The detection and measurement of stray electrical leakages on dairy farms: effects on performance

The detection and measurement of stray electrical leakages on dairy farms: effects on performance
Peer reviewed

Abstract

Sources of stray electrical leakage from Power Supply Authority alternating current (AC), fence energiser pulses and randomly generated pulses and spikes on 55 dairy farms in the Waikato area were identified between December 1986 and March 1988. The electrical measurements were made using a specifically designed voltmeter able to detect voltages between 0.1V and 1500V, from single voltage spikes of two microseconds oigreater duration from direct current (DC) as well as 50 Hz AC. Ninety-five sources of stray voltage were identified, and 53 per cent of properties had more than one source of >0.5V. The major source was from electric fence energisers. Rotary platform parlours were among the commonest sources of random or transient voltage spikes. Leakage of AC into one or other of the components of the milk transport system such as vat, plate cooler, milk lift pump and milk line was common. Owners acknowledged the improvements in milk production, reproductive performance and growth rate of calves after reduction of the exposure of dairy cattle to stray electrical leakage. A representitive summary of five case records helps define the range of improvements that may possibly be achieved.

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