Tips to save electricity on dairy farms
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.
- 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.
- 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
- Insulate all refrigerant pipes going from the milk cooling compressor to the bulk tank
- Keep all milk cooling equipment maintained and working efficiently – this includes cleaning air condensers. Maintain the correct refrigerant charge.
- Check the milk tank temperature. Over cooling milk results in much higher energy usage
- 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.
- Install hot water heaters near to where the hot water will be used in order to reduce the heat loss during line transmission.
- Flush the sediment from the hot water tanks regularly.