14 results for Information paper, Energy and Facilities
Manual control in grain drying operations with large variations in moisture often leads to significant overdrying or underdrying, and is highly inefficient from an energy point of view. Feedback-based automatic controllers can help to minimise energy consumption by controlling energy inputs more precisely to meet the needs of the product being processed. While preservation of grain quality is the primary benefit, energy savings of up to 20 percent can be achieved.
The pressure drops typical in compressed-air systems used on farm can result in energy losses greater than 35 percent. Pressure drops can be reduced by increasing the pipe/hose diameter to reduce friction, thereby helping to reduce flow losses; selecting rigid pipes made of smooth material to further reduce friction; minimising the length of pipe and components that increase joins (resulting in fewer smooth areas) and the likelihood of bends.
Leakage accounts for nearly one third of compressed-air energy consumption. A proactive leak repair and maintenance program should be followed for compressed-air systems. Applying repair and maintenance measures in a sustainable manner requires regular inspection and assessment of your system and engagement with equipment operators. The upside is that energy savings of up to 80 percent can be achieved.
Chilling and refrigeration can account for more than half of a farm’s energy use. Cold chain technology has improved markedly over the past decade and the range of opportunities for farmers to save energy has expanded. This fact sheet provides an outline of the energy-saving opportunities in cooling and refrigeration, and details areas in which upgrades can improve the quality of your produce and its farm-gate value.
Upgrading farm lighting equipment can achieve energy savings for relatively low investment and should be considered by most farm businesses. Reductions in lighting energy use of 82 percent can be made. Which specific solution best suit your needs will depends on a number of factors. Generally, retrofitting requires less up-front capital and is simpler, but installing a new system is more cost-effective in buildings that contain older equipment. Full replacement of your lighting can also be economical where improvements in technology have led to price reductions.
The main heating technologies used in poultry sheds are radiant and air heaters. Various factors need to be considered in determining the most effective and efficient technology for poultry sheds. Assuming similar combustion efficiencies within heaters, radiant and infra-red technologies will have inherently lower energy costs and may be 15 to 30 percent more efficient than brooder heaters. Alternative heating technologies, while less commonly used in poultry sheds than radiant and air heaters, may also be worth considering.
Mechanical ventilation can optimise the transfer of temperature and the removal of harmful gasses from poultry production facilities. Setting controls to regulate air exchange automatically will allow sheds to maintain desired temperatures with minimal loss of conditioned air. Reducing the loss of conditioned air within facilities enables the maintenance of optimal temperature without requiring as much energy for heating and cooling.
Energy-efficiency improvements of up to five per cent are possible if failed electric motors are replaced with high-efficiency models. High-efficiency motors are more expensive than standard motors but typically demonstrate good return on investment in the small motor range (up to 185 kW). Over a 10-year operating period for a motor, the purchase price represents only about two percent of the total motor installation and operating costs. Even a small improvement in motor operating efficiency can produce significant energy and cost savings.
Insulation can result in efficiency gains of between 20 and 30 percent in some farm buildings, and is integral to the design of modern intensive animal production facilities. Insulation can be applied in roofs, walls and floors, and is best incorporated at the construction stage due to the cost and complexity of retrofitting. A wide range of products can be effective, potentially, in agricultural applications. Selecting materials and calculating your return on investment depends on assessing the specific requirements of your buildings and production system.
Reflective roof coatings can reduce the temperature inside farm facilities by up to 15 percent, reducing the energy demand of heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems. Savings are most significant where there was previously limited or no ceiling insulation in place. When commissioning new facilities or undertaking maintenance of existing ones, the additional cost of adding reflective coating to roofs is likely to be warranted.