Low Voltage Ice Melting for pond

dherscherdherscher Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
We run a resort here in northern Wisconsin and we have an old boat house that must be kept ice free in the winter. Currently we use three 600W propellers running around five hours a day each to keep the water moving and the ice from forming. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a low voltage replacement that could be powered by solar/solar + battery. I'm trying to avoid an inverter and I have a bunch of batteries that are in the boats during the summer and could be repurposed during the winter. I was considering trolling motors but I don't know if they move enough water.

Comments

  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭✭
    dherscher wrote: »
    We run a resort here in northern Wisconsin and we have an old boat house that must be kept ice free in the winter. Currently we use three 600W propellers running around five hours a day each to keep the water moving and the ice from forming. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for a low voltage replacement that could be powered by solar/solar + battery. I'm trying to avoid an inverter and I have a bunch of batteries that are in the boats during the summer and could be repurposed during the winter. I was considering trolling motors but I don't know if they move enough water.

    I had a buddy that had a boat dock just off lake Michigan, he used a small air compressor and some PVC with perforations sunk around it to just bubble the area around the boat.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    have you considered a water pump that pumps water from the 'bottom'' up to the surface only, say 3 inches above it ...should be pretty efficient as very little back pressure
     
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  • dherscherdherscher Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Dave, that might work although the holes in the PVC can become plugged. Do you know of any low voltage compressors?

    westbranch, we used to do the pumps at the bottom thing but they kept getting plugged which is why we changed to propellers.

    It would be ideal if could hook something up that operated directly from the sun with no batteries. Anything that doesn't mind voltage swings?
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,343 ✭✭✭✭
    dherscher wrote: »
    Dave, that might work although the holes in the PVC can become plugged. Do you know of any low voltage compressors?

    westbranch, we used to do the pumps at the bottom thing but they kept getting plugged which is why we changed to propellers.

    It would be ideal if could hook something up that operated directly from the sun with no batteries. Anything that doesn't mind voltage swings?

    The one that was used was a 120V AC compressor, it didn't draw much but I don't know the brand or size and of course your install size would dictate that. I think he pulled up the PVC every spring and placed it on the dock so inspecting for plugged holes should be easy to work around.
  • dherscherdherscher Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Connecting a 50W solar panel directly to a trolling motor does help some. Unfortunately, the trolling motor has a pretty high threshold before it turns on so it has to be a completely clear day and only near the middle of the day for it to actually kick on the trolling motor. When it is on, though, it moves a decent amount of water. 
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