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Title:
FLOAT FOR ENSILATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/102621
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention is a float for ensilation, comprising the following features : - one or more hulls (1) with one or more closed tank rooms (3) in said hull (1), - with an inlet (4) to a grinder (5) arranged for receiving and grinding fish and for feeding the ground fish down into one or more of the tank rooms (3). The ensilation float further comprises a dosage apparatus (6) arranged for dosing a desired amount of ensilating liquid from an ensilating liquid tank (7) to the ground fish mass. Directly within the tank room (3) is arranged a coarse agitating propeller (8) arranged for agitating the ground fish mass in the tank room (3) for preventing settling or sedimentation of bone remains and other material in the bottom of the tank room (3), and for mixing the ground fish mass and the ensiling liquid to a sufficient degree.

Inventors:
VASSBOTTEN ALEX (NO)
Application Number:
PCT/NO2012/000011
Publication Date:
August 02, 2012
Filing Date:
January 26, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HAVSTERK AS (NO)
VASSBOTTEN ALEX (NO)
International Classes:
A23N17/00; A01K61/00; A22C25/20
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010019053A12010-02-18
WO1987004051A11987-07-16
Foreign References:
US4881482A1989-11-21
GB2174587A1986-11-12
NO328445B12010-02-22
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FLUGUES PATENT AS (Gamle Fredrikstad, NO)
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Claims:
Claims 1. A float for ensilation comprising the following features:

- A hull (1) with one or more closed compartment (3) in the hull (1) ,

- With an inlet (4) to a grinder (5) arranged to receive and grind fish and arranged to feed the ground fish mass to one or more of said compartments (3),

- A dosing device (6) arranged to dose a desired amount of ensiling liquid from a ensiling liquid tank (7) to said ground fish mass,

- A rough stirring propeller (8) arranged to stir and mix said grounded fish mass and said ensiling liquid adequately in order to prevent deposition or consolidation of the bones in bottom of said compartment (3) .

2. The float for ensilation according to claim 1, wherein said hull (1) is formed as a catamaran with parallel arranged cylindrical pontoons (30) , wherein each said pontoon (30) comprises one or more compartment (3) .

3. The float for ensilation according to claim 1-2, with a preferably mobile hose (9) arranged between said grinder's (5) outlet and said compartment (3) .

4. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-3, with a motorized tilting frame (11) for fish tank (12) arranged at said inlet (4) and arranged to empty fish tanks over to said grinder (5) . 5. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-4, with a crane

(13) mounted on a crane foundation on deck (2) and arranged to move said fish tanks (12) to said tilting frame (11) .

6. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-5, preferably with a deck (2) that forms said top of the one or more tank rooms (3) .

7. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-6, wherein said dosing device (6) is provided with a ensiling injection line (21), which runs into said grinder (5), wherein said ensiling injection line (21) is arranged to guide and mix said ensiling liquid directly into the mass during the grinding process.

8. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-7, wherein said stirring propeller (8) is driven by a motor (18) .

9. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-8, wherein said propeller is slow-moving with a rotational speed between 1 and 3 revolutions per second.

10. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-9, wherein said propeller is arranged mainly with horizontal rotation axis.

11. The float for ensilation according to claims 1-10, wherein said propeller is arranged on an arm (19) extending into said compartment (3) .

12. The ensilation tank according to claim 1-11, wherein the direction of said propeller axis is revolving by setting said arm (19) by means of a lockable control mechanism (20) .

Description:
Float for ensilation

Introduction

The present invention relates to a float for ensilation comprising hull with one or more closed compartment with an inlet to a grinder arranged to receive and grind fish, and arranged to feed the ground fish mass further down into one or more of the compartments. A dosing device is arranged to dose a desired amount of ensiling liquid from a ensiling liquid tank to the ground fish mass, preferably

simultaneously under the grinding process.

Generally, the ground ensiled fish mass have a pH around 4 and there is an ensiling process that kills viruses and bacteria and thus preserves the fish mass. Later, the fish mass may be neutralized, dried and pelleted for fish feed or animal feed.

