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March 17, 2016
Shrimp News Interviews Roy Brosh
On February 24, 2016, at the World Aquaculture Meeting (WAS) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, I interviewed Roy Brosh, Business Development Manager for O2Waterator, a start-up company that introduced a new aeration technology at the WAS trade show. Accompanying Brosh was Dotan Borenstein, Business Development Manager for Hutchison Kinrot, the technology-incubator company that provided O2Waterator’s seed funding and that’s guiding it through its early development .
Shrimp News: Roy, I don’t know anything about your company, but I do know that you have a new kind of aerator and that shrimp farmers are always looking for better ways to aerate their ponds, raceways and tanks. What would you like to tell me about your aerator?
Roy Brosh: O2Waterator has developed a completely new aerator operated by water pressure, rather than electricity, making it completely safe, light and simple to operate. The design enables it to dispense more dissolved oxygen than existing paddlewheel aerators.
It’s powered by a patent-pending, energy-efficient, 500-watt, water motor. The widely used paddlewheel aerator has an inherent problem—inefficiency. Most of their energy goes into moving the paddles through the water, leaving only about 40% of the energy for lifting the water into the air. The O2Waterator wastes very little energy in comparison to paddlewheel aerators. We came up with a wheel that has no drag. It’s completely smooth on its sides and works like a centrifugal pump, basically sucking water in and throwing it up into the air. Because of the dragless effect, 100% of the energy goes into throwing the water up into the air. Unlike the paddlewheel that hits the water in its upper level—only 8 centimeters deep, we dispense water continuously 360 degrees above and bellow water level at a starting depth of about 50 centimeters. This enables us to achieve better oxygen transfer and water layer mixture. In addition, we can control the angle of the dispensed water, thus making it suitable for shallow shrimp ponds
Shrimp News: Can you use that feature to create a current in the pond?
Roy Brosh: Yes, we can create a current of four-and-a-half to five-meters per second. If you shut-off some of the dispensers, you can create an even stronger current, stronger than the current created by paddlewheel aerators.
Two other features of our aerator are very important. One, there is no electricity in the pond or on the aerator. Paddlewheel aerators can electrocute pond workers. Two, the entire aerator is made from plastic, so it’s very light, about 25 kilograms (55 pounds) and can be carried by one person.
Dotan Borenstein: From the investment point of view, we see aquaculture expanding very rapidly across the world. All aquaculture requires aeration systems. Our aerator delivers more oxygen at lower energy costs than the traditional paddlewheel—and it is safer.
Shrimp News: What are the comparative costs between paddlewheel aerations systems and your system?
Roy Brosh: We are a start-up company and don’t have a product on the market yet. We have not set prices yet, but I can make a couple of comments about prices. First, since everything in our aerator is made out of plastic, it will be cheaper to manufacture, maintain and operate than a paddlewheel aerator. Price will not be an issue. With paddlewheels you basically have two products, the cheap, dispensable aerators from China and the more expensive aerators from Europe and the United States. You can get a Chinese aerator for $250 and you might pay as much as $600—or more—for an aerator made in the United States or Europe. We’re going to be very competitive. Right now we’re still at the R&D stage and in the process of finalizing our product design. We expect to finish the product design over the next few months, and then commence rigorous testing. We’re still developing new features that will make our prototype even better. We have tested our prototype and have many ideas on how to make it better. By mid-2017, we hope be in full production.
Shrimp News: Dotan, how far along are you with information on how much the O2Waterator is going to cost?
Dotan Borenstein: We’re working on the economics at the same time we’re developing the product. It will be an affordable, reliable, durable product that will be cheaper and easier to operate than a paddlewheel aerator. Pilot trials will begin in Israel in a few months, and by this summer, we plan to begin running field trials in other countries.
Shrimp News: Once you’re in production, will you be looking for shrimp farmers that would like to test your product?
Roy Brosh: Yes, we would very much like to develop a list of shrimp farmers that would like to test our product. We’re interested in testing it big and small farms and on semi-intensive, intensive and super-intensive farms.
Video: For a one-minute video of the O2waterator, Click Here.
Information: Roy Brosh, O2Waterator, Ltd., P.O. Box 8814, 8a Hatzoran Street, 4250408 Netanya, Israel (Phone 972-504909040, Fax 972-46709014, Email firstname.lastname@example.org, Webpage http://www.o2waterator.com).
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