Application of Solar Thermal Energy in Dairy Industry
Globally, the use of renewable energy is gaining more importance due to increase in energy demand, higher prices and limited energy resources of conventional or fossil fuels e.g. coal, wood, oil, gas etc. The conservation of conventional energy sources will ensure the energy security for longer period. Food security is also a great matter of concern for sustainability of the growing population of the world. If solar energy, one of the renewable energy sources, is effectively used for dairy and food processing operations, it will help in achieving both food and energy securities. In this direction solar energy applications for dairy and food processing operations will ensure the conservation of conventional energy sources as well as more food available to sustain the growing world population. (Barnwal, 2014).
India stands 1st in world milk production reaching to about 140 million tonnes. The majority energy is utilized to produce heating or chilling in dairy industry. Dairy industry uses approximately 47 kilo tonnes of coal, 70.92 kilo tonnes of petroleum products, 863 GWh of electricity incurring high economic cost. Solar energy is best suited to replace most of these conventional energy because it is renewable and inexhaustible (Deepak, et al., 2013).
Solar energy is classified into solar thermal and solar photovoltaic system. Solar thermal energy is best alternative energy for the dairy industry by saving approximately Rs. 916 million annually (MNRE, 2014).
In this current seminar, an attempt will be made to elicit the classification, working principle, applications, benefits and limitations of solar thermal energy in Dairy Industry.