Description of treatment: ensilation

Short description

Ensilation is conservation by means of acidification. The process is relevant in many contexts. In this context, the description and the assessment is limited to ensilation of fish. Acidification agents are usually based on formic acid. Acidification of fish waste activates digestive enzyme pepsin in the cells. Pepsin is a protease, which digests many different proteins. The process of ensilation forms a soluble "soup", where most of materials apart from the bones are broken down. Thus the product of ensilation consists of a mixture of soluble, partly digested intermediate proteins, in addition to oil, bone and minerals. Ensilation requires a acid-resistant tank with grinding. The ensiling of fish is storage stable. Ensilation may be combined with centralized further processing. Problems related to the prior art

- The fish is usually crushed roughly up to the large cube-shaped pieces of about 1-2 cm size. To crush the fish even finer requires more time and more energy than coarse grinding and is therefore not appropriate, especially if one intend to kill the large quantities of fish in a short time, such as the emergency slaughtering to prevent infection by disease outbreaks. Freshly ground fish mass may be very tough, and may grow in toughness after a few hours. The proteins in the coarsely ground fish remains intact for a long time even after the addition of ensiling liquid, and are not broken down until after ca . 48 hours. The fish mass is not liquidized and pumpable until it has been degraded by ensiling process. Before this occurs the ground and ensiling mixed fish mass is so tough that it acts as a kind of tough fish mass, and is not very pumpable.

- If one have a fish farm to a maximum of 3 x 786 tons = 2,358 tons of biomass in the form of live fish in net cages, according to the rules one should have a ensiling tank that is able to grind up and store approx. 1% of this mass per day at any time, i.e. a capacity of only about 24 tons per day. A medium- sized farm may have e.g. 10 net cages with e.g. 200 tons of fish left in each net cage. It may therefore be necessary to slaughter at least up to 200 tonnes of fish by an emergency slaughter. Such emergency slaughter must be carried out quickly and in an efficient and hygienic way.

- A grinding and ensiling tank is usually placed in an integrated feeding vessel. A feeding vessel comprises one or more feeding tank units and a feeding system and is firmly anchored at the fish farm. Such a grinding and ensiling tank is too small to handle the

emergency slaughter of large quantities of fish such as infectious disease outbreaks, and remove the fish from the net cage or disease- carrying net cages of the facility as soon as possible. - Existing farms may have a ensiling tank placed as part of the vessel. Such ensiling tank is usually so small that it does not have the capacity to receive large amounts of fish, e.g. slaughtering imposed by the veterinarian. A Feeding vessel that is firmly anchored may not be used for emergency slaughtering of two reasons : It has too small grind capacity, small grinder tank capacity, and is not mobile as it is firmly anchored as an integral part of the farm and must be continuously used for feeding fish in the entire system. - Dead fish may alternatively be transported to a grinding and ensiling plant on land and the ground fish mixture is pumped to storage tanks that are on land or floating in the sea. Such a floating vessel is produced by Bokn plastic and has no fish grinder on board: it is an elongated tank provided with midships deck lid and is arranged to receive a lot of ground fish from a pier placed grinder. The transport of dead fish to shore or to the own vessel is cumbersome and there are many operations of unloading and reloading in order to finish grinding and the ensilation. Much of the existing equipment to handle large amounts of fish for ensilation is thus insufficient or very labor intensive, and involves a high risk of spills and the spread of infection.

- The fact that the ground fish mass of fresh fish is very sticky may be solved by mixing ca . 10% of water relative to the ground fish mass. This makes the ground fish mass less sticky and thus more easily pumpable . This means, however, three problems:

a) The added, mixed water should be evaporated out of the diluted ensiled fish mass, before this is used as feed. b) If one have to pay to take delivery of the diluted mixture ensiled fish mass because it may be considered as hazardous waste, one must in principle pay to deliver an extra 10% which is only contaminated water . c) The mixed water must also be added extra ensiling liquid that the acidity of the total ensiling mass to be correct. The extra ensiling liquid is expensive and in principle a waste because it could have been avoided. In order to neutralize the total amount of acid in the future also requires an unnecessary amount of base, which is also expensive .

d) If one add water without sufficient agitating or adding water without the addition of sufficient ensiling liquid, one may risk fermentation in the ensiling inadequate parts of the ground fish mass. Adding water or extra ensiling liquid therefore require additional use of energy, extra acidity measurements and extra work, and is desirable to avoid. Refining of process for ensiling

comprising a large degree of evaporation to reduce the humidity level . Evaporation requires energy and adding unnecessary amounts of water to evaporate later on is both cost- increasing and

environmentally meaningles. Therefore, any addition of liquid should be avoided as far as possible.

The applicant's own Norwegian patent N0328445 "Flateenhet for ensiling av d0dfisk" has a grinder tank arranged below a fish grinder to make a total intake for fish mass to float the many tanks of the vessel, and have a ensiling dosing apparatus with proportional dosing of ensiling liquid for coarse ensilation of the ground fish mass. By grinding of fresh fish, the problems mentioned above with stickiness of the fish mass mean that it becomes necessary to add water to make the coarse fish ensiling mass pumpable into the final ensiling tank. In the ensiling tank is where a combined grinding and transport pump for further mixing of fish mass and internal transport to storage tanks .

