Mindful that fish farming has the potential to help meet an expanding population’s need for protein in a world with increasing water constraints, Pentair announced the opening of its Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems’ World Aquaculture Technology Engineering & Research Center of Excellence in Apopka, Florida.
The center, which consists of 12,400 square feet of laboratories and fish culture systems, will be used for demonstration, research, and teaching activities. Built to allow full connectivity to the Internet, customers and educational institutions will be able to monitor online the progress of fish culture trials, including water quality, feeding, feed conversion ratios, growth rates, energy consumption, and harvesting activities.
“We call this ‘farming reimagined,’” said Karl Frykman, president of Pentair’s Water Quality Systems. “This center showcases our expertise and technologies in water reuse systems and solutions, including our energy efficient pumps and filtration systems.”
The center, Frykman said, also highlights the world-class scientific expertise of Pentair’s team of biologists, engineers, designers, and technicians who specialize in sustaining aquatic life. “Through our work in aquaculture, at this center of excellence, we are innovating to help a new industry bring healthy food to developing countries, arid climates, and space-challenged urban centers.”
The new center is “designed to allow development of innovative technology as well as showcase solutions for different environments around the world,” said Bob Miller, Pentair VP Environmental Systems. “These systems can be put just about anywhere, as demonstrated by our work in the Middle East, and our partnership with Urban Organics in a former brewery in downtown St. Paul.”
The Urban Organics farm currently produces fish and certified organic vegetables and herbs that are sold at area co-ops and grocery stores. The closed-loop system was designed to allow the fish and plant sides to operate independently, and for the flow of water and nutrients through the system to be tightly controlled – allowing Urban Organics to vary production according to market demand. Designed to be energy efficient with minimal waste, Pentair’s sustainable aquaponics technology benefits operators like Urban Organics with cost savings on filtration and fertilizer, the elimination of soil borne disease in vegetable production, and the potential to meet organic standards.
The World Aquaculture Technology Engineering & Research Center of Excellence is located on the campus of Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, which houses offices, a customer contact center, and manufacturing and warehouse operations. For more information, visit www.pentairaes.com.