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#229400 - 08/02/10 09:19 PM solar powered aeration
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
I have read a lot of the posts here about aeration & I am pretty sure I need to do that. I bought some land with a one acre pond on it last year. It was dry 2 years ago & hasn't been stocked since until 3 months ago when I put about a hundred blue gill in there, 10 cc only, maybe 30 lmb, all real small ones. depth is 9' for about 1/3, 5' for over half, rest is 3' or so. Pretty clear water, 2' or so until summer. pH 7.5, alkalinity & hardness 300, temp 95F yesterday. No electricity within 2 miles & wind probably won't work, too many trees. If I got a few of these things or something like that in there it would help get the water moving wouldn't it?

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Sol...html?cid=123620

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#229408 - 08/02/10 09:54 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK

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#229431 - 08/02/10 11:27 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
adirondack pond Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 08/31/07
Posts: 3135
Loc: big moose ny
Mouch that's a real pretty pond scene you have there.
As far as solar aeration your probably gonna need some deep cycle batteries, power inverter, and 2 or 3 solar units like these to power your air pump especially if you want to aerate at night to keep D.O. up and help cool the pond in the summer.

http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-solar-panel-kit-90599.html


Edited by adirondack pond (08/02/10 11:30 PM)
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#229435 - 08/02/10 11:39 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: adirondack pond]
The Pond Frog Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
I have a customer who has a sweet solar powered fountain aereator system. But he is kind of deep pocketed and can afford anything. He got a beta model, and the price has come down. I had a brochure somewhere, lost in my pile of things I have to get caught up. But it is pretty much one unit, all inclusive. The spray from the fountain keeps the solar panels cooled for maximum efficiency. I have a few photos of it but am photo posting challenged. Should breakdown and get photobucket or something. Just another thing to do on the long list of Frog's would like to get done list. Have 4 straight 12's coming up though. Outlook is bleak for anything to get crossed off that list. But as far as feedback, customer loves it.

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#229486 - 08/03/10 12:25 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: The Pond Frog]
jeffhasapond Offline
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Field Correspondent
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Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Hello Mouch and welcome to Pond Boss. Like you I do not have power at my pond property. When I was considering aeration I researched solar powered aeration. I would do extensive research regarding solar systems prior to purchasing one. You have to work backwards to determine the size of the solar system that you will need. By this I mean that you must first determine the size of the compressor that you will need to correctly aerate your pond (run the required number of diffusers at the optimum depth to achieve a beneficial turn over ratio and a bank of batteries to run the system at night if required). Once you know the pump that is required then you will be able to calculate the Photovoltaic (PV) energy requirements.

My pond is between 2 and 3 acres and is deeper than yours (about 18 feet deep) and when I went through this exercise (approximately 3 years ago) I found that the solar system alone would cost approximately $10,000 (this includes the solar panels, batteries, an inverter, a controller, cables, poles and pole mounts). But once again my pond is larger and deeper than yours so don't get overly discouraged by the calculations for my pond.

IMHO when considering aeration it is essential that you properly size the aeration system and the diffuser type and location. This forum has plenty of aeration disaster stories and you don't want to become one.

I would work with one of the aeration experts to determine the aeration system requirements and then use the compressor specs to determine the PV system requirements. A well designed PV system must include inverter inefficiencies, battery inefficiency, required number of amp hours storage, average number of hours of sunshine per day, etc, etc.

But that is just one forum member's opinion and I'm certainly no expert in either aeration or PV systems.


_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#229498 - 08/03/10 01:05 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: jeffhasapond]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
I have some experience with solar power as I have a greenhouse that is powered by 2 1000 W Kyocera panels. The trick with solar is to skip the invertor & use 12V or 24 V DC loads if possible, this is my plan. I think I will avoid the batteries as well & simply use a load controller to start the pump when the amps will turn it. In my view this will work when needed, on the hot sunny days. My pond is so lightly stocked right now that I will wait until next year before I do anything.

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#229502 - 08/03/10 01:14 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
jeffhasapond Offline
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Field Correspondent
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Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Very cool Mouch and I agree if you can use 12V or 24V directly the system can remain much simpler (we have the travel trailers on our property entirely powered by a PV system but we do use an inverter for some 110V applications).

