Electric energy consumption of milking process on some Finnish dairy farms
The aim of this study was to examine the electric energy consumption of milking process on dairy farms and to evaluate the methods to improve the energy efficiency. The electricity consumption of the milking process was measured on three dairy farms in Southern Finland, and it varied between 37–62 Wh kg-1 milk. The largest energy saving potential was identified in milk cooling and the heating of cleaning water. Even simple methods, such as placing the condenser of the refrigeration system outside, may reduce the energy consumption of milk cooling by 30%. Efficient milk pre-cooling can reduce the energy consumption of the whole milking process by more than 25%. Even larger energy savings are possible with a sophisticated milk cooling – water heating systems. It was concluded that there is a significant potential to reduce the energy consumption and energy costs of the milking process, and thus to improve the profitability and sustainability of the sector at the same time.