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Using Renewable Energy to Make Tilapia Production Financially Viable for Small Farms

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2019-00774
Agency Tracking Number: 2019-00774
Amount: $98,362.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.12
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-006649
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-07-31
Small Business Information
10728 N. Martineau Rd Box 249
Elfrida, AZ 85610-0249
United States
DUNS: 081508545
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Wanda Fox
 President and Project Director
 (520) 457-8684
Business Contact
 Wanda Fox
Title: President and Project Director
Phone: (520) 457-8684
Research Institution

Using Renewable Energy to Make Tilapia Production Financially Viable for Small FarmsInvestigator: Fox W.S. Institution: Arizona Green (Div. of Teach Sharp LLC) Elfrida AZMaking production of tilapia (and other warm-water fish) financially viable and sustainable on asmall-farm scale depends on several factors. The number-one constraint is the need to maintaino o
tropical water temperatures (70 to 100 F) for the fish. To address this need our research focuseson heating the water in individual fish tanks via a closed-loop heat-transfer system usingrenewable energy. Our target customers are small fish-farms in cooler climates that use indoorrecirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).Phase I of this SBIR project focuses on set-up and implementation of the heat-transfer systemwithin an already-operational indoor RAS stocked with tilapia. Goal 1 is to "Determinecapability efficiency and limits for a heat transfer system in a RAS to maintain the fish water ato o
acceptable temperatures (70-100 F 85 ideal)." This is addressed through eight technicalquestions related to temperatures within the fish tanks efficiency of the heat transfer system hotwater storage capacity energy requirements and flow/pressure rates. Data will be obtainedthrough electronic sensors that record water temperatures in individual fish tanks heatexchangers and hot-water storage tanks; ambient air-temperatures inside and outside the facility;water pressure and flow rates; and energy used to heat water. Descriptive and comparativestatistics will inform further development and replication of the system. Goal 2 is to "Examineimpacts of the heat-exchange process on the fish."Technical questions address fish reactions tothe heating process and impacts related to growth rates breeding and spawning and social-
behavioral. Systematic observational and quantitative data will provide insight for these.Anticipated Results and Potential Commercial ApplicationsPhase II will emphasize continued work toward commercialization. Prototypes will be placed in4-6 different climatic regions of the United States with various types of renewable energy; thesewill be operated by trained but independent small farmers. Data from these prototype operationswill be used to further refine the technical and educational processes. The goal is to expandcommercialization by promoting the RAS tilapia-production systems that utilize the heat-transfersystem powered by renewable energy developed in this research and educating small farmersthroughout the country on adding tilapia production as a revenue stream using this system. Byenabling small farmers to raise tilapia and other warm-water fish through their most cost-
effective locally-available renewable energy source the innovations developed in this researchwill strongly support and improve the sustainability and profitability of fish production as asmall-farm enterprise. These efforts can foster a variety of new agricultural enterprises increaseavailability of locally-grown foods and contribute to the well-being of rural communities.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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