The only downside of using a load controller that a pond's dissolved oxygen is lowest in the early morning hours in the summer and, accordingly, many folks run their aeration systems at night during the summer.

My post is in no way meant to discourage you though, please take photos and create a thread when you design and implement your PV aeration system - we all learn from projects such as this.
_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#229509 - 08/03/10 01:50 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: jeffhasapond]
Pottsy Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 494
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
I would look at 12 or 24 volt air pumps (Or invert to 110v if needed) using solar panels and a deep cycle battery. Move alot more water with air than with a tiny water pump. However, anything is better then nothing IMO.
Pretty good find for decorative uses.
_________________________
Owner/Builder of Ottawa Canada's first official off-grid home.

http://www.mygamepictures.com - Hosting your outdoor adventure, fishing, hunting and sports related pictures!

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#229516 - 08/03/10 02:20 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Pottsy]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
I'm having a hard time sourcing a 24 v aeration pump & really want to skip the invertor. I already had one go out on the greenhouse (5000W)due to a overheat & I don't want one near water that's for sure. I'll probably series up a couple 200 AH deepcycles & try to get this thing going for $1500 or so. Depends on the pump.

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#229524 - 08/03/10 02:48 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
rrroae Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 56
Loc: nw pa
Here's an interesting place for solar pumps.



http://www.thepondreport.com/solar-battery-pond-air-pumps.shtml

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#229528 - 08/03/10 03:02 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: rrroae]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
Thank you. I did not realise these dc pumps only lasted a few months.

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#229529 - 08/03/10 03:05 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Pottsy]
Haplo Man Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 9
Loc: Orlando, FL USA
Beautiful setup you have there Mouch, nice prairie pond setup. Reading your water quality info and the other details on stocking and depth, I have to ask you why you think you need aeration? Solar powered anything is going to be a heavy outlay of cash and the description you paint of your pond isn't the typical nightmare algae/fishkill variety. Bottom diffused aeration isn't efficient in waters 3-5' deep and requires high volume of air to promote circulation... which is 2/3 of your pond. Aerating the 9' portion would work, but the pond is basically new <2 yrs from being dried out and only has 130 stocked fish? Did the '08 drought dry it completely or only a portion? You didn't mention what the acerage is, but from the photo it appears to be 10+ acres? I'm thinking a dissolved oxygen / temperature profile of your pond would give you a good idea of whether you need aeration or not and save you some money by identifying the problem areas of your pond. Spend a small amount of money now to save you a lot of money later.

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#229530 - 08/03/10 03:10 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Haplo Man]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
Thanks Haplo. Last year the pond was less than an acre by the end of the summer. It gets screaming hot here in the summer with light winds so when the bluegill do there rabbit thing we could have a problem by next year. This year with all the rain it is a 2 ac pond & its holding the water well. I'm aiming for a bass pond here too & I've heard they're the first to go with low DO. Neighbor had a fish kill of cc last year during this time of year but he overstocks I think. I think you are right about testing the DO now though.

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#229562 - 08/03/10 06:47 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
WaterWizard Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 227
Loc: San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
Wow JHAP, we may have a spot for you if you're looking for a new job. You nailed all the important points.

We have explored solar aeration extensively and still can't justify making it part of our product line. It's not that it can't be done, it's just incredibly expensive and most people don't have the budget to afford it. In general, we've found that the solar components cost about twice the amount of the aeration components. This is assuming the system has battery backup to run at night when you need it most. There are some package systems out there but in my opinion the claims as to the size of water body that they will aerate are way overstated.

I agree with the others that you probably don't have an oxygen problem in this new, lightly stocked pond....yet. But it would be worth while to find out. Good luck.
_________________________
Richard Dennis
EP Aeration
rich@epaeration.com
www.epaeration.com
(800) 556-9251


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#229573 - 08/03/10 08:46 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: WaterWizard]
burgermeister Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 4025
Loc: Houston, Tx.
WW and JHAP have nailed it: cost per unit bubble just dont make it feasible yet.


