Solar Aeration for Lakes & Ponds
It’s not hard to identify a stagnant lake or pond. Typically, a waterbody lacking proper water circulation is characterized by foul odors, cloudy or scummy water, nuisance aquatic weeds and algae, and, in many cases, a plethora of mosquitoes. Fortunately, it is possible to reverse the problems that can result from stagnant water by installing a lake or pond aeration system. Traditional electric aeration systems can be effective when a power source is available near the pond, but in many situations, electric service is unavailable. Or, you may simply be interested in a more ecologically-friendly aeration solution. If so, a solar pond aerator may be a great option to improve circulation in your waterbody.
Getting power to the farm pond, community lake or stormwater management facility surrounded by homes can be expensive, time consuming and impractical. In these situations, a solar aeration system can help provide significant cost savings. If trenching and setting up a new electrical service is needed, choosing to go solar can also reduce the time it takes to get the system up and running from months to weeks.
Aside from the cost and time benefits of pond aeration, there are also environmental advantages to choosing a solar aeration system. For those who want to take their aquatic resource to the next level, but do not want to consume any more electricity in the process, a solar pond aerator can be a clear choice. Installing a solar aerator results in a win-win situation by increasing the pond health and decreasing fossil fuel use for energy.
Solar powered pond aerators are extremely reliable and utilize many of the same components as a standard electric powered system. The system starts with a solar panel mounted on a post that is strategically positioned, based on latitude and season, to capture the optimal amount of sunlight. The solar panels then convert that sunlight into energy, which is used to power an air compressor. Past the compressor, the components on a solar system are nearly identical to that of an electric powered system. The compressor pumps air through underwater tubing to diffusers. Once the air reaches the diffusers, it is forced out into tiny bubbles, which disperse into the water and mix the water column as they float towards the surface. This constant mixing of the water increases the overall dissolved oxygen level and creates a much more stable ecosystem.
As with any type of solar powered equipment, the function is dependent on the sun, which inherently leads to some limitations to the system runtime. At night or on extremely cloudy days, when the sunlight is less than 20%, the solar panels cannot convert enough energy to power the system. This results in the aerator only running around 14-16 hours per day in good conditions. Some manufacturers offer a battery backup, which can increase the runtime to 20 hours per day or more, in optimal conditions. While an aerator running all day every day is ideal, 14-20 hours of aeration per day will still provide many of the same benefits.
Ultimately, the addition of any type of aeration system to your lake or pond is going to help ensure a longer and healthier lifespan for your waterbody. With the rise of alternative energy sources, new strides are always being made to enhance solar technology and make your dollar stretch even further. Whether you’re looking for an aeration option for your remote waterbody, or you’re just interested in being a little more environmentally friendly, a professional lake manager can help you design, install and maintain an aeration system that achieves your personal waterbody and property goals.
SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, stormwater pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, shoreline erosion restoration, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. SOLitude Lake Management is a proud member of the Rentokil family of companies in North America.