Optimized Controls for Cooling California Dairy Cows

Regents of the University of California, Davis

Recipient

CA

Recipient Location

3rd

Senate District

4th

Assembly District

beenhere

$301,654

Amount Spent

refresh

Active

Project Status

Project Update

A heat and mass transfer model of evaporation from the fur of a cow was coupled to a metabolic model of the animal to estimate the frequency of water spray and fan speed given input on environmental conditions. The model has been used to develop a controller that can vary the fan speed and spray frequency to maintain the animal core temperature at a target value. The controller was implemented on a platform provided by a commercial partner, and its performance is being compared against baseline control strategies used in a dairy in the Central Valley.

The Issue

Heat stress in dairy cows is a key issue affecting many aspects of sustainability and welfare in the U.S. dairy industry, causing an estimated $1.5 billion in milk production losses annually. A common and effective method of reducing heat stress in dairy cows combines spraying water on cows while using fans to increase air circulation. Optimal use of electricity and water for these spray cooling systems is critically important to improve the sustainability and financial viability of the dairy industry. Electricity used for fans and well-pumping is costly for dairy operations and results in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Project Innovation

The project’s innovation includes improving controls for existing spray cooling systems by integrating an optimization algorithm based on a heat and mass transfer model of a dairy cow into the control system. The controller will operate the existing water spray solenoid valve at the desired frequency. The optimization algorithm developed through this project will be deployed using a commercially available control platform.

Project Goals

Reduce electricity and water consumption by developing, testing, and demonstrating a controller for dairy cooling systems.

Project Benefits

The project will reduce annual electricity consumption therefore improve electricity reliability. This reduction in electricity consumed by dairies will decrease stress on the electricity grid by reducing the total lad and lower electricity costs for dairy farmers. The project is consistent with the California Energy Commission's mission of leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The project will reduce annual electricity consumption therefore improve electricity reliability. This reduction in electricity consumed by dairies will decrease stress on the electricity grid by reducing the total lad and lower electricity costs for dairy farmers. The project is consistent with the California Energy Commission's mission of leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. This project is expected to save 26 kWh per cow per year.

Lower Costs

Affordability

The project will reduce annual electricity consumption and lower electricity costs for dairy farmers.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The project is consistent with the state's goal of increasing energy efficiency and leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. This project is expected to save 26 kWh per cow per year in CZ 12 and 50 kWh per cow per year in CZ 13.

Greater Reliability

Reliability

The project will reduce annual electricity consumption and potentially reduce stress on the electricity grid by reducing total load.

Subrecipients

Rocket

RMS Energy Consulting, LLC

Rocket

Agrimesh

Rocket

Hyhuis

Rocket

Match Partners

Rocket

Western Cooling Efficiency Center - UC Davis

Rocket

Contact the Team

*Required