Over time, it's become a well-established fact that pond aeration, when properly sized and added to an aquatic environment, can be very helpful for maintaining good water quality and supporting vibrant fish health. Unfortunately, the vast majority of aeration kits on the market are AC-powered so if you don't have electricity somewhere near the pond, these are not a practical option. But solar pond aeration could be!
Solar Pond Aeration Can Work Almost Anywhere
Solar powered pond aerators are a viable solution to aerating remote ponds where power just isn't easily accessible. The other advantage to solar aerators is that on larger ponds with complex layouts, and power only available in one location, it can sometimes make sense to consider several solar units placed around the pond.
This can save a lot of money on airline costs and still provide very good aeration throughout the day. Cost comparisons can be done to help you decide on the best route to go...and keep in mind, you'll never have to pay an electric bill with these aerators! The monthly operational savings can be substantial!
What About Windmill Aerators?
Windmill pond aerators can be useful here too but they come with a cost...they don't work if the wind isn't blowing! So still, calm nights, particularly in the host summer time will still make fish vulnerable to oxygen drops and deprivation. We've always looked at windmill aeration as a "better than nothing" tool...but in reality, they deserve more respect than that. They really can be useful when no other option exists, but fortunately, with advances in solar power, we can now aerate even the most remote ponds with consistent, 24/7 solar aeration systems.
Solar Pond Aerators - Two Common Types
There are two solar aerators available today. Direct drive solar, as we call it, is a more affordable, battery-free system that will work during daylight hours. For more, round-the-clock, 20 hours plus per day operation, several aeration systems are also available with battery backups to provide power when the sun isn't shining. The latter, battery supported aerators are more costly but may make sense if fish are a priority for someone.
One note about the direct drive systems: There are a couple of solar panel options with some of them. You can get the AA1 and AA2 packages with one or two solar panels. The two panel systems have the advantage of having longer and more consistent running times during cloudy, rainy, or snowy weather, as well as very early or late in the day when light may not be at its brightest. This extends the daily run time out so many people opt for the two-panel systems.
A Key Component Of Any Pond Aerator Is The Air Pump
Pond aeration systems are made up of a few components. We use a land-based air pump, which connects via airline to a diffuser that sits at the bottom of the pond. Solar panels, of course, provide power to the system. The most important component in the system however is the pump itself.
With solar aerators, you'll commonly find several types in use. The first is a linear, diaphragm type compressor. These are very good for shallow water applications of less than six feet deep. Next is a DC electric pump, which was commonly used in some of the earliest solar kits. Currently, we prefer to work with systems that have rocking piston compressors. These are the workhorses of the aeration industry and have been for many years. They provide reliable air output, along with good longevity, minimal maintenance, and very good depth capability.
Properly Sizing A Solar Aerator Is Easy
Sizing a solar aerator to a particular pond is very similar to what we would do with an electrically powered system. Depths need to be checked and you would want to make sure the placement of the diffuser(s) didn't exceed the depth rating of the system you are installing.
The key considerations here are the overall surface area of the pond and the depth available. Keep in mind that the deeper a sub-surface diffuser can go, the more pond area it will affect.
For overall coverage, we can use the example that's common with our standard aerators. If we can get a diffuser down to 12' or deeper, we can cover up to an acre of the pond area. So, a good solar aerator for a 1 acre pond or smaller would include a single diffuser, ideally placed at 12' deep or deeper. If you need help with getting the proper sized aerator for your pond or lake, just reach out and we'll get you started on the right path.
Listed below you'll find an array of solar pond aerators most of which are the direct drive type. The Solaer and Night Air series specifically include battery support for longer run times. And finally, although they are not listed here, Kasco Marine offers a solar add-on package that can be used with their fountains, surface aerators, and Robust Aire sub-surface aerators, up to the 2HP models.
Please contact us if you have additional questions about those offerings.