In June 2016, ESW students DJ Traina (BSME ’17) and Alfredo Juarez Galeana (BSEE ’17) broke ground on an aquaponics facility with students from the Instituto Superior Tecnológico Trentino Juan Pablo II (ISTTJP) in the town of Manchay, near Lima, Peru. Aquaponics systems grow fish and vegetables in the same greenhouse while using ten times less water than traditional agriculture. Project partners also include faculty from neighboring La Molina University who will provide aquaculture expertise and materials.
ESW students Armand Shahbazian (BSEE ’17), Emily Mather (BSME ’18) and Heather Bergey (BSCE ’20) traveled to Manchay in March 2017 to install Raspberry Pi-controlled sensors for pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen. The real-time data will be used manage daily operations and can be viewed here: https://thingspeak.com/channels/234902
After testing the system hydraulics, the ISTTJP team installed a solar array that will charge two lead-acid batteries. Because electricity is unreliable in Manchay, the batteries will continuously power an air pump that will provide oxygen to the fish tanks. The ISTTJP team also started a vermiculture composting program for cafeteria food waste from this school of over 500 students. The worms that are grown will be ground into fish food and will reduce the overall operational cost.
The system will soon be producing tilapia and lettuce, so check back for updates later this summer! We sincerely thank Lightshine, the Seattle University College of Science and Engineering and all of our individual donors for supporting this project. If you would like to support our work, please click here.