Top 10 Tips to reduce electricity use in Dairy Farms
As we use more and more technology in our farms, it’s easy for the electricity bill to start soaring – something we talked about in our last blog . Because of these extra costs, many dairy farms are struggling to keep up with the competition, when agritech often leads to increased production and bigger profits.
Happily, the solution is within reach; it just takes a little planning. To help you get started, we’ve put together these great ideas for reducing electricity use around the farm. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your bill low and keep moooving towards success (pun most definitely intended)!
Here are our top 10 tips:
· Switch to a milk pre-cooler system.
A milk pre-cooler system pretty much does what it says on the tin: it cools milk prior to it entering the bulk tank. Cooling milk may be a minimal cost on smaller farms, but with larger milk volumes the cost can be significant. By pre-cooling, you can slash those costs while also generating warm water that can be used as animal drinking water. It’s a win-win!
To stop energy leaks, try to insulate all refrigerant pipes going from the milk cooling compressor to the bulk tank.
· Check your timer settings
Look at your plate pre-coolers and make sure the timer settings on the solenoid valve are allowing enough time for the milk to be cooled, but not so long that it’s causing water waste. This unnecessary extra water will impact your electricity bill over time.
· Maintain your milk cooling equipment
Keep all milk cooling equipment maintained and working efficiently – this includes cleaning air condensers and managing the correct refrigerant charge.
· Check the milk tank temperature
Over-cooling milk results in a much higher energy usage, so always keep an eye on the temperature of your milk tank. Perhaps make it a part of your daily or weekly schedule to just take a quick look so that nothing has changed.
· Use a timer on your water heater
Using a timer can ensure that the water is the right temperature only when you need it and not during unnecessary times, which results in wasted energy. A bonus of using a timer is that you can operate it automatically at night, letting you take advantage of cheaper night-rate electricity.
· Install hot water heaters
Install 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
Sediment builds up over time and can create a sort of barrier between the heater and the water itself, making it take longer to heat and gobbling up more energy. Flushing away this sediment can improve efficiency and greatly extend the machine’s lifespan.
· Give your vacuum system a "tune up"
Over time, vacuum systems can lose some of their effectiveness if the vacuum setpoint drifts away from optimum or if deposits or wear change its performance. Just like a car or tractor needs a regular tune-up to run efficiently, your vacuum system should be checked on a regular basis to keep it running at peak performance.
· Use the Rakr NeatMeter
The fastest and most effective way to regain control over your electricity use is through automation. The NeatMeter by Rakr uses smart AI to gather data from all machines on the farm to advise you on what is draining the most power, while giving insights into where changes could be made. To learn more, click here.
Let us know how these top tips work for you – and please get in touch if you have any questions about this week’s topic.