ScaleAQ launches net cleaning solution
Scale AQ initiate sales of net cleaners, based on cavitation technology.
Extended lifetime for nets and reduced energy consumption
– At ScaleAQ, we’ve looked for the right cleaning technology for some time, says Audun Fjeldvær, VP Product Solutions at ScaleAQ. As one of the largest suppliers of nets to the aquaculture industry, it has been crucial for us that the net cleaning technology we select is gentle, without compromising on effect and efficiency. Finally, we have found that technology. Net cleaners with innovative cavitation technology cleans the nets efficiently, with minimal impact to the net’s coating and the net line, allowing us to extend the lifetime of the nets.
– The technology significantly reduces the energy required to wash the nets. Because you need less water, you can use smaller pumps that in turn require less energy. Compared to conventional cleaning techniques, you can reduce the energy consumption by 1/3. The low energy consumption simplifies cleaning, allowing fish farmers to use clean energy from batteries to clean their nets. The energy consumption can be reduced to such an extent that it enables the use of electricity on the cages for operations and/ or charging.
Cavitation washing technology
Cavitation is the rapid formation and collapse of bubbles in a liquid. MEOX net cleaners are specifically designed to allow aquaculture practitioners to use cavitation technology to wash nets and other equipment. Millions of tiny air bubbles in the water flow create a jet that hits the net. Because it consists largely of air, even at high pressure this jet is far “softer” than a pure jet of water. Air, or more accurately the steam bubbles formed in the washing unit, implodes when it hits the surface that is to be washed. The implosion creates pressure waves that contribute to the washing effect. This results in very gentle washing, even at pressures up to 200 bar.
From 2015- 2019 Sintef conducted a research project that aimed to develop knowledge, technology and operational methods, to advance current net cleaning technologies and to improve cleaning efficacy and fish health.
Low-pressure (80 bar), high-pressure (200 bar) and cavitation (200 bar) was tested. that washing with low pressure produced little washing effect, and actually resulted in considerable damage to the net. High-pressure spraying yields good results in terms of washing, but was also documented to be very destructive to the impregnation and reduced it by between 21% and 31% after just one washing cycle. After 35 washes, up to 90 % of the impregnation was gone. The low-pressure washing removed 5–9% of the impregnation after one wash and 40–46% after repeated washing.
Cavitation washing at a full 200 bar, (the same as high-pressure) was found to have no impact after a single wash and to have stripped away only 2–9% of the impregnation after repeated washes. Cavitation washing can also be used down to 80 bar for an even gentler effect.
Conclusion: Cavitation rinsing and high-pressure rinsing both wash the net sufficiently, but cavitation rinsing is by far the gentlest method for both cage nets and other object that are washed.
Cleaning of closed solutions and other equipment
– We believe that cavitation cleaning will be important for our CAS (closed aquaculture systems) investments, continues Audun Fjeldvær. Development and testing of specialized washing rigs for closed facilities at sea and on land is already well underway. It’s not only nets that require gentle treatment; damage to tanks and tarpaulins can quickly become expensive. Therefore, we are convinced that the cavitation cleaning technology will be important here as well in the future. In addition, we offer solutions tailored towards washing the hull of feed barges and vessels that fit well with our other product portfolio.
Axuda Ray cavitation cleaner
Looking forward to beginning the collaboration
Odd Ivar Mork is the founder and development manager of MEOX, which developed the cleaning robots. – We look forward to collaborating with ScaleAQ; when they assume responsibility for sales and first-line service, it frees up time for us to further develop the washing system – and other projects. We received a patent for this washing method already in 2018 and have since continuously developed and improved our washing rigs.
– We are very pleased to have ScaleAQ on the team, who know the aquaculture industry and share many of the same values and the focus on sustainable solutions.
From the left: Audun Fjeldvær, VP Product Solutions in ScaleAQ and Odd Ivar Mork, entrepreneur and development manager in MEOX.
The nets are cleaned to remove algae that over time can affect the oxygen level and water quality inside the cage. This is improved by keeping the nets clean. In addition, clean nets retain their volume better in strong ocean currents.
Nets are cleaned by flushing them. A net cleaner is controlled by an operator on a work boat who, with the help of a camera, can inspect the cleanliness and any deviations on the net line.
Yes, a hard cleaning can reduce the fracture strength of the net line and in the worst case lead to local damage. It is therefore important that the operator is attentive and that the cleaning system is gently designed and set.
Net cleaning can remove impregnation. Loss of impregnation is the first ting that happens if the net is cleaned too hard. This will lead to increased algae and to the need for more frequent cleaning.
This depends on the cleaning system used. Cleaning based on cavitation technology has been found the most gentle in an experiment done by SINTEF.
Cleaning is done to give the fish the best possible conditions. Clean nets keep their volume better in strong currents and maximum water flow creates good water quality inside the cage.