3) What type of compressor do you use?
The newer scroll compressor systems typically save 15 to 25 percent of electrical costs over reciprocating compressors. The compressor is a critical part of your milk cooling system, affecting milk quality, system reliability, and system efficiency. Scroll compressors use a spiral process that discharges fully pressurized gas refrigerant. They are quieter and more reliable than traditional compressors. Designed to "wear in", not out, they improve with time and last longer. Additionally, they operate in cool weater, with the need of a crankcase heater.
4) How do you heat your water?
You may want to consider installing a heat recovery system, which would use the heat from your compressor to pre-heat water. This can cut your water heating costs in half.
5) Are your fans working for you?
Effective and efficient fans can improve production and save money. High volume, low speed fans are an efficient way to move large amounts of air and make less noise than standard fans. For 36 or 48 inch fans, look for an efficiency rating of at least 20 CFM per watt.
6) Are your lights energy efficient?
If not, consider T8 fluorescent lamps in a barn stall or pulse start metal halide lights in a free stall facitiliy. Replacing older incandescent light bulbs and fixtures with energy efficient ones can save up to 75 percent on lighting costs. Specify dust and water tight fixtures for electrical safety.
7) Are you considering switching to long day lighting?
Some dairy operations are choosing to employ long day lighting practices, or photoperiod control, in their barns. Studies have shown that this process of exposing cows to supplemental light can increase milk production by between 5 percent and 16 percent. When you have the lights on for 16 or 18 hours per day, you want to make sure your equipment is as energy efficient as possible.
8) Do you have a plan in place for replacing failed equipment?
By developing an equipment replacement plan you can be ready when equipment fails. Specifying premium efficiency motors, scroll compressors, or blower style vacuum pumps will allow you to receive the benefits of energy efficiency, when your equipment does require replacement. For example, the initial cost of a motor is a mere fraction of what it will cost to operate that motor over its life. Plan ahead, and you will reap the benefits for years to come. Don't get stuck with inefficient equipment that you may use for the next 20 years. Let your vendors know you want to purchase the most efficient equipment that makes economic sense for your application.