Should I Use Solar Power to Aerate My Pond?
Quite a few of our customers would like to add a solar aerator or pond fountain so that electrical cable does not need to be run out to their pond and also to save on electrical costs and protect the environment. Kasco now has a full range of solar products available. These are state of the art products using patented controllers to optimize operation. These Kasco panels and controllers can be used for both surface and bottom aeration. You can purchase complete packages with VFX fountains (V-shaped aerating fountains), JF fountains (multiple-patterned decorative fountains), surface aerators, as well as Kasco’s Robust-Aire compressor-driven bottom aerators.
Two kinds of controllers are offered. This new Kasco technology is easy to use and more powerful than anything on the market and is designed for use in applications spanning from farm ponds to harsh industrial environments. The patented controllers are available in solar only and solar + grid blender options. They are an all-in-one inverter and Variable Frequency Drive with maximum power point tracking designed to utilize the most solar power available.
Here are the two controller options described:
Solar Only Option
Solar only systems use solar energy to maximize operation during daylight hours. In partial sunlight (morning and afternoon), the system will run at reduced speed extending the daily run time. These packages include the PicoCell™ 3500 Control Panel.
Blender Controller Option
These systems utilize solar power during the day and grid power at night to provide 24/7 performance. These packages include the PicoBlender™ 2500 Control Panel.
Each Package Includes
- Kasco Surface Aerator, Fountain or Robust-Aire™ package
- PicoCell™ 3500 or PicoBlender 2500™ Control Panel
- 1 or 2 high post driven ground mount
- Solar panels
- Panel racking system
- Solar panel connector cables
- DC disconnect
- Operate standard Kasco 50hz / 60hz, 1/2-2HP units (2HP units must be 3 phase)
- Soft start function to maximize runtime and extended available solar hours
- Status LEDs to indicate operating status and fault conditions
- Easily add additional solar panels to increase performance and extend daily run time from solar
- GFCI motor protection
- Unit: Standard Kasco warranty
- Controller: 1 year
Pros and Cons
To be straightforward, upfront costs of solar are expensive. We often think of solar products as cheap because of the millions of small solar garden lights sold every year for very low cost. These small solar lights often produce a fraction of a watt of power. However, to run a one-half to two-horsepower pump or even a one-quarter horsepower compressor is another matter entirely. So the upfront costs are high.
On the positive side, you won’t have to spend thousands of dollars running hundreds of feet of underground electrical cable to a distant pond. And your electrical bill is, well, nothing, or if combined with grid power, greatly reduced. Another positive is that these are truly state-of-the-art unit developed by Kasco’s several engineers.
As you can see in the table below, Solar Units require a great number of solar panels.
Solar Power Only (C) and Solar + Power Grid Blender (B) Packages - Fountains & Aerators
Solar Power Only (C) and Solar + Power Grid Blender (B) Packages - Robust-Aire™
|Picocell (C) & PicoBlender (B) Models||Kasco Product||HP / System||Voltage||# of Solar Panels|
|SOL4P(C or B)-2400AF||Surface Aerator||1/2||120||4|
|SOL4P(C or B)-2400VFX||VFX Fountain||1/2||120||4|
|SOL6P(C or B)-3400AF||Surface Aerator||3/4||120||6|
|SOL6P(C or B)-3400VFX||VFX Fountain||3/4||120||6|
|SOL6P(C or B)-3400JF||J Series Fountain||3/4||120||6|
|SOL8P(C or B)-4400HAF||Surface Aerator||1||208-240||8|
|SOL8P(C or B)-4400HVFX||VFX Fountain||1||208-240||8|
|SOL8P(C or B)-4400HJF||J Series Fountain||1||280-240||8|
|SOL8P(C or B)-2.3HAF||Surface Aerator||2||208-240||8|
|SOL8P(C or B)-2.3VFX||VFX Fountain||2||208-240||8|
|SOL8P(C or B)-2.3JF||J Series Fountain||2||208-240||8|
1. Part # is the model combined with cord length (ex. SOL4PC-2400AF050 or SOL4PB-2400AF050). Indicate a "C" or "B" to identify which control panel is needed. 2. Fountain and surface aerator packages include motor unit, float, mooring ropes, unit power cord and bottom screen. 3. Robust-Aire™ packages include diffuser assembly, compressor and compressor mounting option. 4. PicoCell™ and PicoBlender™ control panels are included in place of Kasco control panels.
Going solar is a tough decision to make because of upfront costs to use this technology. Fountain Mountain representatives are happy to discuss your options.
You can always compare prices for solar versus traditional pond fountains here.