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Heating spawns cost and energy savings

Sectors: Agriculture

The challenge

Raising the temperature on a fish farm

Salmon eggs don’t like the cold. When the temperature drops, they take their time to grow and hatch – a problem on a fish farm with strict productivity targets. Out in Tullich, Inverness, a salmon farm that relies on nearby river water to supply its tanks was suffering the effects of a colder-than-usual winter. With the lower temperatures of the incoming river, spawning and hatching of eggs had become too slow.

Project fact file

Ideal hatchery temperature 14°C
Weekly saving in fuel costs £1,200
Diesel boiler system 1.5MW
Generator power supply 125kVA

The solution

Heat exchangers before and after the tanks

By passing the river water through shell and plate heat exchangers before it entered the tanks, our system had the water up to a balmy 14°C in no time at all – ideal hatchery conditions.

By using an additional heat exchanger to recover the excess heat from the water leaving the tanks, our system was remarkably energy efficient. It meant we only needed three 250 kW boilers running, instead of four. We kept two boilers on stand-by in case conditions got worse or one of the operating boilers failed. Powering the system was a 125 kVA diesel generator.

“We’ve worked with this customer for years, and they rely on us to deliver solutions that save them money.”

The impact

Production targets hit and £1200 a week saved

By applying extra know-how when solving the hatchery’s problem, we helped save the fish farm £1,200 in weekly fuel costs. One less boiler meant 3,000 litres less diesel each week, so the energy-efficient system ticked the environmental box too.

Most importantly, our heating maintained a stable critical water temperature throughout the cold winter, helping the hatchery meet production targets.