The best way to aerate is a SUNBUBBLER!
All aeration simply introduces air into water. The goal is to dissolve the oxygen from the air into the water. Using air, the maximum dissolved oxygen concentration in a million gallon pond is about 8 lbs... not very much! In fact, the energy required to mix that 8 lbs. of oxygen completely throughout any body of water is always far, far, far, less than the energy required to get the oxygen into the pond in the first place.
That said, we can now talk about the energy needed by mechanical mixers, pumps, and splashers vs. bubbled air systems.
Pumping one gallon of water, 1 foot into the air, takes up to 1000 times more energy than pumping one gallon of air into 1 foot of water. Even the most efficient mechanical aerators use double the energy needed by a fine bubbler to get the same typical results.
Mechanical aerators efficiency (SAE) =1.9 kg/hr/kW
Fine bubbler aerator efficiency (SAE) =4.4 kg/hr/kW (more than twice the efficiency)
By far, fine air bubble diffuser aerator systems aerate water more efficiently and require less maintenance and energy than any other aeration system. Diffuser systems are a lot like air stones in an aquarium. They use an air compressor to pump air into the pond. The diffuser breaks the air into tiny bubbles which expand as they rise. The rising of the bubbles pushes water up (sometimes inside a tube called an airlift pump) and forms a current that lifts bottom water up to the surface resulting in even more aeration by surface renewal. Depending on airlift pumping flow and wave action, surface renewal alone with a blowing wind can increase oxygen transfer in any body of water by 15,000% ( 0.03-5.0 g/m2/hour ). Of course, this also means that when the wind is not blowing oxygen levels can decrease quickly to dangerously low levels. A real problem for fish if you only rely on for direct drive windmill aerators this summer!
Bubblers are more efficient than splashers or fountains that use lots of power to lift air starved, stagnant, laminar water flows up into the air. Bubblers do a better job of mixing while using up to six times less power than splashers or fountains. In addition to instantly transferring oxygen as bubbles are formed, these same bubbles created by the bubbler diffuser burst violently at the surface discouraging mosquito and insect breeding while directing the floating algae, suspended solids, and detritus to the shorelines..... like no other device known. This unique self-contained solar powered bubble action makes us the first water aerator of choice for mosquito insect abatement, lagoon TSS control, dissolved oxygen control and deicing control .... worldwide.
Only diffused air with its bubble driven turbulence mixes the entire water column with oxygen laden air while preventing stratification in the pond.
Sunbubblers are the only solution to offer sustainable pond aeration with no power bills!
II. Why PEC Solar Aeration Works To Save You $$$
Not only do our distributed power high pressure air pump units run 24/7 while storing power for at least 3 cloudy days in a row (Windsols pat. pending), you can push a button and they
will output twice the rated air flow without the energy wasting air control valves and long air line pressure drops of monolithic system designs by others. Of course you could just buy *four of our competitors 20 hr/day solar aerators and run them side-by-side alternating each of the units for 6 run hours/day to get 24 hr/day operation like the PEC units.
2. All PEC solar aerators are designed
with the required solar panels so they work night and day with user
supplied off-the-shelf 12 volt, deep cycle, marine batteries. **Our
patent pending PEC Windsols Hybrid Power Saver add-on can maximize stored power
during periods of increased natural oxygen diffusion making our solar
aerator design capital costs comparable to many grid powered units
without the monthly grid power bills.
Solar panels put out DC electricity, so our designs use it as it is supplied
by the PV panels. We manufacture and fabricate our PEC-45 & PEC-90
air compressors to use DC electricity. They come with a 2 year pump
warranty (not 12 months like the toy motors supplied by others), and a 5 year rebuild life.
Our decentralized power designs store >30% more power than monolithic
high pressure drop designs by others who use restricting air valve manifolds or small orifices with very long hose lengths or extensive power supply lines (as much as 1% for every 2 psi restriction or more than 5% for every 10 meters of additional electrical transmission cable ).
NOTE: PEC aeration systems are designed as stand alone units. Centralized, monolithic, solar power designs are up to 30% less efficient and better suited for large compressors feeding several diffusers. If you want to use your currently available, grid power, battery power or PV panels, simply go to www.Grainger.com, search ponds, and buy an AC or DC air compressor, hose, inverter, and diffuser.
