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There's a couple quotes from Mark Twain that I would reference here, but I won't.

On with the regular programming.

We went quite a while with very little snow. Then a LOT of snow came in pretty short order. The power to the pumps cut off three times due to snow on panels and the low voltage disconnect. One stretch the power was cut off for three days. Based on past results, that is a HUGE test and the setup passed with flying colors. No domes formed and holes opened back up immediately. The holes also continued to grow each day until power cut off again. We will see what happens if I get a 3'-4' dump of snow at one time, but so far I am extremely happy!

The results continue to prove out. MNFish was exactly right. Suspended the diffusers over deep water is the answer. We initially went 4' deep. Next year I think I will move the diffusers to 3' deep. The quad results are very interesting to me. It is suspended 10' deep over 21'-22' of water. I always expect the quad to make the biggest hole and it always disappoints. I am assuming there are some reasons for that. Obviously deeper is not better when trying to de ice. This year also has some unique variables that do not make it apples to apples. One, because the quad is suspended so far off the bottom that makes a huge P-trap in the line that fills with condensation. It takes a good amount of run time before the PSI guage levels off to it's steady state pressure. It always starts off about 2 psi higher while that condensation is being blown out. Not sure of a way to solve that issue when working in 20'+ water. Two, I am only running the 1HP pump for 5 hours per day. The only time the quad diffuser pumps air is when the big pump is running. I am running the 1/2 HP pump 13 hours per day. Only the two duals pump air when the 1/2 HP pump is running. This definitely gives some credit to the "less horsepower, increased duration" train of thought. Of course duration is not an issue with 120V power. You guys have it easy. 120V aeration compared to intermittent solar aeration is like long range hunting with a high powered rife compared to traditional archery hunting with stone points. Then throw in 4'-5' of snow and 3' of ice. With all this in mind, the next round of upgrades to the solar system will include a solution for me to be able to run at least a 1/2HP pump 24/7 through the winter.

The pipes are a home run. Actually a grand slam and the windmill is proof of that. In the past the windmill has almost always been the first hole to disappear - even though it was close to shore in 5' of water. Why is that? Doming!! This year the windmill hole hasn't disappeared once!! Those results are in spite of the fact that this year has been a terrible year for wind up there. The wind data is no where even close to the last three years. I plan on upgrading the windmill compressor to the new OWS windmill compressor than can produce 4.5 CFM. That combined with the existing pipe and I expect the windmill to significantly contribute next winter.

On to pics for comparison.....

Yesterdays pic 12.17.2021. Holes look great. Windmill is small, but it is surviving! That is a huge improvement. The quad is battling back from being frozen over. Life is easy for the two duals. Holes aren't huge, but they will continue to grow until the next storm. The holes are also bigger than they appear in the pic because they are far from the camera. The far dual hole is ~300 yards away from the camera.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last year 12.16.2020. Quad was struggling - struggling much worse than it is this year though. Close dual was domed over (donut pattern) already and not the first time it had done that. Small single hole was open but tiny. Windmill non existent. 2021 kills 2020.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Two years ago. 12.17.2019. Not sure much needs to be said. No holes anywhere. Windmill non existent. 2021 absolutely destroys 2019.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Three years ago. 12.18.2018. two diffusers running in the deep water. they are fighting to keep holes open. We were running the small pump 12-14 hours per day IIRC. Back when we were thinking duration. When we get further into the year you will see these eventually domed over with the infamous donut as proof.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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I frickin' love this thread!! I hope you are proud of what you have accomplished! It's very inspiring to us schmoes down in the flat land. I had a winter kill last year simply because I'm an idiot.
On a tangentially related note, I read that lithium-metal-hydride batteries are almost ready for prime time. When they are, the ability to charge and store power from wind and solar is going to make a huge leap forward.

Merry Christmas!

Last edited by DrLuke; 12/18/21 04:57 PM. Reason: spelling

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Originally Posted by DrLuke
I frickin' love this thread!! I hope you are proud of what you have accomplished! It's very inspiring to us schmoes down in the flat land. I had a winter kill last year simply because I'm an idiot.
On a tangentially related note, I read that lithium-metal-hydride batteries are almost ready for prime time. When they are, the ability to charge and store power from wind and solar is going to make a huge leap forward.

