This report is meant to be a brief guide to energy sources and technologies. The goal is to provide basic indications for an analysis of problems connected with the supply of energy (especially renewable sources) to small and medium-sized milk plants (500–2000 1/day).
In preparing this report, the requirements of the following users were taken into consideration:
engineers in general, who are tackling the problem of energy supplied to milk plants for the first time.
The following subjects are discussed:
a method, currently under study at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Milan, for the economic analysis of energy plants.
This discussion is followed by an example, which should clarify the concepts explained in the previous sections.
In addition, summaries are provided to simplify presentation of the various sources and technologies. The purpose of these summaries is to supply:
the technological level of workshops that are suitable for the manufacture of various plants.
Special attention has been paid to problems that may arise as a result of
the adoption of renewable energy sources. Indeed, one of the reasons why
these sources are rarely employed today is the fact that farmers know
little about their practical application.
Finally, the appendix provides information about the terminology used so that linguistic ambiguities are eliminated as much as possible.
It should be stressed that actual construction proposals that are
recommendable for specific social and climatic contexts can only
provided after further studies, in which the technological level of
equipment used in milk processing can also considered with more
It should also be noted that the costs of various technologies are not supplied here because of their extreme variability from one situation to another.
However, the aim has been to provide the reader with the necessary elements for an initial cost evaluation comparing those technologies with which he is familiar.
Thus, our hope is that this report proves to be a sufficiently flexible and valid work tool.