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Varivac provides farm energy efficiency benefits

Varivac provides energy efficiency benefits on North Otago dairy farm

Innovative Kiwi technology has provided real energy efficiency benefits for a Kurow dairy farm, with power demand for its cow-shed vacuum pump cut by two-thirds.

A Varivac computer system has been installed at the dairy farm, which is owned by power generator and retailer Meridian Energy,

“Most dairy pumps simply run at full speed all the time, with a very simple vent limiting the amount of suction as cows come on and off the milking system,” says , Meridian’s Rural and Business Segment Manager.

The pump in the Kurow milk-shed used to run at a constant 15kW.

“The Varivac system constantly monitors the suction in the system and adjusts the pump motor within 0.3 seconds to provide a constant pressure.”

This has cut the power demand of the pump from a constant 15kW to an average 4.5kW, a 70% reduction in power use. In addition, the pump unit is expected to last longer and require less maintenance.

“The noise level in the cow-shed is now much lower than before. The sharemilkers say they can now listen to the radio, something they could never do previously,” says .

There has also been a significant increase in the quality of the milk.

“This is because the constant pressure of the new system has reduced the incidence of mastitis in the cows.”

The typical sematic cell count in the milk has dropped from around 400,000 to 150,000.

The Varivac system is manufactured by Corkill Systems Ltd, based in Opunake, Taranaki. Corkill Systems won a gold medal for dairy efficiency at this year’s Fieldays.

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