Edited by burgermeister (08/03/10 08:51 PM)
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#229579 - 08/03/10 09:48 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: burgermeister]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
I am encouraged that maybe I don't even need to do this. I will get a well drilled upstream out of the trees & put an Aeromotor on it to fill a stock tank. Maybe the overflow will keep me out of dutch in terms of DO & water level. I'm ordering a Lamonte test kit now.

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#229592 - 08/03/10 10:52 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
esshup Offline
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Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24012
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
It might. Just bounce the water overflow over some rocks or other material to get it mixed with the air. It'll help it outgass any nasties, and oxygenate it on it's way to the pond. The only downside to that is that it might be warmer than the pond water.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#229602 - 08/03/10 11:51 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: esshup]
rrroae Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 56
Loc: nw pa
Depending on the solar components one would need, it might be feasible to run a solar system. My house and cabin are run off solar and I follow prices and products very closely to see what's new. Solar panels which ran $7-9 per watt just a few years ago can be had for less than $3 a watt today. You also may qualify for a 30% federal tax incentive for renewable energy.

http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US37F



If you get solar panels, never get thin film or pretty much anything from China. Won't last. Look for monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels.


I buy my stuff mainly from Northern Arizona Sun and Wind.

http://store.solar-electric.com/hiposopa.html


They have a very good solar forum that might be a good place to ask for help for an aeration system. Very helpful and knowledgeable board.


http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/



Other places that I've found that have good prices on solar are:


(Removed sun elec link at their request) - Not very helpful and I've been sent wrong products before but they do have good prices but watch for 2nds.


http://www.thesolar.biz/ - Run by a very smart fella but he tried to sell me more than what I needed and is pretty pushy but his prices are excellent.

http://partsonsale.com/ - High volume company that sometimes has super deals but it seems like I always get an 18 year old kid fresh out of high school when I call. Sort of like a Best Buy of solar.



Seems all someone would need for an aeration system is a couple 120 watt Kyocera panels(about $400 per panel) and probably 4 deep cycle 6 volt(run together to form 24 volt) golf cart batteries and you would be good to go. Also get a charge controller to prevent batteries from over charging. Something like a Xantrex C35 or Morningstar ProStar 30 12/24V 30 amp solar charge controller(both sized bigger than needed in case of future expansion of solar).



Batteries I'd consider would be US2200. About $100 a pop. Abused these pretty badly when I first got my solar and they still lasted 5 years of constant use.

Another would be Trojan 105. Popular with the renewable energy crowd. About $120 per battery.

When I upgraded my solar this past year, I bought Crown batteries. They are suppose to have the thickest wall plates among batteries and are used for forklifts and store scrubbers because they have a reputation for lasting and taking abuse. Expensive and most likely overkill for this type of use.


Deep cycle batteries need checked for loss of water periodically and need to be vented if indoors but they are less prone to die from user error. I would recommend staying away from AGM batteries which are maintenance free but are more susceptible to dying off early because they don't handle over discharging very well.


If you do go solar, another thing you want to remember is the ratio of solar panel watts to battery amps should be 1 - 1.5 to 1. In other words, if you get a 200 amp/hr battery bank, you'll want 400 - 600 watts of panels.

If your pump is 24 volt, your battery bank will need to be wired to 24 volt and so will your panels(just look for 24 volt panels for simplicity).


Here's a good site to figure out your battery needs and wiring. If you get 6 volt batteries which seem the most popular for solar applications, this tool will save you a lot of headaches.
http://www.freesunpower.com/battery_designer.php




Edited by Bob Lusk (02/09/14 08:12 PM)
Edit Reason: removed sun elec link at their request

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#229604 - 08/04/10 12:23 AM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: rrroae]
Mouch Offline


Registered: 08/02/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Duke OK
I'm all over what you're saying here. I've been doing solar & wind for 2 years with the greenhouse/shed outbuilding & have learned a few things. I'm using 4 200 AH deepcycle marine batteries (not enough) with 1000 W of panels & a 400 W windmill @ 12 mph to run a 2000 cubic foot greenhouse ventilation & heating system. I should have called this thread, "12 V or 24 V air or water pump" because I don't like the inverter at all. I think Water Wizard has it right, & the life of the DC pumps is so poor that it's not worth messing with. Put an inverter out in the bush, it'll be dead in a year I promise, I've done it. An inverter is pretty heavy duty solid state transisters, doesn't like burning heat followed by 90% humidity & turtle turds & then an ice storm. I'll either fire up the Husquavarna to clear some fetch & put up a windmill aerator or fire up the Husquavarna & put up a water well.

