Tips to save electricity on dairy farms

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The electricity bill can often add up to a substantial amount on dairy farms. Research from Teagasc has shown that electricity usage contributes on average, 0.60  cent/litre to milk production costs. In terms of electricity consumption per dairy cow milked, the figures vary from 4 kWh/cow/week to 7.3 kWh/cow/week. This is equivalent to €0.60/cow/week to €1.10/cow/week.

  1. Switch to a milk pre-cooler system to cool the milk before it enters the bulk tank. With larger milk volumes, the cost of milk cooling can be significantly reduced by pre-cooling. Warm water is generated that can be used as animal drinking water.
  2. Check that the timer settings for the solenoid valve on the water system of plate pre-coolers allow enough time for the milk to be cooled, but not so long as to cause water waste
  3. Insulate all refrigerant pipes going from the milk cooling compressor to the bulk tank
  4. Keep all milk cooling equipment maintained and working efficiently – this includes cleaning air condensers. Maintain the correct refrigerant charge.
  5. Check the milk tank temperature. Over cooling milk results in much higher energy usage
  6. Use a timer on your water heater so the water is the right temperature only when you need it and operated at night to take advantage of cheap night rate electricity.
  7. Install hot water heaters near to where the hot water will be used in order to reduce the heat loss during line transmission.
  8. Flush the sediment from the hot water tanks regularly.
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