There are many applications for solar thermal heating in the dairy industry. They include hot water, sanitation, and cooling. A critical factor for dairies is the health of the herd and the quality of the milk sent for processing. Sanitation of the milking parlor can be improved by using hot water in excess of 160F. Another very important issue with the milking parlor is the flushing and cleaning of the lines to the chiller and tankers. The quality of the milk based on the percentage of bacteria affects the price paid to the dairy. Meaning the lower the bacteria levels the higher the price received for the milk. A solar thermal system can significantly improve the cleaning of heat exchangers and flushing of lines as most water heaters operate at 140F the XCPC technology can operate in excess of 180F.
Another application for solar heating can be powering absorption chillers to provide the cooling of the milk. In addition, it may be feasible to use digester gas as an additional source of heat for the absorption chillers.
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