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Bringing solar to dairy farming.

Ashleigh AngellOctober 22, 20181010

Bringing solar to dairy farming.

Combining the worlds of solar and dairy farming might seem weird and perfect depending on how you look at it. It might seem weird if you’ve never considered the new and innovative ways you can bring solar to new, different parts of your lifestyle. After all, if you’ve never considered the idea of bringing solar to a dairy farm, it sounds a little bit out there. But when you think about it, it’s actually perfect. After all, a farm it outside and getting sun whenever it’s out, so why wouldn’t you harness that sun’s energy to keep your farm running and save you money?

How to use solar on a dairy farm.

Okay, so now it seems less weird, but how on earth would you even be able to use solar on a dairy farm? Well, for starters, you can use it to power your farm. The lighting, your heating water cylinders, the charging equipment, and refrigeration, are all vital pieces of farm equipment that can benefit from going solar.

You’ll also probably have things like irrigation systems that keep you fields wet, which could be run on solar. And you might have electric fences to make sure your livestock doesn’t escape, which is probably already in direct sunlight all day.

On top of all this farm equipment, you can also use the solar energy to power your home, which is most likely part of your farm, meaning you can have it all connected to one huge solar system. Doing so will save you even more money. If you transform your farm into a 100% renewable energy paradise, you won’t have to worry about the huge amount of money it costs to keep either your farm or home running again.

How to plan for a solar farm.

Planning on making your farm solar might seem like a mighty task. After all, farmland is often massive, and even if you have a smaller farm, you’ll definitely need more panels to power it than the average home.

For an example of how to figure out what you’ll need: a dairy farm with 1000 cows will on average have $2000 - $3000 worth of energy costs, meaning they would be consuming 200-400 kWh/month on average. They would need around 30kW worth of panels for a 70% reduction in power consumption during daylight hours.

If you are unsure how this translates to your own farm, check out a solar calculator to try to figure out how much you’ll need. All you’ll need to look at is your past utility bills to use the calculator and figure out how many panels you’ll need.

How to properly install solar panels on a solar farm.

After you’ve figured out how many panels you’ll need, the next step will be figuring out how to install your panels on your solar farm. Most of the time, farms will place their panels on the shed (and the roof of their home if you’re planning on adding solar there, as well). However, if that isn’t ideal for your farm, you could also consider getting ground-mounted panels, instead. They cost more, but you’ll be able to place them anywhere, and you won’t have to worry about the positioning of your rooftops or the shady areas that could decrease efficiency.

Want to learn more ways to bring solar into your life? Check out the HahaSmart blog!

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