Solar-powered aquaponics prototype as sustainable approach for food production

Zainal Alam, Muhd Nazrul Hisham and Kamaruddin, Mohd Johari and Adzila, Sharifah and Nordin, Normayati and Othman, Raudhah (2022) Solar-powered aquaponics prototype as sustainable approach for food production. Materials Today: Proceedings, 65. pp. 2953-2959.

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This paper presents the establishment of a solar-powered aquaponics prototype as a sustainable, cost effective and environmentally sound approach for food production. In this study, a prototype bench top aquaponics rig with an integrated 20 W solar panel were fabricated for the cultivation of red Hybrid Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and leaf mustard (Brassica juncea). The size of the fish tank is about 29.5L and serves as the base for the setup. Additionally, the hydroponic grower compartment (0.45 m (L) � 0.32 m (W) � 0.13 m (H)) was stacked on top of the fish tank and was filled with LECA media bed for the plant growth. Two important operating parameters were studied. First, the amount of energy produced by the solar panel and the energy consumption by the water pump used in the setup. Secondly, the resultant effects from fish cultivation and plants growth on the water qualities and nitrification effi�ciency of the aquaponics unit. The aquaponics unit was operated for a month and the values of pH, tem�perature, and ammonia level were measured to be within the range of 6.4–7.2, 27.1–31.7 �C, and 1 mg�L�1 , respectively. Survival rate for fish was about 75% with specific growth rate (SGR) of 3.75% per day and food conversion ratio of about 1.15. A slight nutrient deficiency was evident and plants showed a healthy growth with height gain as high as 5 cm was achieved. Despite raining season, our data shows that the energy produced via 20 W solar panel enabled the unit to run at night without depending on local electricity for nearly two hours. Clearly, a larger solar panel is needed for longer operation. Nevertheless, the study has proven the potential of operating a low cost aquaponics setup using renew�able energy for a sustainable food production method.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aquaponics; solar energy; renewable energy; sustainability; food production.
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Abdul Rahim Mat Radzuan
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 02:10
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2022 02:10

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