A TEAGASC energy research project at Moorepark is evaluating new technology, such as more efficient milk tank coolers, solar panels, heat pumps and variable speed vacuum and milk pumps for dairy farms.
Researcher John Upton said an adequate and reliable supply of hot water is an essential element in the production of high quality milk.
“Energy audits carried out by Teagasc in 2009 identified water heating as one of the major consumers of electricity, accounting for over 30% of total energy used on dairy farms. The most common method of providing hot water on dairy farms is electrical water heating, with oil fired boilers also popular on larger dairies,” said Mr Upton.
“The energy audit showed the importance of using night-rate electricity. It also showed that an oil-fired water heating system was cheaper to run than electrical heating systems. The price of kerosene would have to increase by one third from today’s prices to match the cost of the electrical heating system. The oil-fired system also emitted less carbon dioxide compared to the electrical system, but there was a higher capital investment involved,” he said.
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