Dag Egil Bundgaard and colleague Kristin Skei Nerdal tested the functional model of the new sensor at Nofima in Sunndalsøra. Photo: Terje Aamodt/Nofima

Project Year 2015

Developed nitrogen gauge

Nofima has taken part in developing a fully automatic sensor that continuously measures nitrogen compounds in aquaculture.

This is the first sensor that has been developed specifically with the sensitivity required for aquaculture systems. Until now, technology has been acquired from the water treatment industry, and has not been tailored for aquaculture.

This technology is becoming more and more relevant as contained facilities are being tested and developed. In contained facilities on land, recirculating aquaculture systems are used, and in such systems good water quality monitoring is essential to ensure good welfare of the fish and optimal operation of the systems.

“We have to provide fish with the water quality they require to thrive and grow optimally – as considerations toward welfare are the first priority. Having in mind the regulations and the requirements for water quality for salmon production, we have tailored the technology to fit the salmon’s biology,” says researcher Jelena Kolarevic. Along with colleague Bjørn-Steinar Sæther, she has headed Nofima’s work, as a part of the FP7 EU project AQUAlity.

Nofima tested and refined the functional model of the sensor in the laboratory and at Nofima Centre for Recirculation in Aquaculture in Sunndalsøra, where innovative lab engineers played a decisive role.

The nitrogen sensor is designed to be a part of a measuring apparatus that continuously measures eight water quality parameters in recirculating water. The farmer is provided with continuous online measurements of nitrite, total ammonia nitrogen and its compounds, pH, salinity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, total gas saturation and temperature, and levels can be viewed on a monitor.

The company OxyGuard will continue to develop the prototype for future commercialisation and sale to aquaculture industry.

12 European project partners, including Philips Electronics and Oxyguard International AS

The EU's 7th framework programme

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