When it comes to dairy production, one of the main sources of energy production is the milking parlour. Running the milking machine, cleaning the equipment or cooling the milk... all of this can make your running costs rise. Luckily, more energy-efficient equipment does exist. Did you know?

The increase in electricity prices, gas tariffs and tensions surrounding the availability of water are pushing milk collection equipment manufacturers to design more energy-efficient systems. For us here at BouMatic, this is nothing new.

Historically linked to American farms with large herds, BouMatic has been taking the issue of costs into consideration for many years now. This approach is now being extended to all farms that we work with, including those in France, regardless of their size and farming method.

Reducing the energy costs of dairy farms

In addition to the problem of rising energy costs, there are various environmental issues that must also be taken into consideration. The energy consumption of farms indirectly contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases and climate change. As a manufacturer of equipment made to last, at BouMatic we have always done our best to respect the environment without compromising on productivity.

Do you know which BouMatic equipment could help you to save energy? All of the machines mentioned below have been tested by independent organisations. It’s worth reading up on this as depending on what region you are based in, you may be able to get subsidies as part of energy-saving programmes when purchasing the equipment.

The AirStar vacuum pump precisely regulates vacuum requirements during milking or washing.

How does it work?

A classic oil pump with variable speeds usually works at 30 to 50 Hz. The motor must run quickly in order to generate a vacuum and not damage the vanes. The AirStar pump from BouMatic works with lobes and so can drop to 15-20 Hz without there being a risk of the material becoming worn. This also significantly reduces energy consumption. Very quiet, the AirStar pump does not use oil to work - a plus for the environment and your wallet.

Return on investment: between 3 and 4 years if being used for 3 hours a day depending on the size of the farm and the requirements in terms of milking.

The plate coolers optimise the thermal exchange surface between the milk and the water.

How does it work?

The pre-cooling systems use cold water to lower the temperature of the milk before it enters the tank. Compared to tubular models, plate coolers have a much larger thermal exchange surface. The advantage of these coolers is that they use less water for the same cooling effect. As a general rule, they use half the amount of water for the same result.

To achieve this, the plate coolers need to be combined with an OptiFlo analogic controller to make the milk pump work as slowly as possible and almost continuously. This means that it is not used “all or nothing”. This smooth operation reduces the energy costs related to cooling.

Return on investment: between 5 and 6 years for a quota of around 500,000 l of milk.

The Opti-Stor heat recovery system uses the heat emitted by the cooler to heat the water in a hot water cylinder.

How does it work?

Opti-Stor is a heat exchanger. The gas in the tank, which is normally cooled by the fans in the cooling unit, is diverted and cooled by the cold water. This helps to reduce the electrical consumption of the tank. Once the water has been reheated to around 50°C, it can be fed into a classic water heater which then only needs to wait until the desired temperature is reached.

The benefits of this solution are threefold: it reduces electrical consumption, prevents water wastage and extends the lifespan of the electrical equipment. In particular, the electric water heater will not be subject to a thermal shock brought about by water at a temperature of 8°C arriving in the tank. An anode paired with the system can be used to soften the water.

Return on investment: between 5 and 6 years for a production of around 500,000 l of milk.