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Floating Solar-Powered Aeration Systems


c.       Floating Solar-Powered Aeration Systems

In this subtopic, SETO seeks innovations that can advance the application of floating solar-powered aeration systems (FSAS) to improve water quality.


Aeration is the introduction of air into aquatic systems to support the growth of aerobic bacteria and aquatic life. Facilitating the oxidative decomposition of biological materials, aeration can also remove the gaseous products of decomposition, including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane and carbon dioxide. Many natural systems depend upon aeration to maintain a diversity of animal and plant species, as well as overall health. However, a surplus of nutrients, restricted mixing and flow, or significant depth can deplete dissolved oxygen in aqueous systems [1, 2].

Artificial aeration has been developed to address this issue. As a technology, aeration is generally applied to establish, maintain, or restore sufficient dissolved oxygen to ensure successful remediation and protection of water resources, including natural bodies of water (e.g., rivers, lakes) and artificial ones (e.g., fish farms, lagoons) [2]. Recently, self-powered, autonomous units that combine floating photovoltaics and aeration have been implemented to help restore natural water resources.


Applications should fall within one of the following three broad areas for ecosystem management on water systems:

·         FSAS for environmental restoration and protection of natural water systems [1, 2];

·         FSAS for sustainable water systems for aquaculture [3];

·         FSAS for sustainable waste bio-processing water systems [4].


Applications for FSAS outside these three categories will be considered if they focus on aeration via a floating solar-powered system. Applications should describe aeration parameters such as depth, timing, and rate of aeration; electrical-system specifics such as power requirements, electrical storage, and control systems; and any other subsystems in sufficient detail to explain the innovation.


SETO is particularly interested in applications developing technologies that:

·         Reduce operating costs by using FSAS to improve water quality;

·         Reduce the balance-of-system costs of an FSAS;

·         Improve the effectiveness and operation of FSAS;

·         Build synergy between FSAS and other unit operations to add value via enhanced system functionality; and

·         Generate an excess of electricity beyond that needed for aeration to provide power for external electrical systems (either floating, submerged, or shore-based).


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