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Energy-efficient dairy equipment increases milk production, saves money, and keeps cows healthier and barns safer.
Dairy farms are energy-intensive operations. Milking, moving the milk with pumps and motors, and cooling the milk all require a lot of electricity. Cows generate considerable heat, too, which must be removed in summer months to keep them comfortable. The benefits of energy-efficient lighting, ventilation, and milking technology include improvements in production, milk quality, cow health, and barn longevity. In addition, the cost savings help free up cash that can be reinvested on the farm.
Milk cooling accounts for more than 25% of a dairy farm’s expenses. Plate coolers (or well water heat exchangers) use cold well water to pre-cool milk, which lowers bacteria count, reduces the cooling demand on compressors, and yields drinking water for cows. Energy-efficient compressors are a cost-effective choice when you’re replacing old or broken units. For herds of 75 cows or more, variable speed milk transfer (VSMT) systems can be a good investment; they regulate the flow of milk to help plate coolers work even more efficiently.
- Reduce bacteria counts to improve milk quality
- Compressor equipment lasts longer with plate coolers and VSMT
- Efficient milk cooling lowers energy costs for dairy farms
A pump motor is used to extract milk from cows by exerting vacuum pressure. Variable frequency drive (VFD) controllers allow the motor to run more efficiently by varying the speed to match what’s needed during each stage of milking. They also maintain the proper vacuum level—neither too high, which can irritate the cow and lead to bacteria growth, nor too low, which reduces production.
- A quieter milk room for cows and farm workers
- Happier, healthier, more productive cows
- Save 40–55% per year on pump-related energy expenses