Blockages can restrict flow over the heat exchange surfaces. Mud and mineral deposits on the plates also reduce heat transfer.
Now for the set-up. Are you using the coldest water available on the farm for the plate cooler? And make sure milk runs from the plate cooler into a correctly sized direct expansion milk vat. This will use the least amount of energy to cool your milk.
The cooling fluid should flow in the opposite direction to the milk. If not, the heat transfer is reduced.
Size does matter when it comes to plate coolers. The size and number of plates needed depends on the peak flow rate of milk expected from the milk pump. If milk production has increased significantly, make sure your plate cooler is still adequate.
For more information refer to CowTime Quick Notes 4.6 and 4.7 which can be downloaded for free from this website or contact: Darold Klindworth, ph 03-5624-2269