Enhancing Cooling Capacity on a Dairy Farm

Product Manager Chris Ancipink Talks Products

Expert Sizing Makes All the Difference


"It's not just a piece of equipment. It's someone's livelihood. We're invested in helping dairy farmers get the most out of their operation so they can stay profitable."


Chris Ancipink,

Mueller Product Manager

The Challenge

The largest dairy producers in the world demand massive milk storage tanks. In this case, multiple 60,000-gallon Paul Mueller Company milk silos were required. As part of the cooling solution, plate heat exchangers were implemented to help precool/instant cool milk before it went into each silo. When this producer bought heat exchangers from a competitor, they found the units were unable to keep up with milk cooling demands. Proper cooling enhances milk quality, and they needed lower temperatures to allow them to maintain cool milk temperatures as they shipped their product over longer distances. With such tremendous milk flow rates, this dairy producer needed help—and they needed it fast.

The Journey

Mueller experts were called upon to help determine why the competitor’s plate heat exchangers were failing. Paul Mueller Company drew from a wealth of dairy farm equipment knowledge, accumulated over more than six decades, to assess the situation. They knew oversizing the plate heat exchanger would make it inefficient, but undersizing the equipment would render it unable to keep up with demand.  

Data was collected to calculate the correct plate heat exchanger specifications. Several questions needed to be answered for precise temperature control:

  • What was the operation’s milk flow rate?
  • What was the temperature of the milk?
  • Was well-water precooling being employed?
    • If so, what were the well-water temperature and flow rates?
  • What was the chilled-water flow rate?

The answers to these questions revealed the plate heat exchangers needed less milk pressure drop. Massive plate heat exchangers not typically used on dairy farms would be required. A consultation with Paul Mueller Company engineers confirmed the findings, as well as the flow rate and port size requirements.

The Solution

It was settled. AT-40 Accu-Therm® plate coolers, also known as plate heat exchangers, could handle the extraordinary cooling needs of this dairy operation. Each high-efficiency, multi-pass AT-40 Accu-Therm plate cooler would utilize 149 plates, well-water precooling, and a propylene-glycol water chilling loop for success.

Accu-Therm plate coolers have a series of sanitary (type 316) stainless steel plates compressed in a frame. Separated by gaskets to contain pressure and control flow, these plates form channels. Fluids run through these channels. When using plate coolers on a dairy farm, cool water flows up the channel on one side while warm milk flows in the opposite direction on the other side. The milk's temperature drops as its heat transfers to the cool water. Corrugated plate design enhances heat transfer capabilities for ultraefficient, fast precooling.

The Results

Mueller considered all the operating equipment and variables on this farm to form a complete, custom cooling solution. Expert equipment sizing was vital. The AT-40 Accu-Therm plate coolers are keeping up with cooling demands and profitability is protected. The dairy producer is able to supply their product to an expanded market without investing in additional facilities—all with the utmost confidence in their milk quality.

Contact a Dairy Farm Equipment team member for expert sizing ideal for the scale of your unique operation.

Milk Jug Icon
Preserving Optimum Milk Quality Through Precise Temperature Control
Expert Equipment Sizing to Achieve Maximum Efficiency
Protecting Profitability in Expanded Markets
AT-40 Dairy Farm Accu-Therm Plate Cooler
Mueller helped a dairy producer supply product to an expanded market-1
Accu-Therm Dairy Farm Plate Pack Close-Up-1