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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pumps vs. airlifts: Theoretical and practical energy implications

item Christina, Chad - UNIV. OF ALABAMA
item Malone, Ronald - LOUISIANA STATE UNIV.
item Pfeiffer, Timothy

Submitted to: Book of Abstracts Aquaculture America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2007
Publication Date: February 9, 2008
Citation: Christina, C.M., Malone, R.F., Pfeiffer, T.J. 2008. Pumps vs. airlifts: Theoretical and practical energy implications [abstract]. Book of Abstracts Aquaculture America 2008: Beyond Magic-Competing in World Markets.p.77.

Technical Abstract: In the design of a recirculating aquaculture system five life-supporting issues should be considered which include aeration, degasification, circulation, biofiltration, and clarification. The implications associated with choosing a pumped system versus an airlift system to address these issues was evaluated. For a given tank configuration, operating with airlifts and in-tank aeration, approximately 600 cubic foot of air per minute, delivered at an injection depth of 4 feet is required. Using the most efficient blower to delivery this quantity of air a total of 10.4 kW of energy is required for an airlift system. A pump system utilizing high head pumps to provide the same amount of aeration and water transfer would require a minimum of two 3 hp pumps for a total of 4.4 kW of energy consumption. This analysis shows that in theory pumped systems should be more energy efficient than airlifted system but the availability of extremely low-head, high volume pumps makes airlifts more energy efficient in recirculating aquaculture systems.

Last Modified: 10/10/2015
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