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Solar Pond Heater?

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Posted by Bill Stock on January 7, 2005, 1:51 am
 
I'm interested in experimenting with Solar heating. So I thought it might be
useful to start with a 'somewhat' practical example.

I currently have a 500 imperial gallon (4' x 8') ornamental fish pond. I
normally let it freeze, but this year I decided to cover it up and add some
minmal heat. My goal was to keep the bottom of the pond around 39F to
minimize convection and my heating bill. So far so good, my 300 watt heater
runs as little as 10 minutes a day to maintain my temps. Although it's
starting to run a lot more, now that the ground is losing it's heat.

I was thinking that I could use a heated water panel to heat the pond.
Ideally I would like to keep the temps above 55F, so that I can feed the
fish year round. But I see several obvious problems. 1) I don't want to cook
the fish on a hot day, 2) I don't want to freeze the fish on a cold night,
3) I don't want to freeze my heating pipes on a cold night. 4) Large
temperature swings between these extremes are not good for the fish. 5) I'd
like the heater to double as a cover, so it has to be durable (critter
proof).

It should be possible to avoid excess high temps with a temp controlled
pump, but how do I prevent the low temps? The pond does not have enough mass
and can't insulated well enough to prevent these swings.

Any experience/advice appreciated.




Posted by John on January 11, 2005, 6:54 pm
 
A covered trickle collector would work.  Set it on a timer for X hours a
day, auto drain down, minimal utility usage, use the existing pump, nothing
to freeze and it would stir / agitate the water quite well when in
operation.
John

: I'm interested in experimenting with Solar heating. So I thought it might
be
: useful to start with a 'somewhat' practical example.
:
: I currently have a 500 imperial gallon (4' x 8') ornamental fish pond. I
: normally let it freeze, but this year I decided to cover it up and add
some
: minmal heat. My goal was to keep the bottom of the pond around 39F to
: minimize convection and my heating bill. So far so good, my 300 watt
heater
: runs as little as 10 minutes a day to maintain my temps. Although it's
: starting to run a lot more, now that the ground is losing it's heat.
:
: I was thinking that I could use a heated water panel to heat the pond.
: Ideally I would like to keep the temps above 55F, so that I can feed the
: fish year round. But I see several obvious problems. 1) I don't want to
cook
: the fish on a hot day, 2) I don't want to freeze the fish on a cold night,
: 3) I don't want to freeze my heating pipes on a cold night. 4) Large
: temperature swings between these extremes are not good for the fish. 5)
I'd
: like the heater to double as a cover, so it has to be durable (critter
: proof).
:
: It should be possible to avoid excess high temps with a temp controlled
: pump, but how do I prevent the low temps? The pond does not have enough
mass
: and can't insulated well enough to prevent these swings.
:
: Any experience/advice appreciated.
:
:
:



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