Decentralized Energy Systems for the Dairy Industry

By Ravi Prakash and Alex Henham.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 21, 2014 $US5.00

The objective of this paper is to explore the technical feasibility of decentralized energy systems along with associated energy saving opportunities for a commercial milk processing plant in India, the largest producer of milk in the world. Some energy saving methods are already employed in the existing plant so as to make it more energy efficient. However, this paper focuses on some energy system alternatives that may replace the existing system with a different configuration, with a view to make the dairy industry grid independent and more energy efficient.
The various alternatives are developed by taking into consideration approaches to energy management as applied in the process industry. For the dairy industry to flourish in rural areas with dairy farming (but without grid electricity), the proposed idea is that the plant should have its own power generating unit along with heat recovery for energy efficiency. Hence, a CCHP (combined cooling, heating and power) system is proposed, utilizing a compression chiller or an absorption chiller.
Three different configurations of the CCHP system have been analysed. The processing energy and the running costs of various alternative systems have been evaluated, and is followed by a comparative study of these with the existing system so as to indicate energy saving possibilities (ranging between 20 - 50%) depending on the requirement, location and various other factors.

Keywords: Dairy Industry, Energy Saving, Decentralized Energy Systems

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 3, May 2014, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 550.464KB)).

Dr. Ravi Prakash

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad, U.P., India

Dr. Ravi Prakash is a member of the Institution of Engineers (India) and of the Solar Energy Society of India. He is working as an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad (UP), India. His professional interests include energy management, refrigeration and air-conditioning, and sustainability. He is also interested in the proactive role of academic institutions in the area of energy and environment.

Dr. Alex Henham

Lead Observer of the Centre for Educational and Academic Development, Division of Mechanical, Medical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, UK

Dr. Alex Henham is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and of the Energy Institute, a chartered engineer in the UK and a European engineer. He continues to work part-time in the University of Surrey's Division of Mechanical, Medical and Aerospace Engineering, where he was formerly a senior lecturer in applied thermodynamics and director of the M.Sc. in Energy Engineering programme. He has acted as an energy consultant to government departments and large industrial companies, and as an advisor on energy courses to universities in Asia. He is currently the lead observer at the Centre for Educational and Academic Development at the University of Surrey, U.K.