AFFORDABLE Energy AUDIT AND ADVISORY SERVICE FOR DAIRY FARMS
Do you want to know how your milking operation compares to other farms in terms of energy efficiency? Do you want independent advice on which of the many energy savings options might be best for your farm? We offer a package providing a basic energy audit which will answer these questions and some more.
You will get an individualised benchmark report which compares your electricity use to other farms, a review of your electricity price and tariff options, and recommendations on cost effective energy savings options with expected paybacks calculated for your actual electricity cost and farm practices. (See a recent presentation to small herd farmers to see the range covered)
The New Zealand on-farm milk cooling standards are changing to require faster cooling post milking with these applying from 1 August 2016 for new sheds and from 1 January 2018 for existing sheds. There are a number of time/ temperature targets but the one which will determine the peak cooling capacity needed will generally be the requirement that the first milking into the vat is brought down to 6 C within 2 hours of the end on milking.
With typical precooling set-ups and milking times, the new requirements require 30-40% more cooling capacity than the current regulations require. But you shouldn't just rush out and buy a bigger refrigeration unit or a prechiller. Many farmers will already have sufficient capacity and our first step is to work out whether you need to do anything at all. If you do, we first look at the energy savings options which free up cooling capacity such as optimising the precooling (getting the milk 1 deg C colder ex the precooler reduces the vat cooling load by 10%), insulating the vat if it is outside, and fitting a heat recovery system (generally considered that a desuperheater on the refrigeration plant will increase its capacity by 5-10%). If you are going to have to spend money anyway, isn’t it better to spend less capital and get annual operating savings as well? If you do need additional refrigeration capacity then there are a number of options to consider there as well. All these issues are covered in our investigation and you will get recommendations as to the adequacy of the current precooling and refrigeration to meet the upcoming milk cooling standards and options for upgrading that capacity if need be.
HOW THE REVIEW IS DONE
With our practical knowledge of typical milking set-ups, the whole exercise can be done without a farm visit thereby keeping the cost and disruption to your business to a minimum. What is needed of you is not at all onerous:
a) A telephone interview taking 15-20 minutes to give us an understanding of your setup and operating practices. Most of this information you will be able to tell us on the spot but you may need to check a couple of motor sizes and plant model numbers and e-mail those.
b) You send a scan, smart-phone photo, or photocopy of a recent electricity invoice and one from 12 mths earlier.
c) We send you some temperature indicator strips to put on the precooler water supply and exiting milk line and have you advise us the readings during a milking. (In some more complex cases additional temperature monitoring might be needed but we would talk you through that)
The basic offering is to do the whole exercise remotely, i.e. by phone and e-mail, to keep the costs to you reasonable, but if you prefer a farm visit for slightly more rigour and the opportunity to discuss options in person we also offer that option and this will particularly suit owners of multiple farms where the travel overhead can be spread over those farms
CURRENT PRICING (As at March 2017)
Standard - $500 + GST (For most farms this cost will be less than 3% of your annual electricity bill.)
With farm visit: - Price on application, will depend on location and the number of farms
The service includes a free telephone/e-mail advice line for the following 12 month period. Enquire now to discuss or to get this underway for your farm.