Nekkar ASA

Nekkar are working to minimize environmental impacts with their innovative closed fish cage. SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation allows them to reduce costs, while improving quality. Read the story below and learn how they are working to revolutionize the aquaculture industry.

Natural resources as an energy source are gaining popularity as demands for sustainability are increasing. This includes hydropower and wind power, amongst others. In 2021, more and more companies strive for minimizing harmful impacts on the environment. With sustainability in mind, Nekkar ASA took matters into their own hands. The company, located in Kristiansand, Norway, aims to develop cutting-edge, sustainable solutions for the aquaculture industry.

Prototype of Starfish closed fish cage
Prototype of Starfish closed fish cage

In both Norway and parts of Canada, there is a major political desire for fish farming in closed cages. The authorities consider closed cage fish farming a solution to major environmental challenges, such as salmon lice, escapes and fish mortality. Introducing “Starfish” – a closed fish cage located at Hidra, outside Flekkefjord in Norway. It is a fully automatic, digital and remote-controlled closed fish cage, designed to reduce environmental impact and operating costs. It has double protection against escapes, avoids problems with salmon lice due to water intake from deep waters, and collects up to 90 percent of biological waste.

The role of SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

“We have performed analyzes of water force acting on the cage, and used SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation to see how the water reacts” explains Mads Bjørnenak, R&D Manager. He has been hired as a CFD specialist for projects at Nekkar and performs CFD analysis using SOLIDWORKS.

Fish cage in Flekkefjord, Norway

Quality: Increased. Cost: Reduced.

By using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, Mads could simulate liquid in real-world conditions and efficiently analyze the effects of fluid flow and related forces on components. “We’ve used CFD-analysis quite a lot – running several iterations thus considered different solutions on the cage with different numbers of inlets, locations and angles”.

On the advantages of using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, Mads explains:

“This iterative improvement process is very cost and time effective, as it enables running quick-tests in the software. You see whether the idea is good or bad very quickly, and you can make several iterations and check out more ideas and concepts and end up with a much better product. SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation performs the analysis extremely well and very quickly. You save a lot of time and money without reducing quality”.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation allowed Nekkar to perform incredibly accurate CFD analyses, increasing the quality of the final solution in record time.

Test before you invest

Another advantage of SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation compared to other CFD-tools i.e. Autodesk’s, is the flexible licensing model. This enabled Mads to test the solution and see if the desired results were achieved, before purchasing a permanent license.

“We tested Autodesk’s CFD solution. It’s about the same annual price, but SOLIDWORKS has a flexible licensing model, so that we can use a 3-month license to test it out, while Autodesk only has an annual license fee”, Mads mentions.

PLM Group – your local business innovation partner with world-leading knowledge

When using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, you don’t need to be an expert to get the desired results. Despite the intuitive interface, it’s always helpful to have close contact with experts who know the software inside and out.

“Especially in the beginning, I needed help with a few issues, and PLM Group was helpful in alleviating my challenges”, Mads comments.’

Our local support team is always ready to help you

With an active subscription agreement, we are always there for you, if you need us. However, with SOLIDWORKS you probably won’t need help. It is one of the most intuitive and powerful software solutions on the market. Mads explains: “SOLIDWORKS does the job in an affordable way, and it’s very user-friendly, yet incredibly advanced and precise. I’ve used other high-end CFD tools that are much more difficult to get acquainted with and use correctly”.


With rigorous testing until summer, Nekkar will be taking more advantage of the valuable functionality in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. At the current stage in the project, they have already seen the following results:

  • Ability to test and verify their solutions internally, thus reducing costs significantly.
  • Reduction of project duration and complexity, thus faster innovation process.
  • Increased quality of end product.
  • No need to invest in a permanent license; SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation allows Nekkar to test before they invest.

At PLM Group we are proud to be a part of the innovation and continue to support Nekkar in their work in the aquaculture industry.

Curious about how SOLIDWORKS Simulation software can improve your product development?

Watch our Virtual Testing webinar here or reach out to us here.

Nekkar ASA

”SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation performs the analysis extremely well and very quickly. You save a lot of time and money without reducing quality.”

Mads Bjørnenak