- Heating farms is often energy inefficient because of large areas to be heated and poor isolation
- The MILK2HEAT solution extracts heat from the milk cooling process and uses it to heat houses instead of natural gas
Fossil fuels (natural gas, oil and coal) are used to generate electricity and energy for heating, but a lot of CO2 is emitted during the incineration, causing severe air pollution. We must switch to sustainable energy sources like MILK2HEAT to reduce the negative consequences associated with the usage of fossil energy sources.
Fresh milk is 37°C and flows straight from the cow to the cooling tank. Just like a refrigerator, this cooling tank gets warm at the back. The MILK2HEAT unit extracts this heat into a buffer tank filled with water for the heating system. “the door of the farmers’ milk room is always opened to let the heat out, while at home their central heating system is burning like crazy”, says Bjorn Weghorst. That’s why he invented MILK2HEAT five years ago in collaboration with installation company FH Loohuis from Saasveld. Their solution can now heat the farmers’ house or for example their cleaning installation.
The figures show that this invention of the industrial engineering and management student is much appreciated. “The invention brings about great (gas) savings. The heat produced when cooling 1 million litres of milk is equal to 5000 cubic metres of gas. This has a significant impact since the yearly gas consumption of a cattle farmer is between 6000 and 7000 cubic metres of gas”, says Weghorst.
Around sixty farmers in The Netherlands already use MILK2HEAT to reduce their natural gas consumption. According to Weghorst it is just getting started. “There is enormous demand, above all expectations. That’s why we’re looking for technical people to join our team.”