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george1 Offline OP
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Solar Surface Aeration System

I have had a lot of experience with pond aeration , beginning some 12+ years ago when Bill Cody helped me put together a DIY working bottom diffuser system.

Todd Overton helped me upgrade the system with sinking air lines and upgraded membrane diffusers. The little ¼ Gast rotary vane pump performs as well today as well as it did 12 years ago.

After a massive fish kill in record setting Texas 2011 drought, Todd recommended a 1hp, 110v Kasco surface aerator to be used separately or in conjunction with the bottom diffuser system. This approach has worked remarkably well surviving record drought heat waves.

I had one unsolved problem - a stagnant nutrient loaded small sediment pond that needed attention. I wanted to install another surface aerator, not for destratification but to utilize pond water technology purification system by maximum O2 injection.

I am very fortunate to have some very good friends!
I tagged along after Brian Hoffman (Highflyer), watching him install and operate a successful solar irrigation system.
His next solar project was successfully developing a 12v, ¼ hp surface aerator for his brood ponds.

I recognized a solution to solve my nigh nutrient problem in my 1/10 acre sediment pond. Having helpful solar knowledge from my friend Brian, he knew from experience all necessary components necessary to operate a 12v Kasco ¼ hp surface aerator, as well sources to order all of the components.

Todd Overton is my aeration consultant with more than three years experience with installation and operating performance of our 110v Kasco surface aerator.

First step was to order from Overton Fisheries, a 12 v ¼ hp Kasco surface aerator. I would have used this stand-alone system on Todd’s advice, as recommended by Kasco as a battery operated emergency surface aerator, but with Brian's (Highflyer) advice, I elected to go solar.

After observing Brians successful solar powered surface aerator system, he was more than happy to put my system together.

Components include:
2, 100 watt 12v solar panels
Sealed 12v, 100hr heavy duty deep cycle battery
30 amp Controller
Timer and Relay

The folowing pictures will give a good idea of the simple system:















Last edited by george1; 06/27/15 07:23 AM. Reason: add photo


N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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Nice looking set up, George! Give us a ballpark figure on how much you have invested in the project. Also, could it power a deep diffuser at about 12 ft?
Thanks, Shelby County( Tom Sterling ).

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george1 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Shelby County
Nice looking set up, George! Give us a ballpark figure on how much you have invested in the project. Also, could it power a deep diffuser at about 12 ft?
Thanks, Shelby County( Tom Sterling ).

Tom, not including the Kasco 12v, 1/4hp surface aerator, which you will have to negotiate with your supplier, my "ballpark" cost for solar system only was somewhere around $500.00 - $600.00 bucks.

My solar system is a clone of Brian's (Highflyer) solar surface aerator. All components except battery were sourced by him - I am not at liberty to divulge this information. It is a DIY project and Brian provided all harness cable expense.

A good sealed deep cycle, heavy grade, 100hr marine battery was my most expensive item - a little over $200.00 but I am a good negotiator..

Two 100 watt solar panels including shipping cost was around $250.00 if can find them. Controller, timer and relay were very inexpensive.

I would place a maximum depth of about 8 ft on this system, which Kasco limits to a water body of about 1/3 acre.

Really a neat little solar system for my needs - thanks to Brian!
Very interesting affordable prfoject to meet my needs.

George


Last edited by george1; 06/24/15 03:59 PM. Reason: Upped cost estimate due to stuff on hand.


N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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George, does the 100 watt panels keep the battery fully charged? I guess you're running the pump at night and charging during the day?

If not, what is your cycling and time lengths for the pump running?

I speak solar so you can talk amps if you'd like.

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george1 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Timinator
George, does the 100 watt panels keep the battery fully charged? I guess you're running the pump at night and charging during the day?

If not, what is your cycling and time lengths for the pump running?

I speak solar so you can talk amps if you'd like.

Tim, I am a professional geologic interpreter of O&G Geophysical data – so – I can’t grab my amp with both hands.... laugh

Brian (Highflyer) is my solar consultant and he knows the tech stuff and I have some 12+ years aeration experience.

Yes, the two 100 watt solar panels will keep the marine deep cycle 12v 100 hr battery fully charged with optimum run times – IF – the sun shines..

My goal is somewhat different than most pond folks, crafted more for a water purification project by induction of maximum O2 to combat and prevent bad plankton buildup under under record breaking drought and Texas heat waves.
Not as important since our recent record rainfall as this time last year when we had dangerous excess nutrient problems.

