The TID Board of Directors approved on July 10, 2010, the participation in a research, development and demonstration project to test thermal conductive cooling systems for dairy operations. If proven successful, this system has the potential to help dairy customers save energy by reducing or eliminating the need for High Speed Low Volume (HSLV) fans in free stall beds.
Currently, the most common method used by dairy operators to abate the effects of heat stress on their animals is to utilize HSLV fans along with soaking and misting systems. This method consumes a large amount of energy during peak electrical hours.
AgriAire, a manufacturer of dairy and poultry cooling systems, has self funded and completed two prior investigative studies to validate the functionality and ability of conduction cooling to meet the demands of the dairy industry. Both tests were conducted at the University of Arizona’s Tucson research center. The first test proved the ability of heat to migrate from a simulated cow to the heat exchanger. The second test used a real cow in a stall modified to simulate a free-stall bed.
A third study is now being proposed at a dairy in Tulare, CA. A dairy owner has agreed to allow and support an application test by maintaining typical milking and animal movement operations for a 52-cow test group and a 150-cow control group. The test group will be cooled exclusively by the heat exchanger based, conductive cooling method. The control group will be cooled by existing ventilation and misting/soaking methods. The test protocol will be developed and monitored by the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Training Research Center (VMTRC) located in Tulare.
Tulare was selected as the dairy location to keep costs at a minimum due to the proximity of the staff that would be monitoring the study. The test would commence in the second half of August and conclude at the end of September. The total cost of the study is $48,893 and will be paid out of the Public Benefits budget.
If this project is successful, this could create a technology specific efficiency retrofit opportunity for TID dairy customers to participate in its energy efficiency programs.