NZ Dairy Autumn 2022

| 71 nzdairy Independent advice key to sustainable refrigeration Dairycool Ltd is the market leader in dairy farm refrigeration across the greater Canterbury/Waitaki region. “Our commitment to the cooling needs of the dairy sector allows us to respond rapidly to any issues on farm. We have a dedicated team of six ield technicians available for covering any faults or repair work, 24hrs a day, as well as the maintenance and servicing of on farm assets throughout the year” says General Manager Mike Redwood. Utilising their experienced team, Dairycool complete full turnkey installations of new refrigeration units, including plumbing, electrical and refrigeration work, often between milking’s with no disruption to milk supply. “We strive for the highest levels of customer satisfaction, and like our customers are continually looking at ways to improve our operations and e iciency, as well as the products and solutions we can o er”. We are seeing a growing interest and awareness of energy e iciency and sustainable products, alongside the compliance aspects of milk cooling. Like all technology, refrigeration is a dynamic and ever changing industry. Ozone depleting CFC refrigerants were phased down 30 years ago, their ozone friendly replacement ‘HFC’s’ are now being phased down also, based on their levels of ‘Global Warming Potential’ or GWP. GWP is a measurement of the energy 1 ton of gas will absorb over 100 years, relative to CO (and therefore contribute to global warming). Currently a draft recommendation in New Zealand is for the phase down of gases above 1500 GWP in new systems starting in 2023, with the ultimate goal of phasing down all gases above 150 GWP from 2032. Note that ‘phasing down’ implies a gradual reduction in availability, and due to the carbon tax on high GWP gases this e ectively prices them out of use. R404a, a common and reliable refrigerant ideally suited to milk vat refrigeration is in this category. It has a high GWP of 3922 and has reached a price point where in the instance of a large loss of gas in a system, it would now cost less to ‘drop in’ a compatible lower GWP option such as R407c or R449a, which has approximately half the GWP level. In this instance however, if the chilling system is older than 10 years this may not be the best economic option. A completely new chilling system, running on a di erent refrigerant type, could be the better solution with the added bene it of the latest technology and energy e iciency. Refrigerants are more than ever a necessity in a world where cooling and heating needs are growing. The selection of the right refrigeration product can be a complicated task, and while some of yesterday’s solutions have had consequences for today’s environment, we believe it is imperative that the dairy industry looks ahead to ind future-proof solutions to current challenges. Whichever cooling products you have on farm, do not overlook the importance of routine maintenance and servicing to ensure any small issues are resolved early, and units are running to their optimal capacity. Consider also what simple steps you can take on farm to ease the load on your vat refrigeration, such as installing a vat wrap on your bulk silos to reduce radiant heat. Dairycool can assist with further energy e iciency options also, such as free hot water through heat recovery systems using waste heat from the refrigeration process. As an independent and locally owned business Dairycool are well placed to provide the right advice tailored to your needs that deliver not only on environmental sustainability but inancial sustainability also.