Research Papers: Ocean Space Utilization

Experimental Investigation of Fish Farm Hydrodynamics on 1:15 Scale Model Square Aquaculture Cages

[+] Author and Article Information
Adam A. Turner

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of New Brunswick Fredericton,
Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
e-mail: adamalfredturner@gmail.com

Tiger L. Jeans

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of New Brunswick Fredericton,
Fredericton, NB E3B 5A3, Canada
e-mail: tjeans@unb.ca

Gregor K. Reid

Canadian Integrated Multi-Trophic
Aquaculture Network,
University of New Brunswick,
St. Andrews, NB E5B 2L9, Canada
e-mail: greid@unb.ca

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 5, 2015; final manuscript received July 7, 2016; published online August 9, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Lizhong Wang.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 138(6), 061201 (Aug 09, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: OMAE-15-1083; doi: 10.1115/1.4034176 History: Received August 05, 2015; Revised July 07, 2016

Hydrodynamic drag and wake properties of square aquaculture cage arrays were studied to improve understanding of nutrient dynamics from fish cages to guide the design of integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA). A 1:15 scale model array (2 × 3) of square cages was developed and deployed in a large recirculating flume tank. Drag measurements were measured for individual cages within the array relative to current velocity. Results showed the highest drag for the first row of cages, with drag reducing significantly through rows 2 and 3. A wake velocity study observed velocity deficits, wake topology, wake recovery, and turbulence in the flow fields. High-velocity deficits were measured directly behind cages within the array, causing flow to be accelerated around and below the cages. The presence of a shear layer in the wake of the cages caused high levels of turbulence downstream. These results can be used to help predict patterns of nutrients released from cages into the environment and aid in the placement of nutrient extractive species in IMTA systems.

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Fig. 1

Square cage array (photo courtesy of Allie Byrne)

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Fig. 2

Scale model square cage overall dimensions (side view)

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Fig. 3

Model cage array setup in flume tank

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Fig. 4

Force diagram of a common aquaculture cage (side view)

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Fig. 5

Force ratio scaling diagram

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Fig. 6

Three-phase drag experiment setup (six, four, and two cages). Gray cages represent cages attached to the load cell.

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Fig. 7

Wake velocity experiment diagram: (a) front view and (b) above view

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Fig. 8

Square cage array drag results at a cage spacing of s=0.91dc

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Fig. 9

Swoffer meter velocity signal (u) for square cage array, U∞=0.32 m/s (Rew=6.4×105, Ret = 288), at x=1.0wc: (a) region of high-velocity fluctuations (y = warray = 0.19, z = lc = 0.32) and (b) region of low-velocity fluctuations (y = warray = 0.57, z = lc = 0.32)

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Fig. 10

Mean wake velocity (u¯/U∞) for individual square cage, U∞=0.32 m/s (Rec=6.7×105, Ret = 288), at x=1.0wc

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Fig. 11

Interpolated mean wake velocity (u¯/U∞) for individual square cage, U∞=0.32 m/s (Rew=6.4×105, Ret = 288). Top to bottom: x=0.5wc, x=1.0wc,  and x=2.0wc.

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Fig. 12

Interpolated turbulence intensity (u′/u¯) for individual square cage, U∞=0.32 m/s (Rew=6.4×105, Ret = 288). Top to bottom: x=0.5wc, x=1.0wc, and x=2.0wc.

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Fig. 13

Interpolated mean wake velocity (u¯/U∞) for square array, U∞=0.32 m/s (Rew=6.4×105, Ret = 288). Top to bottom: x=0.5wc, x=1.0wc, and x=2.0wc. White blocks: u>0.40 m/s.

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Fig. 14

Interpolated turbulence intensity (u′/u¯) for square array, U∞=0.32 m/s (Rew=6.4×105, Ret = 288). Top to bottom: x=0.5wc, x=1.0wc, and x=2.0wc. White blocks: u>0.40 m/s.

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Fig. 15

Power spectral density comparison for a sample shear layer flow, nonshear layer flow, and freestream flow (background)

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Fig. 16

Time history of dye patterns for liquid dye release in front of four-cage square array at U∞=0.13 m/s, and shown at 26 s intervals: (a) above oblique view and (b) side/underneath view



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