Aquaculture is of growing significance in satisfying the need for food.  Technically there are many challenges in large-scale aquaculture systems, including water consumption, quality of discharge, and maintenance of conditions for optimal growth of the target species.  In this project you will address the technical issue of provision of oxygen to a system raising tilapia for human consumption.  The system you are designing should be suitable for a location where line-power electricity is not available.  You are to design an oxygen delivery system to be demonstrated in a 2 m^3 tank that will contain 3-5 tilapia throughout their life cycle.  Your design should balance cost (initial and operations), environmental sustainability, robustness, and feasibility.  You will build your solution and it will be tested under real-world conditions as would be found in Corvallis Oregon in March, and should be shown to be suitable to year-round operation in Corvallis. You will be provided a $500 budget for hardware and shipping required to build your device.

Some of the challenges are:

  1. Robust operation under highly variable climatic conditions.
  2. Wide spatio-temporal variation in oxygen demand.
  3. Variation in the configuration of existing aquaculture systems.
  4. Many regulatory issues involving multiple Govt. agencies.
  5. Multiple stake holders and operators with differing needs and abilities.

The overall goal of this project is to design, develop and evaluate different options for aquaculture pond aerators to meet all applicable regulations while minimizing the economic costs and environmental impacts of the proposed design. The proposed design must strive to minimize the need to alter existing aquacultural practices.

At a minimum your design must include the following elements:

  1. Meet the safety and environmental regulatory requirements.
  2. Meet functionality constraints in terms of water usage patterns and existing agricultural practices.
  3. Incorporate measures to conserve water, harvest water, improve water reuse/recycle and reduce discharge.
  4. Consider climatic factors in your design.
  5. Economic considerations in all designs (Capital versus operating costs, comparison to current state of affairs).
  6. Scalability to accommodate different funding scenarios.

Completion of this project will include the provision of a complete, buildable design with supporting calculations demonstrating feasibility, evaluation of the net present value of the design, and a comprehensive life-cycle analysis.