FRESH Völklingen produces first-class fish in large saltwater pools without any access to the sea. Instead the water in use is circulated in a completely closed water cycle. ABB’s industrial and general purpose drives control water treatment pumps in harsh environmental conditions.
Sea bream, sea bass and king fish usually frolic in fresh salt water. What is surprising is the place where they live. Because the popular and edible fish does not grow up in the North Atlantic or the Indo-Pacific, but in Saarland, Germany in the facilities of FRESH Völklingen.
The breeding of high-quality fish takes place at the fish farm without the use of antibiotics, growth promoters and genetic engineering feed or environmental toxins. The feed comes from a certified, sustainable source. It is free of any toxins and does not contain the feed additive ethoxyquin, which is widely used to preserve fish food for aquaculture.
The pools with crystal clear water have a volume of 1,800 cubic meters each. The daily freshwater requirement to compensate for evaporation and harvesting is less than one percent. The stocking density is between 25 and 50 kilograms per cubic meter.
Using innovative technology
As innovative as aquaculture is for the German climate the technology in use is also innovative, and FRESH Völklingen is breaking new ground in this area. Each of the four saltwater pools form a closed water cycle with biological cleaning. Something which is unique in its own kind.
The water is circulated through a system of circulation pumps that feed the water back into the system via the cleaning and ventilation units, with the help of twelve Flygt pumps. The cleaning and ventilation units - consisting of drum filters, biofilters, skimmers and water degassing - are stationed centrally between the two production areas. Since each breeding system is its own system, everything is set up four times in exactly the same way.
Drives for harsh environments
ABB variable speed drives (VSD), control the Flygt pumps in a reliable way and play an important role in the water treatment process. There are a total of seven wall-mounted ACS800 industrial drives with an output of 15 kilowatts, and one with 45 kilowatts. There are also three wall-mounted ACS580 general purpose drives in use (45 kilowatts). The VSD series have features that are important for water treatment, including coated circuit boards for harsh environments. The protective coating of the circuit board in the VSD protects the electronics from moisture and extends the lifetime of the variable speed drive.
“Salt, moisture and changing temperatures are real challenges for the drives technology. Despite the adverse conditions, we have noticed a remarkable longevity of the variable speed drives from ABB. The devices are robust and reliable and meet our expectations” explains Hendrik Sörensen, who is responsible for operations and facility management at FRESH Völklingen.
FRESH Völklingen produces up to 200 tons of fish every year - and the trend is rising. Hendrik Sörensen underlines the importance of the high quality of fish that they produce: “Our fish are fresher and more aromatic than fish that has to be imported over long transport routes. The meat of our fish is very firm in structure and easy to process. "
The freshly caught fish from FRESH Völklingen can be enjoyed in many restaurants and be bought in selected trading companies in Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Fresh fish from FRESH Völklingen can be found in restaurants and retail stores, as the sales network is constantly expanding.