Sven-Olaf Klüe

General Manager

Sven-Olaf Klüe has been working in the field of design, manufacture and applications of pillow plate heat exchangers worldwide for 27 years. For the past 15 years, he has focused specifically on the process-related applications of pillow plate heat exchangers in industrial applications.

Milk cooling on farms

Fast and efficient milk cooling on farms for dairy products by using ice water from our BUCO ice bank tank systems or BUCO Falling Film Chillers.

In the dairy collection point, warm milk used to be delivered in the morning and/or evening, requiring rapid cooling within a short time, which periodically demanded high cooling energy. The ice storage system is still useful for this application today because the necessary ice for cooling can be produced overnight or for a longer duration with a less powerful cooling machine compared to direct cooling. For instance, in order to rapidly cool 6,000 liters of milk from 30 °C to 4 °C, approximately 2,000 kg of ice mass is required.

On farms, today, milk comes from the cow at around 32°C from milking and must be cooled to 4°C quickly, cost-effectively and without freezing. Rapid cooling of the milk counteracts bacterial growth and thus compliance with the strict milk hygiene regulations of the respective country, as well as providing the farmer with the highest possible selling price for his milk on the market.

Selection of the cooling device – Why Use An Ice Bank Tank?

The 32 °C cow‘s milk from milking is pumped into a plate heat exchanger milk cooler, which is fed with ice water from an ice storage tank or a falling film chiller. The milk is cooled very quickly in a single-stage process and leaves the respective heat exchanger at 2°C to 4°C to enter the insulated storage tank. Due to the low generated ice water temperature of 0.5°C, a cooling of 2°C to 4°C of the produced milk in the plate heat exchanger can be easily achieved. High heat transfer coefficients make this possible at high evaporating temperatures of T0= -3°C to -1°C in the falling film chiller, as well as T0= -8°C in our ice bank storage tank.

How will quality refrigeration protect my business and our brand?

Dairy farms share a common problem: milk comes from the cow at a temperature of around 32°C and needs to be cooled to 4°C quickly, cheaply and without freezing. Slow cooling of the milk leads to increased bacterial growth, which affects both the price to the farmer and his ability to meet the increasingly stringent milk hygiene regulations of each country.

How has this cooling been done so far? Milk tanks on farms

The milk tanks on farms have a built-in cooling surface, but this is not sufficient for rapid cooling.  Much larger „booster“ cooling systems with higher power consumption were needed for rapid cooling within this industry. This increased the power demand - and the costs for farmers. The solution: ice water is supplied either on demand from an ice storage system, which builds up and stores ice at convenient times to meet the daily load of this unit. In the process, electricity at a favourable rate can be used to shift demand from hours of high consumption. Or in the form of direct cooling, the ice water is produced by a Falling Film Chiller.

To the cooling operation – Ice bank tank in dairy?

One-step method of milk cooling

The 32 °C warm cow‘s milk is pumped into a plate heat exchanger, which is fed with ice water from an ice bank system cooler or a falling film chiller cooler.  The milk is cooled very quickly in a single-stage process and leaves the respective heat exchanger at 2 °C to 4 °C to enter the insulated storage tank.

Two-step procedure

If cold water is available from the mains, a pond or a cooling tower, the 32 °C warm milk is pre-cooled to about 20 °C in a two-stage plate heat exchanger using raw water and then reduced from 20 °C to 2 °C or 4 °C in the second stage using ice water from an ice bank system or a falling film chiller as before. To counteract the heat gain during storage, the cooling surface in the insulated storage tank can also be supplied with ice water.

The following aspects of a falling film chiller and ice bank system should be highlighted: 

  • Evaporator for cooling warm milk from the milking process with water cooling the ice water down to 0.5 °C.
  • Water cooler unit of refrigeration technology for the fastest cooling of milk down to near freezing point.
  • Efficient CO2 evaporation in milk cooling industry possible
  • Extremely high cooling capacity for peak loads on dairy farms
  • High efficiency due to direct cooling option on dairy farms
  • Completely made of stainless steel, mandatory for dairy farms
  • Easy inspection, as the evaporator system is not submerged in water
  • Almost any storage tank geometry possible in the milk cooling system
  • Use of existing storage tanks possible
  • Production of ice or ice water for direct cooling, which is more energy-efficient.
  • Ice storage tank for producing ice water of a temperature of 0.5°C completely made of stainless steel
  • Lowest refrigerant content of this refrigeration unit
  • Efficient, safe oil recirculation for cooling of this refrigeration unit
  • Open, easily accessible evaporator systems for the farm dairy
  • Efficient ice storage systems for milk cooling is easy to inspect and clean
  • Use of existing tanks possible with these milk cooling ice storage systems
  • Generate ice water to cool milk with our refrigeration ice storage system that takes advantage of cheap night-time electricity rates.