However, if you want to aerate your pond 24/7 with solar power we have the lowest capital cost and most energy efficient solar aerators available.
5. PEC designs for a 100% powerbill savings and annual maintenance costs under $150/unit/year on all models. An amortized 5 year cost of ownership study shows our G2V-STAR units at less than a $2/day to deliver 3 cfm (80 liters per minute ) of fine bubble air to a typical 0.25 acre (1000 m2), 3-5 ft (1-2 mtr.) deep fish pond for 12 hrs/day. Typical intensive fish farmers in tropical climates use less than 2000 cubic foot/1000m2/day of diffused air in a typical production operation (60 liters per minute for 9 hours/day).
6. Unlike aerators that use grid power from power plants spewing tons of CO2 and other GHG's into the atmosphere each day, PEC solar powered aerators actually strip Oxygen, CO2, and GHG's from the air and transfer them to the water where they are converted to earth as part of the ponds aeration enhanced natural life cycle.
7. PEC's decentralized power designs save thousands of dollars in capital costs over monolithic solar powered aeration system designs. In our typical decentralized power diffused air application two G2V-STAR units provide 2 cfm/acre @10 ft water depth using 2 centrally located membrane diffusers equidistant from each other at less than 50 watts/acre. A similar high pressure drop, monolithic design, in the same pond uses 100-200 watts/acre and requires four times the solar cells. PEC's reduced diffuser airline lengths, smaller compressed air system pressure drops, lower equipment capital costs, and reduced operating costs, puts an end to large power swings, mass system failures, and growing electrical power costs.
8. PEC Electro-Kinetic Bio-Solar (EKBS) low pressure aeration and (G2V-STAR) high pressure (8-130 psi) aeration runs 24/7 by design. Our operational designs allow us to double air flows when it is needed most during the late evening and early morning hours when most ponds go anoxic. During peak sunlight hours only a tiny amount of diffused air mixing is needed because of photosynthesis. Wastewater treatment lagoons plagued with low BOD and high algal TSS take maximum advantage of daytime photosynthetic oxygen production by applying 50 watts/acre of diffused air to mix oxygen super saturated top water with the anoxic lower levels. Unlike expensive laminar flow mechanical mixers that rely only on "surface renewal" for aeration. PEC solar bubblers keep critical "odor caps" intact while efficiently mixing deep water. In addition, all our units are designed to take maximum operational advantage of photosynthesis by having the capability of storing power during peak sunshine hours for use at night. However, our units can operate without batteries if daytime only operation is needed. Our larger, G2V-STAR, high pressure units offer built-in programmable timers so you can determine all aeration periods yourself. Our programmable timer and pump sequencing flow design overcomes the inherent inverter failure problems of most other aerator designs while offering an uninterruptible power supply and twice the design air flow 12/7, essential to the aquaculture, aquaponics, and decentralized wastewater treatment industries.
9. Unlike grid powered aerators, PEC sunbubblers do not get shutdown by customers who try to save on monthly power bills or avoid rolling power outages. Instead, power constantly flows freely to and from our sustainable and uninterruptable power supply battery banks.
10. PEC solar aeration puts out DC electricity which easily stores in user provided marine batteries. Expensive, power wasting, high maintenance, fan cooled inverters, are not used !
11. Made in the USA PEC-45 and built in the US PEC-90 diaphragm air pumps cost under $275.00 each with a 2 year pump replacement/repair warranty. Others offer AC pumps with costly 90 day repair/replacement warranties, higher initial costs of +$375.00, and expensive add-on inverters that use lots of energy and are prone to annual failure.
12. Solar installations save thousands of dollars compared to the cost of grid power transmission lines, fossil fuel consumption, and global pollution problems. And with solar power there are "no pesky power bills" each month.
13. If you can open the shipping box, you can setup the unit to aerate, in less than 1 hour, with simple hand tools. Everything is included in our systems but the +30 lb. standard marine batteries which are readily available at any hardware or automotive store.
*Our previous calculations indicated that you could buy two of the monolithic type systems to do what the PEC systems do. We stand corrected. Based on feedback from the field by monolithic type system owners it turns out many of these installed monolithic systems are only able to operate 3-6 hours/day, even in the summer months in Texas! Sorry, your going to need four of them.
