Solar Aeration: Choosing the Right System.
When it comes to solar aeration there are two options, direct drive or battery backup. What is the difference and why does it matter?
- Dissolved oxygen increases throughout the day and decreases throughout the night and the most critical time to aerate is just before dawn. This is why battery driven systems are superior to any other alternative energy system. Consistent aeration when you need it most.
- Water can only hold so much dissolved oxygen, no matter how much you aerate. That is why it is so important to aerate consistently. It is like filling your truck up with gas. The tank only holds enough gas to drive 300 miles. You cant expect to drive 400 miles on one tank of gas. You must refill. If you keep driving you are still going to empty the tank and potentially run out of gas.
Direct Drive Solar Aeration
Direct drive solar aeration systems utilize the power of the sun to operate DC compressors to aerate your lake or pond. These systems only operate when it is sunny and bright. On overcast days these systems operate at partial capacity or not at all. Dependent on the sun they do not operate at night. Direct drive systems are generally less expensive than the equivalent battery backed system due to fewer parts.
Direct Drive Solar Aeration Pros
- Lower initial cost
- Simple – few parts
- Higher cfm per compressor
Direct Drive Solar Aeration Cons
- Only operate when the sun is shining – not aerating at the most critical time – at night and just before dawn
- May not operate at all on cloudy days
- Do not provide consistent aeration **
- Inconsistent dissolved oxygen throughout a 24 hour period.
**Similar to windmill aerators, if the newly installed direct drive system runs for a couple of hours then shuts off, there is danger of a low-oxygen level related fish kill due to aeration induced pond turn over.
The battery driven system will run 2-3 days with little or no sun, making this occurrence unlikely. I sold an SB2 to a gentleman who had a windmill that ran for a few hours and stirred up all the organics and then the wind didn’t blow for a few days and he lost all of his fish. A testament to consistent aeration.
Battery Driven Solar Aeration Pros
- Aerates 20 hours a day
- Aerates when you need it most – right before the sun comes up!
- Shuts off to top off batteries and keep system running at its peak and improve long term performance
- Low voltage disconnect only runs compressors at full battery capacity- no chance of brown out.
- Provides consistent aeration especially when you need it – at night, right before dawn.
- Long history of reliability
Battery Driven Solar Aeration Cons
- higher initial cost due to more complex system
- batteries need replaced every 5-7 years
- lower CFM
Read More about Keeton Solar Aeration