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Application of solar energy in fish sauce production

About the Implementing organization


Country: Viet Nam

Year of establishment: 1995

Type of organization: Legally recognized non-profit status


Application of solar energy for fish sauce production will replace and overcome the disadvantages of traditional fish sauce production. System is operating as follows. Solar systems will absorb heat energy from sunlight to increase the temperature of the fermentation sauces to the optimum temperature condition. Fish sauce liquid from the tank after filtered through filter bed (mesh and gravel) flows into the filter tube, from filter tube, sauce pumped through solar panels, where it is heated up to the optimum temperature and then pumped back into the tank. Fish sauce is extracted and pumped back to the tank replace traditional process of extracting fish sauce by hand and exposing under the sunlight and decant back into the tank by hand. The new process help to more contact between the sauce and fish for that the compounds extracted from the fish could be better. Such circulation process helped to replace similar process working by hand and help to increase the temperature of the whole tank up to optimum for fermentation that can help produce fish sauce faster. Depending on the specific conditions of the system, when the sauce flowing from filter tube have a temperature of about 42oC, the system will stop working (cover the solar panels and turn on the pump for 1h to keep stable heat and shutdown).

Nature Element


Type of Action

Pollution prevention, clean up / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Renewable energy

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

- Solar energy is used in an optimal way— solar heating absorption system.
- Process sealed help to limit the growth of harmful microorganisms, enhance the quality of food safety and reduced labor costs of extracting sauce in the traditional method.
- Reduce the environmental pollution caused by the smell of fish sauce restrictions emitted during the process of exposing under the sunlight.
- Reduce the required area for fish sauce production by reducing the required area of exposing fish sauce under the sunlight as well as replacing many small jars with a larger tank volume.
- Significant shortening production cycle from 12 to 9 months; raising the production capacity.

Sustainable Development Impacts

Using solar energy in fish sauce production has reduced labor costs; increase economic efficiency and reduce environmental pollution, improve product quality. This helps reduce labor costs by 70% resulting in the product reduction by 15%, the profits increase of 18% compared to the tradition method. With this achievement, the application of the model in the project will certainly help bring success to the livelihoods of the fish sauce producers increasingly towards stable quality, enhance economic efficiency, and reduce environmental pollution. Wide application can facilitate branding of the area for fish sauce production jobs at Cam Nhuong, contributing to poverty reduction, stronger resilience to climate change which affects the livelihoods of coastal people of Vietnam. The initiative is meaningful for women in particular and for the local sustainable socio-economic development.


The local government plan to replicate models for households in the similar social condition communes and also adopt enabling the policy for replication or upgraded models including preferential loans, support technique.

Local government has allocated 5 ha of land for the concentrated production area, facilitating the infrastructure which provides an enabling environment for those who want to join the production of fish sauce using solar energy.

Besides, many households in other neighboring districts of Nghi Xuan, Can Loc, Cam Xuyen and Ky Anh have visited the model and learned the technology and experiences for their own production.
Department of Science and Technology of Quang Binh Province has sent a delegation to visit and requested Ha Tinh Union of Science and Technology Associations to transfer new technology to apply in Quang Binh province. The initiative can be applicable to many other coastal provinces who are producing fish sauce in traditional way


The project has provided training, technical transfer of fish sauce production procedure using a solar heating system for nearly 500 workers in Cam nhuong commune. 90% of them are women. The project has established fish sauce cooperative named Nam Hai consisting 20 members, of which 18 members are women. The cooperative issued working mechanisms, cooperate for consumption and production, sharing of experience in producing and marketing of products, linked with women.

The project gave micro credit of USD 300 per household for production equipment. Loans prove really effective after two years. Households returned loans for further reinvestment.

Fish sauce products were brought to market, registered for quality, and branded for the product. The product has been appreciated by people and accepted by the market.

Replication of model is integrated with the socio-economic development plan of the local government.

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