Design of a Sustainable Automated Solar Powered Aquaponic System – Case of St Peter’s Mbare Secondary School – Harare, Zimbabwe
AIUE Proceedings of the 17th Industrial and Commercial Use of Energy (ICUE) Conference 2019, Cape Town, ISBN 978-0-6399647-4-4
5 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2020
Date Written: November 26, 2019
As population is growing, limitations on natural resources is also increasing. Consequently, there is a need to use natural resources such as water and land efficiently as much as possible. Traditional farming methods depend on reliable rainfall. In the realm of rainfall variability, other methods are needed to avert famine. Currently, in Zimbabwe, aquaponic systems are being considered as the best way to avert famine. This study was done at St. Peter’s Mbare Secondary School where there is complete and operational aquaponic system. The system basically faced the frequent power outages leading to interruptions in running of pumps. This impacted continuous oxygen flow causing the fish dying. However, Zimbabwe has enormous potential of solar PV not yet exploited. The objective of this research was to harness solar energy and integrate it to traditional aquaponics thereby making the system sustainable and innovative (automated) supplied by a standalone PV system. A 1.6 kW solar PV array was sized to run an electrical load of 293.2 W meant of water pump, aerator and electronics devices. The system was automated using Arduino based system to monitor the pH, temperature and water flow velocity in the Aquaponic system. The designed system is scalable and would serve a model to be implemented in other localities.
Keywords: Aquaponics, Solar Photovoltaic, automation, Sustainability
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