23 August, 2019

Robox Aqua helps Gael Force Group overcome space restrictions on feed barges

06 August, 2019

Gael Force Group, the marine equipment, technology and engineering business, has specified the compact Robox Aqua blower technology from Gardner Denver’s Robuschi brand, enabling it to overcome challenging space restrictions on the company’s marine feed barges.


Gael Force Group is a manufacturer and supplier of feed barges for the aquaculture industry. These are built in Inverness and Fort William, and in operation in a range of locations across the west coast of Scotland, including Argyll and the Outer Hebrides.

These feed barges contain compressor and blower technology to help on-site staff feed and care for their stock. The feed lines require low pressure, high volume technology to ensure the air flow rate remains at a suitable level when delivering feed to the pens holding the fish, achieved via a pneumatic conveying system. This is because the feed pellets are susceptible to damage and can be easily lost while being conveyed. Compressed air is also used for a range of other operational processes, such as conditioning and aeration during farm treatments.

Reduced footprint

A common challenge for feed barges in the aquaculture industry, however, is available on-board space. Neil MacDonald, project and design engineer at Gael Force Group, commented: “Over the last year we have installed the 22 kW and 30 kW Robox ES45/2P units onto our barges, plus the new 30 kW Robox Aqua technology. While using the standard Robox blowers for typical installations, we sometimes have to contend with tight space restrictions. The Robox Aqua is very effective at increasing our capacity, with a reduced footprint over the standard Robox unit.

“In fact, the reduced width of the Robox Aqua enabled us to win a contract for an eight-blower system, which would not have been possible with the standard Robox unit. Typically, there would have only been space for six fish feeding lines, but the new Robox Aqua meant eight could be accommodated – a big benefit to our customer, as it meant they could increase the barge’s output capacity.

“While relatively new to the industry, the Robox Aqua uses the same technology as the ES and EL models, but the system is directly driven, rather than the belt arrangement that’s currently in place in the ES units. In the long run, we believe this will offer us reduced maintenance and longer service life.”

Reduced noise levels

The Robox Aqua rotary lobe blower can allow for pressure up to 1000 mbar (g), volume flow up to 700 m3/h and motor power up to 30 kW. Its innovative design utilises direct coupling to avoid transmission losses and reduce servicing costs. The unit also consists of fewer components for ease of installation and increased reliability, and its improved sound enclosure can reduce noise levels to lower than 80 db(A).




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