Category Archives: Solarbees

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New Solarbee White Paper Published

Over the past couple of years, we have been communicating with Joel Bleth, President of Solarbee, Inc.  He recently contacted us at the Devils Lake Navigator because he wanted us know they have updated a short paper “Common Sense Suggestions for Lake Restoration Projects” that he thought could useful to the stakeholders of Devils Lake.

You can read it online, by following the above link or download a pdf version if you prefer.  Follows is a brief excerpt from the paper to get you started..

A lake restoration project should be a rewarding experience, ultimately creating community pride and value for a job well done when the lake’s water quality clears up. Lake stakeholders often spend thousands of man-hours over several years discussing the lake’s water quality problems and analyzing possible solutions. One or more studies by lake experts may be commissioned, followed by years of arduous efforts to raise money – sometimes millions of dollars – to restore the lake. But, all too often, after the “solution” is implemented the water quality is as poor as ever or else worse. Consequently, many lake groups are facing the same water quality problems today that they worked on years ago, despite spending a lot of time and money in the interim.

This relatively short paper offers five common-sense suggestions to help lake stakeholders ensure that their lake restoration project is successful the first time. Most of the discussion centers around harmful blue-green (cyanobacteria) algae blooms (HABs) as opposed to weed (macrophyte) problems because weeds, while a nuisance, won’t kill you like blue-green algae blooms can.

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SolarBees have mixed effect on water quality at Blue Lake

By Matthew Preusch, The Oregonian

May 14, 2010, 7:33PM

Water clarity has improved at Blue Lake three years after Metro spent tens of thousands of dollars on algae-combating machines, but the devices may be abetting the spread of troublesome weeds.

“What we’ve found is that the pH has been a little bit worse, the water clarity has been a little bit better, and the toxic-algae problem has been about the same,” said Metro biologist Elaine Stewart.

The regional government and the solar-powered devices’ manufacturer say, however, that it’s still too early to render a verdict on whether the money was well spent.


Matthew Preusch/The OregonianIn 2007, Metro and homeowners on Blue Lake invested in three SolarBee water mixers to try to combat blooms of blue-green algae at the lake east of Portland. The solar-powered machines churn the lake water to limit algae growth.

Metro manages the popular 130-acre park on the lake’s north shore and cooperates with homeowners on the south shore over lake regulations. It split the $150,000 cost for the three SolarBee water circulation devices with the homeowners Continue reading

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Filed under Algae Bloom, Invasives, Performance, Scientific Study, Solarbees, Solarbees, Water Quality

Open Request to DLWID Board

Dear DLWID Board Member:

I would like to provide input on a important issue on this month’s agenda. In the interest of making the best use of the board’s time, I am submitting you written comments prior to the meeting.  I intend to attend this month’s meeting.  Please take these written comments as my contribution to the Public Comment agenda item for the April Board meeting.

Whole Lake Circulation

In this month’s Manager Report the Lake Manager has asked the Board to provide direction as to how they would like to proceed or not proceed in this matter. The Board should modify the direction previously provided by the resolution made in June 2009. I would recommend that the Board provide the following guidance in response to that request.

The Board should defer any further actions toward pursuing SolarBees.  The district should continue to seek more information regarding the nature, extent and effects of cyanobacteria and their impact on the health and recreational use of Devils Lake.  The district should continue to investigate methods for controlling all aspects of water quality, assessing their effectiveness and appropriateness for application on Devils Lake.

This action should result in the removal of the section entitled “Whole Lake Circulation”, pages 31-35 from the Devils Lake Draft Plan as well as the removal of the agenda item for Whole Lake Circulation from the monthly Board meeting agendas. Continue reading


Filed under DLWID, Performance, Solarbees

Metro Assessment of Solarbee Performance on Blue Lake

In October 2009, Metro released the 2009 Blue Lake Water Quality Summary Report researched and authored by Whitney Temple.  The report provided a review of the two-year trial of three Solarbees placed on Blue Lake and an assessment of the third year that followed the purchase of the units.  Elaine Stewart, Senior Natural Resources Scientist for Metro shared the report with NoSolarBees and elaborated that the report is “neither peer reviewed nor conclusive”.  She continued that she thought, “it points out the complexities of lake systems and the remedies we implement.”

Download the entire report.

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SolarBee Assessment of Trial on Blue Lake

In March 2009, Joe Eilers of SolarBee released An Assessment of Circulation Technology Applied to Blue Lake, Oregon.  The report was the conclusion of a two-year trial of three Solarbees placed on Blue Lake.  Purchase of the three units was contingent on the success of the trial as access by Solarbee, Inc.  The report concluded that the units improved water quality and based on the report Metro and the local residents purchased the three Solarbees installed for the trial.

Download the entire report.

For a more detailed summary of the trial and the specific conclusion read on. Continue reading

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SolarBee Study Shows Circulation Suppresses HABs

A new report has been published which suggested that current studies demonstrate that solar powered circulation of the top-most layer in a thermally stratified lake strongly suppressed freshwater harmful algal blooms (FHAB’s) even in nutrient-rich waters. The report states that the mechanism(s) through which solar powered circulation suppressed FHABs remains unknown, the evidence indicated that the magnitude of suppression increased over time. The study was authored by H. Kenneth Hudnell, Head Scientist for Solarbee and reviewed by Joseph Eilers also of Solarbee, Christopher Jones, Bo Labisi, Vic Lucero, Dennis R. Hill; each employees of the three SolarBee installations reviewed in the report.

Download the entire report.

The official press release announcing the study read as follows; Continue reading

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Invasive weed not fazed by ‘Weed Bee’ water pumps

Water circulators designed to eliminate a problem weed from the Tahoe Keys Marina don’t appear to work.

Four solar-powered machines, called SolarBees, have been anchored in the Tahoe Keys Marina since last spring in an effort to slow or eliminate the growth of Eurasian water milfoil. But since the machines were installed, the invasive weed has continued to grow.

“The growth seemed to be little more intense this year,” said Richard Horton, co-owner of the Tahoe Keys Marina. “I can’t see any (change), unhappily.” Continue reading

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Filed under Performance, Solarbees