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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323893

Research Project: Water Quality and Production Systems to Enhance Production of Catfish

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Considerations when using variable frequency drive technology for pond aquculture

Author
item Brown, Travis
item Recsetar, Matthew - University Of Arkansas At Pine Bluff

Submitted to: Arkansas Aquafarming
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2015
Publication Date: 3/1/2016
Citation: Brown, T.W., Recsetar, M. 2016. Considerations when using variable frequency drive technology for pond aquculture. Arkansas Aquafarming. P. 4-5.

Interpretive Summary: Commercial catfish farmers are intensifying production by retrofitting ponds with variations of the partitioned aquaculture system and split-ponds are the most common variation used commercially. The split-pond consists of a small fish-culture basin connected to a waste-treatment lagoon by two conveyance structures. Water is circulated between the two basins with high-volume pumps to remove fish waste and provide oxygenated water to the fish-culture basin. Some farmers have decided to use variable frequency drives (VFDs) to control pump speed and water flow rate to reduce operational cost and costs associated with repairs and maintenance. Mixed performance issues with VFDs and electric motors have been reported. Examples include frequent drive failure due to lightning strikes, overheating, and water damage to name a few. In summary, there are many important considerations when using VFDs in pond aquaculture such as location and environment, supply voltage, electrical connections, grounding, and protective devices. VFD technology offers many advantages to the commercial aquaculture industry. The only way to ensure proper operation and reduce the likelihood of failure of VFDs is to properly install all electrical and electronic components, and become familiar with the correct start-up procedure in the operator’s manual.

Technical Abstract: Some farmers have decided to use variable frequency drives (VFDs) to control pump speed and water flow rate to reduce operational cost and costs associated with repairs and maintenance. Mixed performance issues with VFDs and electric motors have been reported. Examples include frequent drive failure due to lightning strikes, overheating, and water damage to name a few. Over half of VFD failures in industrial applications are from improper installation and start-up, and many of these problems can be avoided by reading the manual and carefully planning installation. There are many important considerations when using VFDs in pond aquaculture such as location and environment, supply voltage, electrical connections, grounding, and protective devices. VFD technology offers many advantages to the commercial aquaculture industry. The only way to ensure proper operation and reduce the likelihood of failure of VFDs is to properly install all electrical and electronic components, and become familiar with the correct start-up procedure in the operator’s manual.