By Joel Bleth, President, SolarBee Inc.
The energy and maintenance costs associated with mechanical aeration are
compelling managers of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to find alternate
technologies. The goal is to provide more efficient wastewater aeration and mixing by reducing high
operation and maintenance costs associated with mechanical aerators.
The biggest inefficiency—and therefore cost—of mechanical aeration is related to the use of an excessive
number of units in an attempt to mix the entire pond. This means operating (and paying for) more
horsepower than is necessary to aerate.
Two ways to significantly reduce energy costs in treatment ponds are to improve mixing efficiency and to
use solar energy as a primary power source. A unique circulation technology from SolarBee Inc.
conserves dissolved oxygen by mixing and distributing saturated surface water throughout the pond. The
technology combines solar power with long-distance near-laminar-flow circulation, providing radial,
horizontal and vertical pond mixing.