Aquaculture water purification device from SEAREN earns Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label

Published on
March 25, 2021

The Solar Impulse Foundation has awarded Cincinnati, Ohio-based company SEAREN with its Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label for the firm’s multi-function Vacuum AirLift (VAL) aquaculture water purification device.

To earn approval under the Solar Impulse label, a company must be able to demonstrate a solution’s ability to profitably solve problems in one or more of five areas: water, clean energy, infrastructure, sustainable communities, and/or responsible consumption. SEAREN’s VAL device was assessed by independent experts to determine its qualifications. 

With its approval, the SEAREN VAL joins the Solar Impulse Foundation’s 1,000 Solutions program, which encourages “the adoption of more ambitious environmental targets and fast-tracks the implementation of these solutions on a large scale,” according to a press release from the company.

The device is “the only aquaculture water treatment technology that offers superior biomass management via water circulation, fine particulate extraction, gas exchange, and oxygenation in a single device,” SEAREN said. 

Companies with land-based recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) that implement the VAL can reduce capital expenditures and operating costs, as the device can replace “four separate, costly systems, reducing facility energy and footprint, and improving fish farm processing speeds and yields,” the firm said. Because it employs a purely physical process, SEAREN said the VAL does not require chemical additives, which serves to reduce “moving parts in contact with water, maintenance, and discharge into the environment.”

In terms of the device’s credibility of concept, the independent assessors for the Solar Impulse label found the VAL combined several unit operations into “one single unit with small footprint.”

“All components of the installation are known and proven technology… The solution provides a new cheaper and more efficient system i) to treat the water pollution (dissolved gases, bacteria) and ii) … To increase the growth of fish,” the assessment experts stated.

With respect to scalability, the VAL “is made with very standard and common compounds (vacuum pump, air compressor, FRP and PVC plastic tube , standard electronic…),” which “demonstrated a good maturity of the project attached to the solution and give[s] no doubt about the technical feasibility, its scalability and its respond to the market need,” the assessors said.

“The VAL airlift performs better than the mainstream alternative,” they said, referencing environmental impact. “The solution practically achieves 100 [percent] of reused water… the direct benefit is energy saving (average of 50 [percent] less),” according to the assessment. 

From a CAPEX standpoint, the assessors found the device to be smaller and cheaper, with the VAL requiring less energy and maintenance to operate. They said the “payback is immediate” with the device because “it helps to decrease the fish mortality, the productivity of the fish farm is increased.”

“Because the solution is cheaper than the mainstream alternative and procures important direct benefits, the seller is in a good position to make a quick profitability by offering advantage to its future customers. As the solution design used common compounds, savings can be done during the scalability to decrease the manufacturing costs… The skill and the competency of the owner's team offer a huge confidence for the customer,” the assessors said, as referenced by SEAREN.

Photo courtesy of SEAREN

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