Merry Christmas!

Thanks Dr Luke! It's funny how these ponds seem to make almost everyone look like an idiot at times. What caused your winterkill?

I am not familiar with every single new battery chemistry out there. I know Brian is pretty excited about the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. I have to say this is going into my 5th winter with my cheap Flooded Lead Acid golf cart batteries. They have done amazingly well! It sucks when it's time to water all 24 batteries though! I am strongly considering just upgrading to a bigger set of true solar batteries in Flooded Lead Acid. If I could get another decade plus out of my 2nd set then the best chemistry for my 3rd set of batteries should be well developed and available if I had to guess.


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Cool pic that came in earlier this month. The lack of snow then was scary. Now after about one week of snow we are at ~89% of normal LOL.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Originally Posted by wbuffetjr
Thanks Dr Luke! It's funny how these ponds seem to make almost everyone look like an idiot at times. What caused your winterkill?

I am not familiar with every single new battery chemistry out there. I know Brian is pretty excited about the Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. I have to say this is going into my 5th winter with my cheap Flooded Lead Acid golf cart batteries. They have done amazingly well! It sucks when it's time to water all 24 batteries though! I am strongly considering just upgrading to a bigger set of true solar batteries in Flooded Lead Acid. If I could get another decade plus out of my 2nd set then the best chemistry for my 3rd set of batteries should be well developed and available if I had to guess.

Here is the winter kill thread. I did have more fish survive than I originally thought, so that has been nice.

I think Brian and I are talking about the same new batteries maybe.


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Bump. Have you got any updates from your camera?

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Unfortunately having some technical difficulties up there. The batteries died in the Reconyx camera that has the best point of view so haven't gotten any pics from it in a few weeks. It also takes one status pic a day even with no motion. Those are the pics I always use to compare. I do have a second camera that triggers off the windmill motion but it only captures approx half the lake.

Still have HUGE news! Never kept holes open this long!! EVER, and this ain't no easy year!! We have had a hell of a year for snow so far. I think we are sitting at ~140% of normal. We had a storm come in one week that shut the power down almost completely for a week! Then another storm after that. In the past this would have been the exact thing that would have created doming and the holes in the ice would have been gone for the rest of the winter. Instead, this year as soon as the power came back on, the holes around the pipes opened right back up immediately. Not only did the holes reopen but they continued to grow larger for weeks afterwards. The only diffuser that does not have a pipe is the quad. The only diffuser that does not have a hole open in the ice is the quad! The quad is suspended by a large buoy. This was done for two reason. One, it is suspended over very deep water and a pipe would have been difficult. Two, I wanted to see if a buoy was capable of disrupting the ice dome formation. Then I would not need pipes sticking out of the water. Well the buoy has failed and the pipes have been a huge success.

Another huge proof of the pipe concept is the windmill hole. That windmill is 7 years old now. It needs a new diaphram. It does not put out as much air as when it was new. The difference in the plume from new to now is substantial. Yet this is the first year EVER the windmill has kept a hole open ALL winter so far and it is doing it in a year with ~140%ish of normal snowfall. For the record, in the past the windmill diffuser was sitting at 5' deep with no pipe. This year the windmill diffuser is suspended from a pipe 12" below the water surface. I wasn't sure how 12" would do up there. I mean last year we measured the ice at three feet thick. I had no idea what would happen to a diffuser at 12" deep. However, this is all one big experiment so I figured what the hell, let's see. So far it is a huge success!!! Yes, it's a small hole, but the important part to me is the concept works with a broke down mill. OWS has a replacement compressor head for the windmill that supposedly cranks out 4.5CFM. After these results I NOW feel confident that would not be wasted money. Slap that sucker on my tower next year and boom, much bigger hole. Maybe they need an extreme conditions Beta tester!! My neighbors weather station recorded 87mph winds. Mine recorded 45mph winds. laugh

Next steps are figuring out 24/7 winter run time. That would mean more panels, bigger batteries and maybe a compressor change for winter. I also want more CFM in summer. Thinking maybe a second solar rig. Maybe direct drive or maybe battery back up.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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