Mueller’s energy saving milk silo erected on Armoy farm

Stephen Morrison, Armoy, checks the Mueller milk silo's MIII control unit which is housed inside the dairy in a stainless steel alcove.
Stephen Morrison, Armoy, checks the Mueller milk silo's MIII control unit which is housed inside the dairy in a stainless steel alcove.

North Antrim milk producers David and Stephen Morrison have been using Mueller’s cooling technology for many years and have recently upgraded to a 20,000 litre vertical milk silo.

Over the years an increase in herd size, and a selective breeding programme, has led to a rise in milk production at the Toberanne pedigree Holstein herd based at Armoy.

Mueller agent Cecil Wilson, Wilson Milk Tanks, discusses the energy saving benefits of the Mueller Fre-Heater with Armoy dairy farmer Stephen Morrison.

Mueller agent Cecil Wilson, Wilson Milk Tanks, discusses the energy saving benefits of the Mueller Fre-Heater with Armoy dairy farmer Stephen Morrison.

“We have been using Mueller milk tanks for 20 years,” explained Stephen. “Our first tank held 7,000 litres, and we gradually progressed to a 12,000 litre model. “

The 200-cow herd is currently averaging over 11,000 litres per head at 4.01% butterfat and 3.24% protein.

Three years ago the Morrison family installed two Lely Astronaut A4 milking robots which operate alongside their conventional milking parlour.

“The cows had the potential to produce more milk, but with limited labour we weren’t keen on the idea of milking three times every day. After careful consideration we decided to invest in robotic milking technology,” said Stephen.

“The herd is divided in half, with the higher yielding and fresh calved cows milked in the robots. Once daily production starts to fall below 30 litres they are moved to the other batch and milked twice-a-day in the parlour. Prior to the installation of the robots our average annual production was 9,300 litres per cow.”

The increase in milk yield has driven the farm’s production to 2.3 million litres per year. “Our milk is collected every other day, and our previous storage facilities were not adequate for the system.

“Mueller has served us well over the years and we were reluctant to change. The company manufacturers a range of tanks, but we were restricted by the height and length of our existing dairy. The most cost-effective solution was a vertical milk silo which is situated directly outside the dairy.”

The milk silo was installed three months ago and David has already noticed significant savings on the farm’s electricity usage.

Boasting a futuristic design, Mueller milk silos feature a weatherproof aluminum cladding which is available in a choice of colours. The cooling and cleaning system, complete with Mueller MIII control unit, is housed inside the dairy in an easily accessible stainless steel alcove.

The control unit incorporates a ‘quick wash’ cleaning system with automated detergent and acid dosage. The shorter cleaning cycle (10 minutes) makes the Mueller tank fully compatible with robotic milking systems.

The new storage and cooling facility is complemented by a Mueller Fre-Heater which converts waste heat from the milk cooler’s condensing unit and uses it to heat water at no extra cost. Backed by a five-year warranty, trials have proven that the Fre-Heater can recover up to 60% of wasted heat energy to create ‘free’ hot water up to 55°C.

“We’ve been using the Fre-Heater for four years, and it produces enough hot water to wash the milking plant and feed calves,” added Steven.

“The whole system is farmer friendly, and the new milk silo is very fast and efficient. The milk is cooled when we are finished milking.”

Mueller agent Cecil Wilson said: “Mueller tanks are renowned for their rapid cooling ability and low energy consumption.

“The company’s HiPerForm system uses up to 27% less electricity, and offers faster cooling than conventional units, making it one of the most efficient and best-selling refrigeration systems on the world market.”

Mueller bulk tanks are available in three models: the low profile oval design O model; the narrow profile circular P model; and the vertical silo.

The P model is available with a capacity ranging from 1,300 litres up to 25,000 litres; while the O model ranges from 1,725 litres up to 32,695 litres. Both models are manufactured to high specifications, which include a seamless, polished texture, and watertight outer vessel; adjustable legs; a fixed ladder on larger models; and a stainless steel lockable outlet. The outdoor silo is available in a range of capacities from 15,000 litres up to 34,000 litres.

To find out more about Mueller’s unrivalled range of bulk milk storage and cooling systems visit the Intercool Engineering stand at the RUAS Winter Fair. Alternatively log on to www.wilsonmilktanks.com. Contact Cecil Wilson on 07730 065075, or Gene Ormiston on 00353 86 25677071.