**Contact us for details on the PEC hybrid power saver.
III. Why Solar Powered Aeration in not widespread today!
1. Despite the fact that "undersized" aeration systems still provide large "fish safe" zones of aeration in a pond, the industry continues to design systems that turn off after running just a few hours on sunny days (because they are all based on grid powered monolithic systems with large pressure restrictions from air control valves).
Most professionals at the US Dept of Fish & Wildlife, US Army Corp of Engineers, State, and Local Conservation Agencies will tell you that when you turn off an aerator, you will stress the fish in the pond. They would rather see you reduce the oxygen demand by stopping the flow of nutrients into the pond, ie: stop feeding the fish, remove dead organics, stop fertilizing, increase removal rates of any septic systems feeding the pond (aeration), etc.
2. Simply put, PEC provides 6-7 times the pump wattage in solar panel output watts so the units can operate 24/7 while storing power. PEC is the only manufacturer that offers a 2 year pump warranty.
3. A 75 watt air pump with twin diffusers offered by others, needs (4) 140 watt solar panels just to operate 24/7 with NO RESERVE POWER. Instead they offer (2) 140 watt panels and add power inverters to the mix which use even more power. Add 10-20% to the solar panel output wattage required if they utilize power inverters. If they do use inverters make sure you get 2 year warranty on the inverter and air pumps in writing.
4. A typical 35 watt air pump is offered by many manufacturers. It needs (3) 100 watt solar panels to operate 24/7 with NO RESERVE POWER , not the (2) 100 watt panels offered by others.
5. All 100% Solar powered aerators that are designed to store power and run at night, only store a small fraction of the systems design power on cloudy days. Typically, after a cloudy or overcast day, most designs will only run during the daylight hours until the next sunny day. At PEC, we design the units to operate for up to 3 cloudy days in a row. Of course, PEC units can be upgraded with additional storage power or on the G2V-STAR units the programmable timer can be adjusted to reduce pump runtime to selected aeration hours. Most professional fish farmers only operate PEC units during the late evening and early morning hours. This mode of operation allows our US standard designs to store power for up to 8 cloudy days in a row.
(See EKBS-15 in picture below with white bullet float draft tube in background!)
IV. Do I Need to Aerate my Pond?
Yes you do! Non-aerated ponds rely on natural diffusion of oxygen into water from simple wind action mixing. Oxygen produced by photosynthesis escapes quickly from the top layer to the atmosphere. Standing by and letting the ecology suffer is not good enough. We can do better with a reconciliation approach to ecology.
The oxygen intake from the atmosphere by diffusion is 1.5 g/m2/day in small ponds and 4.8 g/m2/day in big ponds, where the wind action is stronger. Our patent pending "Sunbubbler Power Saver," takes maximum advantage of this massive natural oxygen transfer increase when the wind blows. In strong winds, you only need to mix most bodies of water using a tiny fraction of the original design power, regardless of the system used. Makes you wonder about the value of old school windmill aerators, doesn't it?
Now, back to studies of the oxygen consumption in pond bottom sediment that show 1-3 g/m2/day.
Except on very windy days, this leaves little or no oxygen available in the pond for fish without some supplemental aeration.
Adding just a coffee can of fish food, a little fertilizer runoff, and a few fresh grass clippings on a summer day and your pond is in serious oxygen trouble. Your pond needs supplemental aeration, especially in the heat of the summer months when its harder to get oxygen into the pond or if your pond gets snow covered ice during the cold northern winter months preventing wind and algae from doing the aeration job.
IV. Sustainable Solar Aerator Design
1. Our PEC solar aerator models can easily provide 0.1-10 cfm of medium fine air bubbles. Even our smallest unit, the EKBS-10, easily supplies the mixing and oxygen transfer needed to take maximum advantage of natural diffusion.
A massive increase in surface renewal oxygen transfer using just a few bubbles from a 20 watt solar panel and a 6 watt air pump!
