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TimSmith Heat Exchangers
Heat Transfer and Industrial Pump Specialists

Raw Milk / Dairy Cow Milk Plate Coolers

Why use one?

Effective pre-cooling of milk can make savings and enhance the keeping quality of the milk.

Pre-Cooling the milk advantages include:

  1. Reduced costs
    Cooling costs can be reduced by up to 50%. This does rely on the operational efficiency of the cooler, e.g. water to milk flow. The plate coolers offered can be tailored to suit the water flow available with water to milk flow ratios starting from 1 : 1
  2. Improves milk quality
    The use of a pre-cooler ensures a lower milk blend temperature. This helps in curtailing the growth of bacteria.
  3. Heat recovery
    The tepid water from the pre-cooler can be used for udder and yard washing
  4. Happier cows
    The tepid water from the pre-cooler can be used to supply the cows with the optimum drinking water temperature which they prefer as opposed to cold.
  5. Reduces refrigeration condensing unit size
    A milk temperature being fed into the bulk tank of less than 18°C or lower can significantly reduce the size of the fridge plant required on the bulk tank. This is an advantage where power supply is limited.
  6. Back up cooling
    The use of a pre-cooler provides a useful auxiliary system in the event of the bulk tank condensing unit failure. The milk after being cooled down by mains or bore hole water to between 15°C and 20°C should (if produced under hygienic conditions) retain good quality for a period of up to 15 to 20 hours.
  7. Reduced overall cooling times
    Pre-cooling milk will reduce cooling times down to 4°C in the bulk tank when comparing equivalent systems because the milk is starting off at a lower temperature when it enters the tank.

Important Note – The use / installation of a plate milk cooler will not overcome performance issues that can be contributed to a poorly maintained bulk tank cooling system. It is important to ensure that the fridge plant on the bulk tank is clean and has a good supply of air flow. Restricted air flows will encourage the re-circulation of warm air and this reduces the performance, increases the running costs and reduces the life of the compressor.

Plate Cooler range for milk cooling

  • Manufactured from high quality stainless steel wetted parts with food-grade rubber gaskets
  • Easy to dismantle for inspection and maintenance.
  • Produced with frames of either painted steel, or stainless steel.
  • Frame bars and tie bolts are stainless steel.
  • The plate coolers can either be floor mounted supplied with/without adjustable ball feet, or wall mounted with a stainless steel wall mounting bracket..

The plate cooler uses mains water and therefore this is a relatively inexpensive way to pre-cool the raw milk from the cow (35°C) to around 3°C above that of the incoming water temperature (when using a water to milk flow ratio of 2 : 1)

Note – other water to milk flow ratios can be selected and still achieve a good amount of cooling. Going higher than a 2:1 ratio only achieves a marginal amount of extra cooling and so these higher ratios are not generally considered as standard. Lower ratios require additional plates, and although the cost of the cooler may be higher in the first instance, the dividend is a reduced water consumption. Please enquire for options if required.

As the mains water flows through the plate cooler, it cools the milk and heats the water.

The warmed mains water coming off the plate cooler can then be used to provide the optimal drinking water temperature for the dairy cows as they prefer warmer water as opposed to cold, or it can be pumped into a storage tank for wash down purposes (if the wash down water is heated further then this pre-warming of the water again saves on energy costs).

A plate cooler can also be used in conjunction with an ice bank. Ice builders work by generating ice using cheaper night rate electricity or by using solar energy, thereby are a more energy efficient way of generating cold water.

The ice-cold water can be used in a single section plate cooler, or in a two-section plate cooler.

In a two-section cooler, the milk first passes through a section which uses bore hole or mains water, and then the milk flows through the second stage which uses ice water generated by the ice builder. The final milk temperature is then dropped down to a much lower value before it reaches the milk tank.

The spaces between the plates are small and the milk and the water lines should be filtered before entering the cooler to prevent debris from accumulating.

To avoid the need to instal an oversized plate cooler, the milk flow through the plate cooler needs to be as low as possible and so the use of an intermittently operating (level switch operated) diaphragm pump is argued to be a good option. A second centrifugal pump would then be necessary in the system for circulation cleaning.

Standard Selection Data

Raw Milk inlet to Cooler: 35°C
Raw Milk outlet from Cooler: 15°C

Mains / bore hole water inlet: 12°C
Mains / bore hole water outlet: 21.5 °C

Connections: 1.25” BSPT male threaded or 1.5” RJT male

Single section plate coolers using water to milk flow ratio of 2 : 1

Model Size Milk Flow (Gallon per Hour) Amount of Heat removed (KW)
1 200 20
2 300 30
3 400 40
4 500 50
5 600 60
6 700 70
7 800 80
8 1000 100
9 1400 140
10 1800 180