Feed barges, while critical to the functioning of fish farms around the coast of Scotland and beyond, don’t come cheap – and in case of emergency, their salvaging can cost many millions of pounds.
Barges fulfil an important role on many fish farms and are built to withstand difficult weather conditions, but in the face of increasingly extreme weather, they can and do succumb to the elements. The feed they store and distribute has also never been more expensive. Feed is as dear as it’s ever been – at up to $1.50/kg. Feed barges can hold hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of feed, meaning that if anything were to go wrong, that cost is added to the already substantial financial outlay an operator has already committed to the barge itself.
Monitoring these important pieces of equipment can make all the difference to mitigate risks and get important information to operators smore quickly – Krucial is working to do just that.
Monitoring Feed Barges with Krucial
Feed barges often operate in areas with patchy or non-existent connectivity. Krucial's Connected Seafarm solution changes this, meaning wireless, remote monitoring of a feed barge is now possible. Data from sensors is transmitted via cellular if available, with primary and secondary satellite backups if not. Connected Seafarm switches between these options automatically, meaning data flows at all times, regardless of location or conditions – even in storms.
What does this mean for barge operators?
Those managing barges can now get alerts where before it wouldn't have been possible. Bilge pump water levels can be monitored continuously and remotely. If a latch has been left open or a door not shut properly – which could lead to flooding – a text or email can be triggered to inform an operator. Even generator and feed silo levels can be monitored at all times so operators know when refueling and refilling is required. Wide range of parameters can be detected, even overnight or during periods when the barge has no staff aboard - and alerts can be sent to staff mobiles to enable quick action.
How does it work?
Deploy sensors on a barge to measure the required parameters required – from smoke alarms to water level sensors. These connect to our Connected Seafarm platform, enabling data to be sent from anywhere, and alerts can be set up to warn of potential risks to desktop and mobile.
Many barges may not be fitted with digital communications, meaning data cannot be transmitted onshore, but Connected Seafarm changes this. Barges can be fully digitised with our retrofit solution quickly and easily, transforming how you can remotely monitor your barges across multiple fish farms locally, as well as centrally.
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