Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2014, 62, 1057-1064
Published online 2014-12-02

Measurements of Flat-Plate Milk Coolers

Vlastimil Nejtek, Jiří Fryč, Josef Los

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Measuring in laboratory conditions was performed with the aim to collect a sufficient quantity of measured data for the qualified application of flat-plate coolers in measuring under real operating conditions. The cooling water tank was filled with tap water; the second tank was filled with water at a temperature equivalent to freshly milked milk. At the same time, pumps were activated that delivered the liquids into the flat-plate cooler where heat energy was exchanged between the two media. Two containers for receiving the run-out liquid were placed on the outputs from the cooler; here, temperature was measured with electronic thermometer and volume was measured with calibrated graduated cylinder. Flow rate was regulated both on the side of the cooling fluid and on the side of the cooled liquid by means of a throttle valve. The measurements of regulated flow-rates were repeated several times and the final values were calculated using arithmetic average. To calculate the temperature coefficient and the amount of brought-in and let-out heat, the volume measured in litres was converted to weight unit. The measured values show that the volume of exchanged heat per weight unit increases with the decreasing flow-rate. With the increasing flow-rate on the throttled side, the flow-rate increases on the side without the throttle valve. This phenomenon is caused by pressure increase during throttling and by the consequent increase of the diameter of channels in the cooler at the expense of the opposite channels of the non-throttled part of the circuit. If the pressure is reduced, there is a pressure decrease on the external walls of opposite channels and the flow-rate increases again. This feature could be utilised in practice: a pressure regulator on one side could regulate the flow-rate on the other side. The operating measurement was carried out on the basis of the results of laboratory measurements. The objective was to determine to what extent the use of flat-plate coolers under specific conditions results in cost reduction and improved milk cooling process. The measurement was performed in several cycles. The first measurement took place in the existing system without the use of the flat-plate cooler. The volume of drawn milk was monitored throughout the milking process along with its temperature, temperature in the tank and electricity consumption of the cooling system. At the second stage, the flat-plate cooler was introduced into the cooling process, which was followed by monitoring the milk and cooling water volume, their temperature, temperature in the tank and electricity consumption of the cooling system. The measured data indicate considerable power cost reduction if upstream flat-plate coolers are applied.


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