Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Full Power!

First, it is worth saying that the great water trough aeration test was interesting, but unsuccessful at providing a cheaper alternative way to provide water to the horses.   While the water kept moving and remained unfrozen in what I will call "the bubble zone", eventually the tank froze up from the edges INWARDS.   We discovered a very thick lining of ice inside the trough.   And of course, the unfrozen water was frigidly cold.

For the aeration system to work, more air would need to be used, which means more power, more electricity, more costs!   And the motion of the water would probably be so intense that the horses would not want to drink from it anyway.   And there is the question of whether they would drink the water if it were colder than a slush puppy?

So, we were back to electric powered de-icers and our experiments using 500 watt aluminum de-icers.

The thing we learned with these fabulous little de-icers was that while doing a satisfactory job, they require occasional CLEANING in order to operate at their most effective levels.   The aluminum gets...   slimey.   The photo to the left shows 2 de-icers and a build up of...   I don't know what, really.

During a spell of wicked warm weather, I put one of the de-icers on a timer, powering it up at 5am and then shutting it down again at 3pm.   This worked great, until....

....the warm weather was immediately followed by a wicked cold snap with temps dropping back into the single digits at night.   During the transition from practically balmy weather to downright artic weather, I failed to take the little de-icer off the timer.   Sure enough, it became imbedded in a couple inches of ice at the bottom of a trough.   It took a long time before it was able to free itself clear of the ice and start working on the water again.

Don't get me wrong!   I like the aluminum de-icers.   And of course the fact that they use one third of the electricity that the big boys use is good for the bank account.   However, if I am clever, I can use roughly the same amount of electricity if the big plug hole heater coils are on timers.   And now, with spring still weeks away and the water troughs still needing to be heated to prevent them from freezing, we have reverted back to that setup.   Thank goodness for the timers!

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