Why high efficiency fans lead to happier, more productive dairy cows
Dairy farmers know how important it is to keep cows cool. Due to their inability to sweat, cows need assistance when the temperatures rise to keep them healthy and producing at optimal levels. Hotter summers in California are making it harder to keep dairy cows from experiencing heat stress.
High-efficiency ventilation fans provide a means to regulate temperatures for cows, increasing their health and production and saving energy.
The Agriculture Energy Savings Action Plan (AESAP) recently assisted a dairy farm that was looking for a solution to replace aging fans to ensure the health and productivity of their cows. The farm took advantage of free technical assistance provided by AESAP to create a plan that included the costs, payback time and incentives available for the project.
The project included the installation of 67 high efficiency 72-inch ventilation fans for two dairy barns. The new fans replaced 92 existing fans and are expected to save the farm more than $42,600 a year in utility costs. The farm received $20,000 in incentives from AESAP for the project, giving it a payback period of just over 4 years. The additional project cost was financed through PG&E’s On-Bill Financing 0% interest loan program.
The variable speeds and temperature sensors on the new fans allow them to operate at lower speeds in warmer temperatures and higher speeds when the temperature rises. The older fans only had one speed meaning they operated at 100% whether it was 70 degrees or 90 degrees. In addition to the enhanced features on the new fans, they are more efficient than the fans they replaced meaning that even when they are operating at 100%, they are using less energy than the previous fans.
Since its launch in January 2021, the AESAP program has helped provide incentives for hundreds of fan installations for California dairy farms. The program has paid out incentives to farmers to offset the costs of the fan upgrades. In total, these fans are expected to save the farmers a substantial amount of electricity every year while increasing milk production.
Posted June 6th, 2022