Lake Bottom Aeration vs. Solar Pump Circulation
Solar is Sexy, But How Well Does It Restore?
Solar Circulator technology has been available for many years. It certainly is appealing to, “restore your lake without having to connect to the ‘grid’ or pay monthly electricity bills”.
At Lake Savers we are supportive of ANY and ALL natural strategies that deliver results. Solar Circulators are a great concept, but at what cost? And exactly what benefits are they delivering? These are the key questions you need to ask to determine whether they are right for your lake.
Cost Comparison: Solar Circulators versus Lake Bottom Aeration
The best known Solar Circulator advertises a circulation rate of 10,000 gallons per minute. How does Lake Savers Lake Bottom Aeration Technology compare?
In 15 feet of water, one of our Lake Bottom Aeration Micro-Porous Diffusers circulates more than 5,000 gallons per minute powered by a 1/3 horsepower compressor. This means that just two of our diffusers running on a total 2/3 of a horsepower circulate as much water as the Solar Pump.
- Cost of the Solar Pump is $55,000 – $60,000
- Cost of our two-diffuser system with 1000 feet of airline is $6,200. The typical electric cost for this system for year-round operation is just under $1,000 per year.
This means that you could run our system, achieving the same circulation, for 49 years before the Solar Pump technology breaks even!
What about the Technology and the Results?
Solar Pumps certainly do circulate water and increase dissolved oxygen in the water column. Reportedly, their technology reduces harmful algae blooms. But, according to their own design specifications, Solar Pump technology is not intended to circulate and oxygenate the entire water body all the way to the lake-bottom sediments.
Visit this page and view the diagrams for Epilimenetic and Hypolimnetic set-up.
Why is this important? Based on scientific review and years of experience restoring lakes, the most important part of the water body to oxygenate is right at the bottom. By leaving a bottom “dead zone” Solar Circulators fail to treat the septic compost pile that feeds explosive weed and algae growth.
Solar Pump Technology is not Designed to Oxygenate the Most Important Part of the Lake to Achieve Complete Restoration!
Lake Bottom Aeration is different. Our technology oxygenates the entire lake all the way to the bottom unleashing aerobic consumption of the nutrient-laden muck. The result is complete ecosystem restoration and rapid improvement in weed and algae growth.
Lake Bottom Aeration Achieves Complete Water Body Oxygenation to the Sediment Layer to Rapidly Reduce the “Compost Pile” that Drives Weed and Algae Growth
Visit our Success Stories page to compare our results to the results reported for Solar Pumps you will find:
- Faster results on reducing invasive and excessive weed growth.
- Bigger and faster reductions in Phosphorus and Nitrogen.
- Sustained reductions in harmful blue-green algae.
- Muck reductions of one foot per season versus no reported results.
Most critically, our results are scientifically verified by Independent, third party analysis versus “in-house” reports.
The Final Verdict
We agree that Solar Pumps can deliver some benefits in the right applications. However, they can’t compare to Lake Savers Lake Bottom Aeration Technology as a restoration technology. Lake Bottom Aeration delivers complete oxygenation versus partial circulation at a fraction of the cost per acre compared to Solar Pump technology.
But, don’t just take our word for it, here is a sampling of independent assessments of poor results using Solar Pump technology.
Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter.com / CC BY-NC