Developing an aquaponic system for use in remote areas
The biggest problem with high yielding aquaponic systems is that they need a dependable, constant supply of power to run the pump which moves the water, and the aerator if used. In general, the easiest option is to use a small electric pump; as the power consumption of suitably sized pumps is very low (around 60W for a domestic system) then the running cost is not very high. However, this immediately restricts the use of aquaponic systems to areas with a reliable electricity supply infrastructure. We are very keen to investigate alternative power options and system designs to enable use of aquaponics in “off-grid” areas such as static Bedouin communities in the desert.
The most obvious choice is a photovoltaic power supply system, but this has two major drawbacks:
- Equipment costs are prohibitively high. This means that a solar electric system is not replicable without external financial aid.
- Solar electric technology and expertise is not common in the West Bank. An equipment malfunction could therefore spell the end of the aquaponic system as a whole.
We are seeking funding to be able to construct and investigate a range of alternative water pumping methods, including solar and wind generated electrics, solar pumps, wind pumps and solar powered stirling engines.