However, problems may arise in such storage tanks or ensiling tanks due to the precipitation of fish bones to form a layer of fish bones along the bottom of the ensiling tank, and fish bones may over time form a consolidated solid layers along the bottom of the tank. Over this layer, there will floating a layer of thin liquid fish ensiling mass, and on top there will be separated from a layer of fish fat. Such a layer of fish bone remains have higher density than the overlying layers, and it may therefore for certain types of liquid tanks creating a stability problem if the layer is pushed up against one end of the tank, and where the lighter layer of fat shifts in the opposite direction towards the opposite end of the tank, such as when the elongated horizontal liquid storage tank made of plastic Bokn. Such a liquid tank may thus stand on end, quite suddenly and

undesirable. Several problems may then occur: The ropes may be damaged, the tank itself may be damaged by shock to the bottom or other vessels; The midship lid end up under water and inaccessible, and risk of leakage may occur, and one may risk that the sedimented bottom layer of bones becomes difficult to remove from the deeper end of the sunken wrecked tank, and furthermore the bottom layer may consolidate, please see below.

Should such a settled layer of fish bones occur, irrespective of stable or damaged condition of the tank, risking that the bones are consolidated. The emptying of a tank with a layer of fish bones may therefore be necessary to flush with additional quantities of water from a large and powerful water pump to solve it. This requires therefore extra water and extra pumping energy, and again the addition of ensiling liquid to prevent incorrect pH and thus

fermentation .

Short summary of the invention

The present invention is a simplification of present floats for ensiling and is a float for ensilation comprising the following features :

- A hull (1) with one or more closed compartment (3) in the hull (1) ,

- With an inlet (4) to a grinder (5) arranged to receive and grind fish and arranged to feed the ground fish mass to one or more of said compartments (3) ,

- A dosing device (6) arranged to dose a desired amount of ensiling liquid from a ensiling liquid tank (7) to said ground fish mass, - A rough stirring propeller (8) arranged to stir and mix said grounded fish mass and said ensiling liquid adequately in order to prevent deposition or consolidation of the bones in bottom of said compartment (3) . Further advantage characteristic features is defined by the dependent patent claims .

Short figure caption

A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in the attached figure drawings.

Figure 1 is an isometric sketch of an embodiment of a float for ensilation according to the invention. Figure 2 is a deck plan outline of the same embodiment of a float for ensilation according to the invention. It is shown a fish grinder (5) with a feeding hose (9) to a hatchway (15) on one of the ensiling tanks . Figure 3 is a horizontal section through the pontoons and deck structure and shows ensilation tanks (3) and stirring propeller (8) and illustrated in a simplified way different circulation patterns of ground mass in ensilation tanks. Figure 4 is a vertical section through one of the tanks and a sketch of the deck equipment. It is shown a vertical arm (19) with the stirring propeller (8) in the tank (3) . It is also shown a hose running from the grinder's outlet to one of the tanks. Figure 5 is a vertical section orthogonal to the section in Figure 4, at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the tank, and front elevation of the deck structure and deck equipment.

Description of an embodiment of the invention

The invention shown in Figure 1-5 is a float for ensilation. The floating unit, according to the invention is designed to receive, grinding, ensiling and storing dead fish from fish farms. Float for ensilation comprises a hull (1) with one or more close compartment (3) in the hull (1) , and where there is arranged an inlet (4) to a grinder (5) arranged to receive and grind fish and to feed the grounded fish mass to one or more of the tank rooms (3) . Dead fish or disease infested or diseased fish may be loaded to the ensiling vessel with a crane (13) or another appropriate tool or a system for loading or pumping of fish. If one use a fish pump system one shall have a water separating unit in order to avoid unnecessary supply of water to ensiling tank.

The grinder may be provided with covers that tilts to one side as shown in Figure 1 before the receiving of dead fish. The float for ensilation according to the invention is preferably provided with a deck structure with a deck (2) that forms the top of the one or more tank rooms (3) . Hatches (15) are mounted in the door frames on this deck (2) .