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#229606 - 08/04/10 01:43 AM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: Mouch]
The Pond Frog Offline
Lunker

Registered: 01/25/10
Posts: 914
Loc: NorCal
That's about what my guy paid about 10K. And that is why I just kind of lost interest in the brochure. Not in this economy, that way too much dollars per bubble for me. Plus I told my customer straight, this thing cuts out when yo need it most, when the sun goes down. Normal ponds full of plants aerate themselves during the day and thos eplants suck it right back out at night plus more. What is the point of having something that costs an arm and a leg and your first born if it does not work in those wee early morning hours? The best solar power solution is a big ol array you can put power back on the grid. Then just use that to power a regular old aerator system.

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#229628 - 08/04/10 09:55 AM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: rrroae]
jeffhasapond Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Originally Posted By: rrroae
You also may qualify for a 30% federal tax incentive for renewable energy.


Check with your tax preparer. The credit for "qualified solar electric property" applies only to solar systems installed on a main or second home located in the US. It does not apply to solar systems installed merely to power aeration systems.

In doing my research I learned way, way more about solar than I wanted to. This was primarily because when we eventually build the house at our pond property I wanted to build it using solar and geothermal technology.

An improperly designed system does not take into account the average number of hours of sunlight, which obviously varies region by region and often does not take into account inverter inefficiencies and required battery reserve (most solar sites recommend that you do not discharge batteries below 50%).

The solar forums mentioned above are great sites and I used some of those sources for my research.
_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#229630 - 08/04/10 09:58 AM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: WaterWizard]
jeffhasapond Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Originally Posted By: WaterWizard
Wow JHAP, we may have a spot for you if you're looking for a new job. You nailed all the important points.


And that my friends makes my 38th good post.

Wow, two in one week.

I'm literally on fire this week.

(PS) the literally was just for Bruce.

Oh and if the bean counting business ever dries up I'll call you WW.

I really want to be a helicopter pilot but I apparently I need to learn to fly a whirly bird first.
_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#229684 - 08/04/10 04:49 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: jeffhasapond]
WaterWizard Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 227
Loc: San Luis Obispo, CA, USA
There may be some other programs you can take advantage of to get part of the cost covered. If you use your pond as an irrigation source to grow an ag commodity, or if your pond is impacted by ag practices, you may qualify for funding through NRCS. Check the AWEP or EQIP programs through NRCS.

Actually, this program is not specific to renewable energy projects. It's mainly for water quality improvement projects which makes anyone who fits the criteria above eligable.

Check this link: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/awep/index.html
_________________________
Richard Dennis
EP Aeration
rich@epaeration.com
www.epaeration.com
(800) 556-9251


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#229687 - 08/04/10 05:00 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: jeffhasapond]
teehjaeh57 Offline
Chairman, Pond Boss Legacy award; Moderator; field correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 7712
Loc: Lincoln, NE
Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
Originally Posted By: rrroae
You also may qualify for a 30% federal tax incentive for renewable energy.


Check with your tax preparer. The credit for "qualified solar electric property" applies only to solar systems installed on a main or second home located in the US. It does not apply to solar systems installed merely to power aeration systems.

In doing my research I learned way, way more about solar than I wanted to. This was primarily because when we eventually build the house at our pond property I wanted to build it using solar and geothermal technology.

An improperly designed system does not take into account the average number of hours of sunlight, which obviously varies region by region and often does not take into account inverter inefficiencies and required battery reserve (most solar sites recommend that you do not discharge batteries below 50%).

The solar forums mentioned above are great sites and I used some of those sources for my research.


Holy crap...who are you and what have you done with JHAP? Not that we mind what you did....just curious. Please feel free to stay awhile - this was a brilliant post! grin
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Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau





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#229693 - 08/04/10 05:23 PM Re: solar powered aeration [Re: teehjaeh57]
jeffhasapond Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Pipe down there TJ or I might just have to enroll you in the Sock Puppet of the month club.
_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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