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Heat recovery helps dairy farm reduce energy costs

05 December 2012

A UK dairy farm was interested to learn if they were missing out on any potential energy and cost savings. The farm currently processes a large amount of milk which produces a considerable amount of heat. The farm also uses heated water for washing and sanitising equipment which was heated separately. ICS Temperature Control arranged a site visit to carry out an energy analysis.

During the visit the customer explained that to maintain milk quality, milk must be cooled from about 39°C to 3°C. The process cooled the product using an ageing air-cooled chiller. The heat energy rejected from the process was being lost into the atmosphere.

ICS Temperature Control established a number of options for the customer to consider. One option was full or partial heat recovery, which is the reutilisation of heat energy from a cooling system, which would otherwise be lost.

Heat is available for re-utilisation from the milk cooling process to support the heating of washing water and sanitising operations or heating and ventilating working areas. The energy analysis estimated an energy saving of 45% with a payback of 2 years, with savings continuing each year after.

It was clear that the current cooling system was not as efficient as a newer more efficient system. By integrating heat recovery, the savings and low payback made the decision simple. The customer could see the benefits of upgrading and are now running a new air-cooled chiller with full heat recovery, using a heat exchanger.

ICS Temperature Control support the new equipment with a 3 year extended warranty service contract, giving the customer complete peace of mind that their new equipment would be maintained and that the ICS Service Team would be there 24hr a day to support with any servicing or maintenance requirements.

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