The fish are released in the funnel (4) to the grinder (5) that is arranged to grind up the fish, see Fig. 1. The grinder (5) is in a preferred embodiment in stainless steel and corrosion resistant components. The fish is ground in relatively coarse pieces and transported directly into the tank room (3) . The ground mass is simultaneously added to ensiling acid via an acid pipe (21) in the estimated dose suitably adapted to the amount of continuous grounded fish. The acid pipe (21) may be quite immediately associated with the grinder (5) to ensure good mixing, see Fig. 2. A dosing unit (6) is arranged to dose a desired amount of ensiling liquid from a ensiling liquid tank (7) to the grounded fish mass. The dosage unit (6) is provided with a ensilation injection pipe or "acid- line" (21) that preferably runs into the grinder (5) . This lead ensilation liquid directly into the fish mass during the grinding process, and mixed. The amount of acid may for example be calculated based on simple capacity of the grinder and its actual running time, for example, when power consumption at the grinder is higher than the idle consumption, or based on the counting of fish and calculation of necessary additive amount, or be based on experience for the

individual operator. Dosage unit (6) may in the embodiment of the invention be provided with a PLC controller and arranged to interact with the grinder (5), and may also have sensors that measure pi- values in the tank (3) .

The grinder is in a preferred embodiment equipped with an outlet pipe (9) with removable end which leads to the tank room (3) . Thus, one may avoid the temporary storage of the ground mass, and the ground mass is pressed through the hose (9) as laid down through the desired hatch (15) , please see Fig 2. The float for ensilation is provided with a coarse stirring propeller (8) arranged to stir the grounded fish mass of preferably each tank rooms (3) . The stirring propeller (8) in the tank (3) may run concurrently with the grinder (5) to ensure mixing and blending of acid simultaneously and in a short time. The stirring propeller run to prevent precipitation or sedimentation of bone fragments and other material in the bottom of the tank compartment (3), and to mix the ground fish mass and ensiling liquid adequately. This solves the main problems mentioned above. The float for ensilation in an embodiment arranged with the hull (1) designed as a catamaran with parallel arranged cylindrical pontoons (30) , wherein each pontoon (30) comprises one or more compartment (3) . Ballast Tanks (32) may be arranged at the ends of each pontoon (30) as shown in Figure 3 Ballast Tanks (32) may be used to trim the float if for example, a first of the tanks in one of the pontoons is much filled and the opposite tank is not very filled, by filling in the opposite ballast tanks. In an preferred embodiment the float for ensilation is, according to claim l, provided with a hose (9) arranged between the grinder's (5) outlet and tank room (3) . Preferably the hose is extended to a hatchway (15) of a tank compartment (3) . This is shown in Figure 2 and Figure 4.

Pumping of dead or infected fish requires that one shall separate water in a water separating unite before the fish are released into the grinder. The pumped water may be infected infested. Thus, pumping of fish may spread infected water and thus be unhygienic. There may be more hygienic to transport the dead fish from net cages to the floating vessel in fish tanks (12) , it provides a cleaner handling of the fish and transport to the grinder in closed vessels without significantly large amounts of water, and vessels may be disinfected after use. The dekk (2) has a utsparing (23) for receiving the fish tanks with dead fish. A crane (13), preferably rotatable and

telescopic, is mounted on a crane foundation on the deck (2) and arranged to move the fish tanks (12) to tilt frame (11) at the grinder (5) . The crane in an preferred embodiment is a hydraulic crane, where hydraulic energy is supplied from a pressure generator driven by the generator. The tub in the tilting frame may be lifted and rotated about an axis indicated as shown in Figure 4 A funnel- shaped channel (22) is arranged on the tilting frame in order to guide the dead fish into the funnel-shaped inlet (4), please see Fig. 1 , 2 and 4.

The total volume of the tank room is over 30 cubic meters, preferably more than 60 cubic meters in the embodiment showed in the figures. By extending the pontoons (30) and / or expand the diameter of the tank rooms (3), thereby extending their (3) volume or number, the volume capacity of the ensiled fish mass slightly increased to over 200 to 300 tons, depending on what is considered necessary to handle a situation where the need for emergency elimination of much of the fishing in a cage occurs.

The stirring propeller (8) is driven by a motor (18) . Stirring propeller has preferably a diameter of 40 cm or more, and gradient of approx. 10 cm. Thus, it could move a large fish mass volume per turn. Propeller is slow-moving with a speed between 1 and 3 rotational sped per second, i.e. between 60 and 180 rot / min. The propeller is arranged with a mainly horizontal rotational axis. In an embodiment of the invention the propeller is arranged on an arm (19) extending into the tank room (3) . Please see Figure 4 and 5. As shown in Figure 4 and 5 the direction of the propeller axis is rotatable by the arm (19) may be set using by means of a control mechanism (20) . The control mechanism (20) may be available from the deck or through the hatchway (15) and may comprise a manually rotatable and lockable plate on the arm (19) . Thus, direction of the propeller may vary as shown in Figure 3, so that the ground mass may be guided in various directions, and it achieves better mixing for all parts of the tank relative to the propeller shaft had fixed direction. This is achieved that the bones have not the opportunity to consolidate. The ground mass, in the preferred embodiment is guided directly to the ensiling tank (3) from the grinder (5) via hose (9) .

