Self-consumption of electricity in dairy farming with a milking robot

With electricity bills on the rise, it may be wise to invest once and for all in equipment that will save you money in the long run. And why not look at photovoltaics. Self-consumption is suitable for farms equipped with milking robots.

The electricity consumption in a dairy farm mainly focused on the milking station, especially the milk tank, water heater and vacuum pump. And of course, a robotic installation consumes more current.

“Fortunately, we can do it saving easy,” explained Fabien Dutertre, adviser on energy and climate at the Pas-de-Calais Chamber of Agriculture, during an open house with François Normand, a dairy farmer who plans to expand. “We can reduce consumption by up to 20% by organizing a little in the dairy. This requires, for example, good ventilation to remove heat, insulation of the water heater and pipes and sufficient tank volume (not too much or not enough). »

To save more, some investments are needed:

– One pre-cooler which makes it possible to reduce tank consumption by up to 50% (and to recover warm water at the same time),

– One heat cure which makes it possible to heat water to 55-60°C and thus reduce the consumption of the hot water tank by 75 to 80%,

– A variable flow vacuum pump which allows an operating economy of the order of 50 to 60% and will increase pump life (and incidentally will reduce noise).

Self-consumption of photovoltaic energy

mountain solar panels in consume electricity by itself produced on the farm could be interesting in the dairy industry, especially for robotic barns. “In a classic milking parlor, there are the highest consumptions and a lower electricity demand outside of milking hours,” explains Fabien Dutertre. In milking robot, we are in a more linear consumption, with a slight peak in the morning when the breeder pushes the cows late, but mainly in a higher power. »

Average power consumption of the milking installation (for 100 VL)
milking parlor Milking robots
43,956 kWh/year 68,505 kWh/year
400 kWh/year/LV 652 kWh/year/LV
4 maximum consumption Linear consumption profile

Self-consumption or resale? It’s hard to decide. “In total resale, it is necessary to pay attention to the cost of the connection and to the power on which condition the tariff of repurchase (decrease), warns the expert. In the self-consumption requirement, the purchase price is lower, unless the installation is located in the new segment created recently (≤ 500 kWp) that presents an attractive purchase price that is the same as in 100% resale. »

Self-consumption or resale: what is the right approach?

Total resale strategy Self-consumption strategy with resale of surplus

Available surface < 500 m2
(ie, tranche < 100 kWp)

Low power demand


Low capacity for self-consumption

Electrical requirements


Good capacity for self consumption

Available surface > 500 m2
(ie tranche > 100 kWp)
Low power electricity subscription Significant power of electricity subscription

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