The future of Energy Audits on Dairy Farms
Updated: Jan 10
In Canada, dairy farms often perform an annual energy audit. This can be a dreaded time of year, as the typical process is very time-consuming and invasive. Usually, an energy auditor will visit the farm for up to five hours and run through a checklist of everything a dairy farm should have to be energy-efficient, including a new ventilation system, LED lights, or any cracks that may let in outside air. These checks are invaluable, but the old methods of doing them have long been a thorn in the side of many farmers.
Nowadays, the methods of auditing a dairy farm are changing, with new technologies enabling us to get the data we need faster than ever before. If you’re dreading that upcoming audit, these exciting developments might put your worries to rest.
Here’s how dairy farms in Canada can revolutionize their energy audits.
How Energy Inspections Are Changing
A major way that energy inspections are taking a positive shift is through thermographic inspections. These types of inspections utilize infrared scanning and cameras to discover and map out air leakages and other thermal defects in the farm’s infrastructure.
Auditors use infrared cameras that can detect infrared frequencies and identify issues in areas that wouldn’t normally be accessible to the human eye - such as dark spaces or through walls. Any object with a temperature above absolute zero will emit infrared radiation, and the amount of this radiation increases as its temperature rises, which is how thermal cameras can measure heat and see where that heat may be escaping or not being used effectively.
Energy inspections are also leaning towards more automated solutions. For example, drones are slowly being embraced to detect energy abnormalities across the farm. They help to reduce the need for human auditors and decrease the time spent holding up production by automatically examining problem areas and creating high-res reports for the farm. As with the thermal cameras, they can also access places that human auditors cannot.
These developments are making big strides for energy audits and making the whole process much easier and more enjoyable for farmers. The only caveat is that these technologies are not being used everywhere, and still require valuable input and time from farmers. There has to be a better solution.
The Cure for Invasive Energy Inspections
While these audits are leaning more towards automation every day, there is already one device on the market that can gather all the data you need and save you time and money by cutting the need to close down the farm. With the Rakr NeatMeter, your next energy audit can be done instantaneously, with our smart device generating an automated, highly-detailed report that you can use to determine where your energy use could be more efficient.
The NeatMeter compiles data from all machines in use across the farm to provide an in-depth analysis through the connected Rakr app. Thanks to this interconnectivity, your information is never further away than your back pocket.
Energy audits are an unpleasant but important part of being a dairy farmer in Canada; however, the scope of them is changing quickly, with new automated solutions making it faster and easier to get the information you need for your farm’s continued success. To learn more about the NeatMeter or for general consulting, please get in touch with our team.