Fish farmers aerate only to provide highly oxygenated aeration zones or "fish safe" zones to prevent fish kills, control algae, strip toxic gases, stabilize CO2 levels, destratify pond thermal layers, and control mosquito breeding. Using just one of our EKBS-10 fish zone aerators for up to 50 lbs of fish (1/4 surface acre max.) and/or one of our larger EKBS-15 units for up to 100 lbs of actively feeding fish (1/4 to 1/2 surface acre) is a simple green solution. If you use atmospheric air to aerate water, no matter how many bubbles you see, or how much splashing/mixing you do, you can only get around 8 lbs of oxygen to dissolve in a million gallons of water. For example, sewer plant treated water by US law needs to have a dissolved oxygen demand no greater than 2 lbs/day per million gallons of water. So if you have a solar powered zone aerator that can put 2 lbs/day of oxygen in a million gallons of water (even our smallest EKBS-10 solar aerator provides 1 lb/day), you are good-to-go from an aeration standpoint for odor control, non-intensive fish farming, and mosquito abatement. The other most often asked question is "how much mixing" energy do you need to disperse the oxygen rich aerated water. Well, from an oxygen dispersion standpoint there is no such thing as a mixing limited pond design when using conventional diffused air. The aerated, oxygen saturated zones, will gradually disperse throughout the entire pond. However, if you have water flowing through a pond, always place the air diffuser as far away from the pond discharge or overflow as possible, otherwise simply locate it near to the spot where you want the big fish to hang out. Clemson University studies, USDA fish hatchery studies, et al., have demonstrated that 1 cfm of air flow is adequate to maintain high oxygen transfer and mixing for a 1 acre fish pond. DO NOT apply more than 350-746 watts ( 1/2 to 1 HP) per surface acre for recreational ponds because you will partially suspend solids that can cause other major problems. High energy aeration levels increase turbidity problems and can kill fish (EPA studies do support these higher energy levels for sewage treatment). When using our lowest cost of ownership approach, PEC solar bubbler aerators, can properly mix and aerate ponds, with up to 50 watts per surface acre if you are not actively feeding fish and up to 350 watts/acre if you are actively feeding up to 1000 lbs of fish each day.
2. Solar Powered Diffused Aeration Costs?
Given: Wetland pond is 6-8 foot deep, 1/4 acre, and requires 24/7 operation.
Grid powered aeration systems manufacturer showing they can provide a 2.5 cfm single pump system using $2.52/day in powerbills ( $75.00/month). You can buy that system for $1499.00 online here and pay at least that much and MORE every year for aeration powerbills (add one time $1500-$4000.00 hookup fee and $200-400 distribution power maintenance costs every 2-4 years) .
Solar Powered aeration system G2V-STAR-X manufacturer showing a 2.68 cfm dual pump system using $0.00/day in powerbills ($0.00/month). You can buy this system for $2819.00 online here and never pay an aeration powerbill again (add $200-400 refresh/recycle battery bank costs every 2-4 years).
Since solar power is free energy, solar aerators cost of ownership comes down to capital costs and maintenance. Both costs are a direct function of how deep you place the air diffusers and the length of the airlines to the diffusers. A simple one foot increase in diffuser depth can result in a 1% increase in oxygen transfer along with a 1% decrease in airflow and a 100% increase in solar power capital costs. Maintaining higher airflow volumes at greater depths means more energy and greater capital and maintenance costs for all diffused aeration systems. Floating diffusers, airlines, and floating draft tube airlift pumps that draw water from the bottom of any depth pond allow you to reduce energy resulting in reduced capital and maintenance costs while still maintaining high oxygen transfer and mixing characteristics.
3. Simple Designs Work Best at lowest TCO.
PEC's approach to solar aerator design cuts through the pricing maze of our competitors. Interchangeable PEC pumps and PEC PV panels allow us to provide 24/7 aeration with any Sunbubbler model using the available sunlight from Chicago to SanDiego at one fixed price.
SUSTAINABLE PEC SOLAR POWERED AERATORS MAKE FISH SAFE ZONES ANYWHERE IN THE POND, 24/7. THERE IS NO "OFF" SWITCH.
UNSUSTAINABLE GRID POWERED UNITS GET TURNED "OFF" DUE TO POWER COSTS AND THUS MAKE "FISH KILL" ZONES THROUGHOUT YOUR POND.
DON'T CREATE "FISH KILL ZONES", STICK WITH 100% SOLAR POWERED AERATORS.