A new system from GEA Farm Technologies can help save wasted energy from dairy farms.
ExtraHeat can use the heat loss that occurs when milk is refrigerated, says David Wenner of GEA Farm Technologies.
“The natural temperature of milk taken from a cow is between 32-34C and this is then refrigerated to 3-4C.”
Bulk tank refrigerators work by extracting calories from the milk via a compressor unit which vents the extracted heat into the atmosphere as waste.
“With bulk milk tanks holding up to 30,000 litres each and with a number of farms having more than one tank, the amount of energy lost as waste is considerable,” he says.
The ExtraHeat system recovers some of this energy and uses it to pre-heat water needed to wash the parlour equipment through after milking.
“The system can also increase the temperature of tap and borehole water by up to 50-60C, thereby reducing electricity bills by as much as 50%, recovering wasted energy and helping the environment.”
ExtraHeat is fitted between the compressor and a heat recovery holding tank prior to being fed into an installed water heater.
“Costs savings will vary according to energy prices and consumption, but the system is expected to pay for itself in 3-4 years,” Mr Wenner says.