Obviously, the sun is the source of all cheese, through the wonders of photosynthesis and rumination. What’s new is that our process of cheese-making now also is powered by the sun.
Solar power goes very well with goat cheese production, since the energy production coincides with the milking season. During the darkest months, december to february, there is no activity in the dairy anyway, so the losses are negligible. In the summer, the need for refrigeration follows the sun, so there’s a natural correlation between energy consumption and energy production.
The barn roof is facing east-southeast, and is hosting about 50 full sized panels, producing up to 15 000 kW.
Some people would say that the south facing roof on the living house would be the best spot for solar panels, but there are a few resaons for choosing the barn roof initially.
- Facing east-southeast means higher exposure in the early morning hours when the ambient temperature is lower and the panels can work more efficiently
- Peak energy consumption in the dairy is in the morning hours, when the milk is being pasturized
- The barn roof has the largest area, which compensates for less optimal production
- The barn roof belongs to the farm company and not to the private household, meaning a possibilty to apply for the 40% EU agricultural development subsidy, instead of the 20% Swedish subsidy for homeowners.