Alternatively, there may be only one grinder tank (3) for each grinder (5) so that the grinder releases the ground mixture directly into the ensiling tank (3) . This ensures that the sticky ground mass is not accumulated between the grinder and ensiling tank and avoids the problems of stickiness and at the same time avoiding moving the fish mass in several operations. One may measure the pH of the acid added ground fish mixture in the tank after the grinding process is performed in order to re-adjust to the correct amount of acid in the ensiling tank (3) .

The float for ensilation according to the invention has the advantage that it only has one inlet and the fish will be ground immediately.

Thus, the inlet and around the funnel (4), as well as fish tank (12), tilting device (14) and appropriate sections of the deck disinfected immediately after grinding and emptying, and in this way the risk of infection is reduced significantly. The disinfected tank may be moved to the storage area (24) for emptying, cleaned tanks may be flipped over and stacked there. One of the smaller tanks on board, such as a tank (33) in the deck structure (2) may be used to take care of disinfecting water used. The vessel is preferably provided with regular disinfection equipment, high pressure washers and small tanks for soap and disinfectants.

When the fish is ground and ensiling liquid is added and mixed in the ensiling tank there is no longer a risk of infection from the

ensiling mass. Bacteria and viruses will be broken down by the ensiling liquid. No mass may be removed from the floating unit without having passed through the grinder (5) and ensiling tank (3) . Ensiling mass may be pumped from tank rooms (3) by arranging a pump hose through the hatches (15) , or pumped out via separate pump lines from the tank rooms (3) . Floating unit, according to the invention comprises a floating hull designed for independent operation or freely anchored or at pier or at fish farms, such as a net cage containing dead fish to be handled. The floating unit, according to the invention may be x on the easily accessible location in the vicinity of fish farms to operate, but also be mobile and moveable and thus constitute an emergency in disease outbreaks. This is a great advantage because the dead fish handling vessel, according to the invention may be placed at a farm where it is needed for rapid slaughter and provide high capacity and very short transport of the sick / dead / infected fish from the cage to the grinder. In this way one may limit the spread of infection significantly.

Floating unit, according to the invention may have its own generator room (16) with a place for diesel power or hydraulic generator, and a separate fuel tank. This may be arranged in the catamaran deck structure between the tanks as shown in Figure 3.

Ensiling chemicals may include formic acid. Measurements of pH in the tank room (3) indicates there is a need for further addition of acid, or whether there is a need for more ground fish mass. If the

measurements show a low pH value, i.e. that it is too acidic in the mass, more fish may be added, or more water is added and stirred it all out again. Nevertheless, the agitation of the ground and added ensilation liquid mass should be performed in an efficient manner, and then stirring propellers (8) proceeds until the mixture is sufficiently homogeneous in pH. If the pH measurements are

satisfactory, or independent of this fact, the ground and ensiled mass stirred / activated by means of stirring propeller (8) with a desired time interval, e.g. every half hour, every hour, etc. This prevents sedimentation of bone fragments, prevents the consolidation of the bones and mix ensiled mass better.

Floating unit according to the invention is preferably constructed of a material which does not significantly affected by chemical ensiled mass with pH close to 3.8 or spillage of ensiling acid. Floating ' s main structures are preferably constructed of composite materials such as fiber-reinforced plastic. Such materials are also easy to clean and disinfect.

The floating unit according to the invention shall in the greatest possible degree be independence with its own generator so that it at least possible degree occupies other assets, but may also be arranged to take advantage of shore power source or external power source. The floating unite according to the invention has a deck (2) that forms the top of the one or more tank rooms (3) . The deck may also be formed separately over the tanks, if the tank itself is closed, like the similar cylindrical tank shapes showed in the preferred

embodiment .

The float for ensilation according to the preferred embodiment of the invention have the hull (1) and is formed as a catamaran with parallel arranged cylindrical pontoons (30) , each pontoon (30) includes one or more compartments (3) . This has significant

advantages over rectangular vessels divided into four rectangular tanks, because such vessels get a little deck flat and comes easily out of the balance when one of the tanks are filled or emptied, and are difficult to ballast.