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Searen’s VAL™ Awarded the ‘Solar Impulse Efficient Solution’ Label for Sustainable Aquaculture

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

With resounding approval from three out of three independent field experts in all five categories, Searen’s VAL™ has been awarded the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label for Sustainable Aquaculture. The solution earned this internationally distinguished Label following an assessment performed by independent experts and based on verified standards. Searen is honored to thereby join the prestigious #1000solutions challenge, an initiative by the Solar Impulse Foundation to select solutions that meet high standards in profitability and sustainability.

Searen’s Aquaculture Solution was assessed on the following 5 criteria:

  1. Credibility of Concept

  2. Scalability

  3. Environmental Benefits

  4. Client’s Economic Incentive

  5. Seller’s Profitability

All labeled solutions are part of the #1000solutions portfolio that will be presented to decision-makers in business and government by Bertrand Piccard, chairman & initiator of the Solar Impulse Foundation. The aim of this initiative is to encourage the adoption of more ambitious environmental targets and accelerate the implementation of these solutions on a large scale.

The VAL™ was recognized as a sustainable water treatment solution for recirculating aquaculture systems (inland fish farms) enabling low-cost, locally produced, high-quality fish. The VAL™ is a complementary addition to a sustainable approach for Aquaculture with exponential potential to expand this benefit to our drinking water and beyond. The Vacuum AirLIft™ utilizes a purely physical process with no chemical additives. It also captures and contains extracted wastes. The high efficiency and minimized auxiliary equipment lowers energy consumption, maintenance, discharge, and reduces the environmental footprint.


This VAL™ financial and environmental accreditation for Aquaculture was obtained based on our installation at the Springville Fish Hatchery near Provo, Utah. March 1st, 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of our Utah hatchery installation (pictured right). Here’s an update on the VAL’s™ impact.

The state hatchery was seeking a solution to reduce high carbon dioxide and nitrogen levels and raise low oxygen levels in their source water. They conducted a trade-off study to select the best solution from a price and performance standpoint. The study concluded that the mainstream alternative had an expected installed cost 62% higher than the VAL™. In addition, the VAL™ provided greater installation flexibility and required less heavy equipment to complete the installation. Operating costs are also substantially lower due to high efficiency, reduced HVAC load and simplified maintenance.

The VAL™ provides a 26% reduction in dissolved nitrogen, a 35% reduction in dissolved carbon dioxide and 35% increase in dissolved oxygen creating a dramatic impact on fish health and survival. After installing the VAL™, the hatchery reported the survival rate of their triploid walleye hatchlings increased by a factor of 5.3 and the survival rate of their diploid walleye hatchlings increased by a factor of 2.6. The Fish Culture Coordinator noted, “this will make a huge difference in our sterile walleye program."


Below is an overview of the Key Features and Profitability on the Solar Impulse Website.

Most notably, external independent experts validated the following:

  1. Environmental Benefits: The VAL™ delivers an incremental benefit versus a mainstream alternative, considering the lifecycle (production, use and disposal stages) of its value chain.

  2. Client’s Economic Incentive: The total cost of ownership of the Solution is lower compared to the mainstream alternative, taking into consideration potential hidden benefits for society, and foreseeable regulatory changes within 5 years.

In the following categories, external experts noted these benefits:

Environmental Benefits:

  • A small footprint installation using fewer moving parts and electric motors

  • Not requiring chemical products or air conditioning of the process air

  • Reusing nearly 100% of the water in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

  • The removal of particulate matter and BOD

  • Degassing and oxygenation of water

  • “In terms of environment, the direct benefit is energy saving (average of 50% less). Other indirect benefit is related to the improvement on the fish mortality which offers global less impact according to the specific footprint ([fewer] resources by ton of protein) or decreases the number of facilities for the same production or capacity.”

Client’s Economic Incentive

  • “The direct benefit for the buyer compared to the [mainstream alternative] and for the same efficiency: the solution is cheaper and demands less energy and less maintenance to operate. So the payback is immediate. Because the solution helps to decrease [fish] mortality, the productivity of the fish farm is increased and provides benefit for the farm profitability (impact on other specific variable costs as the fish feed for example). When the yield is improving, the specific farm footprint is also better (less global resources to population nutrition).”


Solar Impulse was started by the pioneer and innovator, Bertrand Piccard. With a background in psychiatry, Piccard has continuously strived to challenge the status quo, particularly in the realm of sustainable solutions. He began his disruptive journey, in 1999 with the first non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in a Hot Air Balloon, the Breitling Orbiter 3. Piccard with co-pilot Brian Jones, flew more than 45,000km in 20 days.

The revolutionary Solar Impulse Aircraft followed. With a team of engineers, scientists and co-pilot André Borschberg, Piccard successfully created and flew the first aircraft around the world with no fuel. This impressive 505 day journey included overnight segments powered by the plane’s solar-charged batteries. According to the Bertrand Piccard platform, “[His] ambition is to leverage the spirit of exploration for a useful contribution to the cause of renewable energies...Together with his wife Michèle, he conceived the Solar Impulse project as a now widely recognized platform to raise public awareness and encourage political actions in favor of clean technologies. ”

You can learn more about the beginning of Solar Impulse and this transformative aircraft with the video below:

Piccard’s passion for exploration and a sustainable future grew into the Solar Impulse Foundation and mission to create a portfolio of 1000 solutions that can profitably change the world. The ‘Solar Impulse Efficient Solution’ label recognizes and promotes solutions meeting at the intersection of profitability, technological feasibility, environmental and socio-economic benefit.

He will be presenting these solutions to corporations, institutions and governments. Piccard has shared, “[each] time I speak of protecting the environment to heads of state or government officials, they tell me that it is too expensive. This label is a strong message to them: solutions exist, and represent the biggest market opportunity of our century. An opportunity which cannot be missed.”

Piccard’s educational background in psychiatry as well as the challenges he overcame circumnavigating the world and developing the revolutionary Solar Impulse Aircraft, has culminated into a bright and interesting perspective of our world.

In this captivating interview with Isabelle Kumar of Euronews, Piccard points out that ”people are waiting for one solution that makes the miracle. [The] miracle is that there are so many solutions that each have some little result; And all together you change the world, you change technology, [and] you change the protection of the environment.” He affirms it is possible to create “qualitative growth, where you create jobs [and] make money by replacing what is polluting by what is protecting the environment.”

Piccard’s determination to find groundbreaking innovation for sustainable initiatives is inspirational. Searen is honored to be a part of this movement to bring environmentally and financially sustainable solutions into our world’s future.

To learn more about dramatically improving the water quality and cost management at your existing or planned recirculating aquaculture facilities submit an application inquiry or contact us at or 513-400-3296. We’ll evaluate your current implementation and recommend our best solution tailored for your application.

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