India is the world’s no. 1 milk producing country, with an output of 117 million tons in 2010 as reported by the National Dairy Development Board, and is second only to the European Union in production. Furthermore, milk production in India is growing at an annual rate of 4.5 %, far ahead of the global average of 1.35 %. Nearly 15 % of the milk sold in the domestic market is processed into dairy products (baby foods, ice cream, whey powder, casein, and milk albumin) — and that requires heat. There are some 700 milk processing plants in the formal dairy sector.
While most of the hot water requirements are at the dairy processing plant, there is also a minimal need for hot water to clean containers at the collection and chilling center. Thermal energy is used for various processes, such as pasteurization and washing. At the dairy processing plant, a central boiler produces steam which is then used to heat water. The common practice in the dairy industry is to use petroleum fuels for steam generation in boilers. CSP typically saves between 1 and 5 % on petroleum fuel consumption. Space for solar water heaters is less of a constraint for dairies than it is in other industries. Because treatment facilities already exist for supplying boiler feed water, water quality is also not an important issue. Rapid growth in the organized dairy industry offers a significant opportunity for solar thermal systems.
The use of an appropriate solar technology can have a positive impact on the energy and environmental scenario of Dairy industry at a large. There are various solar technologies available for dairy industries mainly solar concentrator systems. The steam or pressurized hot water generated by the SolwedISH’s solar technology solutions can be used in the following processes: