‘The ultimate quality of a farm’s milk is determined in large part by the cleanliness of the milking machine and the whole dairy environment. A clean milking machine ensures the microbial contamination of the milk is minimised. Clean yards and surroundings also reduce other sources of contamination’.

The quality and quantity of the water used for cleaning the milking machine has a significant impact on the cleaning efficiency. Typically, farmers spend between 30 and 60 minutes cleaning the milking machines, vat and yards at each milking.   The cleaning of a milk cooling system provides the chance to avoid infections. It is necessary to clean the milking equipment after every milk turn is complete.

In order to destroy the bacteria, it is an industry recommendation that each dairy farmer uses high water temperatures to thoroughly disinfect the installation area. Careful thought to work routines, strategic use of automation and the right equipment can ensure significant efficiency gains.

Teagasc National Dairy Conference:

–          Dairy Farm Energy Consumption (2010 Report Findings)

Energy audits conducted in 2010 by Teagasc have shown that electricity usage contributes on average .60 cent/litre to milk production costs. In terms of electricity consumption per dairy cow milked, the figures vary from 4kWh/cow/week to 7.3kWh/cow/week. This is equivalent to €.60cent/cow/week to €1.10/cow/week. There is a scope for Irish dairying to increase energy efficiency thereby helping to reduce costs while at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

During the survey conducted on behalf of Teagasc, 3 Research Farms were fitted with electricity monitoring equipment over a 30 week period from March 2009. The audit concluded that milk cooling is the largest consumer of electricity (37%) followed by water heating (31%), vacuum pumps (19%) and lighting (10%). Other items such as wash pumps, milk pumps, feed augers and air compressions make up the balance (3%).

As demonstrated by the surveys finding, the heating of water is a substantial energy input in the operation of a modern dairy farm. Electricity used by water heating equipment can add up to 2kWhs per cow per week. The most common method of providing hot water on dairy farms is electrical water heating, with oil fired burners also being a popular choice on larger dairies.

The Hotfoot Dairy Heat Pump:

–          Saving Dairy Farms up to 75% on their Hot Water Heating Costs

Hotfoot understands the need to combat carbon emissions and offer dairy farmers efficient hot water heating solutions which will help to reduce emissions and conserve energy costs.

The Hotfoot Dairy Heat Pump system has a low capital cost due to the Dairy Equipment scheme and can be used to reduce overall energy consumption. Our Heat Pump air cooling and water heating systems meet the requirements of the dairy industry for safe, reliable energy efficient applications.

The Hotfoot Dairy Heat Pump units produce both hot water and cold air, which is a significant innovation in the dairy industry from the energy balance point of view. Heat is recovered from the compressor used in the production process that cools the milk. Without the use of a heat pump, the condensation heat is simply left to evaporate into the air.

It is reasonable to assume that there is potential savings of up to 75 % savings based on:

  • A COP of 3 or 4 as opposed to 1 for standard heating devices

The energy savings generated from adopting a heat pump during the heating and cooling process is significant.  The Introduction of the Heat Pump in these energy supply systems combines heating and cooling functions and maybe considered a retrofit. The Heat Pump uses the condenser heat of the cooling machine and lifts the temperature of this heat to a useful level of hot water cleaning purposes. This approach decreases fuel consumption of groundwater because cooling water to release condenser heat is no longer needed. As a consequence, this means a cut down of thermal pollution of surface waters and less investment in cooling equipment.

Dairy Farmers can also avail of up to 18-30% off the list price when applying through the Dairy Equipment Scheme.

For more details and dairy farming solutions, go to www.hotfoot.ie