The controller allows battery charging when needed and turns off when fully charged or partially discharged.

Brian set the timer for present experimental run for 30 minutes late mid-morning and mid afternoon, and 30 minutes around 3:00 am, based on his O2 instrument observations in his brood pond.
He has documented 30 minute 100% “turnover” with max O2 saturation in his brood ponds. He gives me his run time parameters and respects my views on longer run times at night. He will re-set nightly run times, and leave the two 30 minute daylight aeration.

I am looking for a close the lid and walk way system – we’ll see.

Thanks for your interest,
George



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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If it does rain for a day (cloudy day), is there enough reserves to run off the battery for that day?

Sean

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george1 Offline OP
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Sean, if the battery does not have sufficient charge, the controller will not turn on the juice that might damage the aerator.
I hope we have enough rainy days to test the system - I would rather have the rain than solar electricity... grin

My solar consultant (Highflyer) tells me that UV will charge the battery to some extent, but I can't get the same answer twice in a row from him... laugh
Hope we have a chance to find out...
G/



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Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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A short video of the solar surface aerator in action.



AL

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Originally Posted By: FireIsHot
A short video of the solar surface aerator in action.


Thanks Al, Todd replied vid appears unit is not throwing as much water as compared to last fall installation photo.
Probaly we did not give 6 month idle battery enough time for solar charge - we'll watch it and see until Brian gets his feet back on the ground and see what he thinks.
G/

Last edited by george1; 06/27/15 03:16 PM. Reason: add photo


N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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george1 Offline OP
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Son Jeff left the solar panels do their job for some 10-12 hours over a couple of days, and if the battery is not fully charged - something is wrong…

The aerator appears to me to be functioning well compared to our first test last fall, running off a fully charged brand new battery.
Brian is the expert and has some questions about battery charge and will test to see if the battery is fully charging.




N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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I see most people on here talk about air pumps when it comes to aeration. From what I can find on the web, yours is a small fan in shallow water. When i google pond aeration, i see water fountains too.

Why did you choose the fan over an air compressor or fountain?

Which of the three causes the least evaporation?

Which of the three cools the water the least in winter, and heats it the least is summer?

Sean

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Sean,

This might seem snarky, but it is not. This type of aerator uses a propeller, not a fan to lift some amount of water and toss it through the air to add O2.

Surface aeration is used to add O2 to the water. While it does pull some lower water up, its main job is to add O2. Fountains, are the least efficient. And bottom aeration is used primarily for mixing the water column (braking a thermal-cline) and off-gassing dead bottom water.

So the surface aerator was used to add O2.

Bottom aeration should have the least evaporation, but it does a different job. None of them add much heat to anything as the volume of water will be easily able to handle the added minimal heat. Now if you were asking which will mix the water and have single temperature body of water, that would be the bottom diffused systems.

And fountains are pretty. While they do mix a little and do add O2, they are the least efficient/ most expensive way to add O2.

So remember, they all do different job for your ponds. Use the system that will match your goals.


Brian

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Well Jeff and I got back to the pond late last week and got to check on the aerator which is solar powered. The battery is fully charged and is able to run the aerator well. The two solar panels are able to run the aerator more than 100 minutes a day. While some might think that is not a long time,for the job we are asking it to do, it is more than twice the runtime needed.

George wants to control certain processes in his little pond and running the aerator five minutes an hour every other hour plus extra run sessions during the hours of darkness seems to be working out very well (I will be back at the pond soon to check the O2 levels and temps).

I am going to ask Kasco for a trimmed down prop for George's aerator so it will run more like mine, so fingers crossed. Also, they gave me a nice little three bladed prop that is about to go into service to see how it works, so there will be more on that as time marches on. I believe the system will allow for longer run times, but only after checking and slowly upping the times will I know for sure.

Here is a quick video of George's aerator running using the charged battery during an overcast evening.



Brian

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george1 Offline OP
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Brian, good job!
Glad that son Jeff had an opportunity to work with you and observe assembly and testing of our solar 12v, 1/4 hp Kasco surface aerator system.

For others interested in this type solar system, it is designed for multiple usage - Brian has demonstrated running a 12v air pump for botton diffuser aeration.

Thank you my friend, for a solar education and project that you put together, capable of multiple usage!
George



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




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6:00 pm auto run..
Looks good to me!
G/




N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)





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