When LINNE CEO and founder Sandra Burton acquired a pond with her new property, she inherited a stagnant and noxious mess of decaying organic matter that acted as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and harmful, toxic algae. Combining her engineering background with her husband’s work on photovoltaics, they created the PondHawk Solar Aeration System.
Now that stinky, green, and mosquito-infested water is free from algae overgrowth and serves as a haven for fish, frogs, turtles and at least one blue heron.
PondHawk is a fully integrated, patented, solar-powered pond aeration solution that harnesses the power of the sun to deliver oxygen through subsurface diffused aeration. This release of small air bubbles below the surface of the water plays a key role in water circulation. As you can see in this video, the constant movement and flow of water keeps ponds—as well as lakes and lagoons —free of harmful algae, eliminates stratification, and improves water quality and fish habitats.
This state-of-the-art solar aerator was intentionally designed with a minimalist approach to provide a low-impact footprint and eliminate any possible errors during installation with its “plug and play” components. The entire product weighs 110 pounds and arrives fully assembled. The system includes the mounting structure and enclosure, solar panel, air compressor, a coiled, weighted airline, diffuser platform and the industrial grade diffuser, which arrives ready to connect to the airline.
Allowing for the differences in soil composition and location, the entire PondHawk solar pond aeration system can be installed in as little as three hours with as little disruption to the area as possible—similar to planting a tree! Plus, a single PondHawk solar aerator can service a body of water up to one and a half acres at a depth of up to ten feet. The scalable design also allows for up to four sub surface diffusers to be attached to a single PondHawk solar panel.
These panels are specifically calibrated to a 30-degree plane to maximize the amount of power to the air pump during the summer when the sun is positioned highest in the sky and aeration is needed most. Warmer waters are havens for harmful algae blooms.
Though situated for maximum output during the summer months, the PondHawk solar aerator is designed to operate 365 days a year without batteries, chemicals or electricity. No matter if the weather is cloudy or freezing, the PondHawk continues to work year round, delivering microbubbles of oxygen even in limited sunlight conditions to keep your pond healthy, and its habitants happy.
Craig Burton has been an innovator of pond aeration solutions since 2009. The most recent result of his engineering efforts is PondHawk® (U.S. Pat. No. 9,290,398), a fully-integrated, solar-powered, subsurface diffused aeration system to improve water quality in ponds, lakes, and lagoons.
Craig developed PondHawk to address a need that arose—quite literally—in his own backyard. The Burton property includes a 30+ year old pond that suffered from a variety of toxic issues and algae blooms, red-tide-like odors, and little evidence of life.
Upon investigation, Craig discovered that most of the pond’s problems were related to stagnation and decomposing organic debris. He also learned that subsurface aeration was the optimal way to resolve the underlying issues. Drawing on his extensive off-grid solar experience, Craig created a solar-powered subsurface aerator that eliminates the expense and complications of batteries.
Since installing a PondHawk, the Burton’s have enjoyed an algae-free pond that hosts fish, frogs, turtles, and a blue heron!
Craig’s career has been singularly focused on solar energy since he first designed and built off-grid photovoltaic systems in southern Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. He subsequently gained experience in manufacturing and product design, working with several technology companies including GE Energy. As GE Energy’s Marketing Product Leader, Craig worked on strategic marketing and product positioning for their on-grid residential solar appliance known as Brilliance.
Born in Brazil of American parents, Craig’s extensive Spanish and Portuguese language skills brought him to the emerging international rural power markets of South America, where he developed solar products for remote off-grid power applications.
Sandra Burton is a clean energy business leader with more than 20 years of experience introducing a wide range of innovative electro-technologies to the U.S. and international markets.
After seeing the tangible benefits of subsurface aeration that the PondHawk® delivered on her own property, Sandra recognized the need to deliver a unique, high-quality, solar-powered product to the market. She has in-depth experience working with the electric utility industry and on-grid solar installations, and has drawn on this experience to incorporate features that make PondHawk a truly utility grade product.
Early in her career, she worked with Sandia National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company, and the State of Delaware, where she received the Governor’s leadership award for developing and launching a statewide energy efficiency initiative that saved Delawareans over $10 million per year in energy costs.
In 2007, Sandra joined the start-up team at SunEdison. There she led the Utility Program team that developed and negotiated the 24 megawatt utility solar program—the first of its kind—with Lakeland Electric, the municipal utility for the City of Lakeland, Florida.
Sandra now utilizes her considerable industry experience in leadership, marketing, business development, and solar energy technologies to build and manage LINNE Industries and PondHawk®, global sales.
Sandra has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Utah and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Delaware. She is a Certified Energy Manager with the Association of Energy Engineers.
Dr. Mason Reed serves as LINNE Industries’ Senior Technical Advisor, bringing his extensive experience in photovoltaic prototype design, engineering design, and manufacturing to the team.
Most recently, Dr. Reed was the Advanced Product Development Engineer for Motech Americas, where he was responsible for the design and certification of next-generation smart modules that incorporated distributed max power point tracking technology.
In 2006, Dr. Reed joined General Electric Solar after completing his post-doctoral research at the National Research Council. While there, he managed the new facilities design and layout that relocated four laboratories combining a deposition lab, microelectronic processing lab, sample preparation lab and an optoelectronic/laser characterization lab.
Mason also served as Lead Engineer, establishing the complete manufacturing sequence process for a pilot solar cell line designed to improve solar cell efficiency by 15 percent. He was the program lead and designer of the Annual Energy Production Simulation Software that predicted photovoltaic power plant energy output within one percent of actual energy yield, which was later used to create system-level performance guarantees. He was Program Manager for GE Solar’s Crystalline Silicon Rooftop PV System, where he was responsible for the complete design and engineering documentation for a 100 kW photovoltaic power plant for commercial building rooftops. This work required UL certification of design, coordination of fluid dynamic simulations and wind tunnel testing for wind load determination, and it led to a 50% reduction in mounting costs and a 25% decreased in plant assembly time.
Dr. Mason Reed holds a Doctorate in Material Science and Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Golf Course Superintendent at Tidewater Golf Club, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Shaun Donahue has served as Superintendent at Tidewater Golf Club for nearly two decades. Designed by Ken Tomlinson and inspired by such legendary venues as Merion and Pine Valley, Tidewater Golf Club opened in 1990 after Hurricane Hugo led to a yearlong delay. The Tidewater Golf Club has play along the Intracoastal Waterway, marshes of Cherry Grove, and breathtaking views in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
Under Shaun’s leadership, Tidewater Golf Club has improved sunlight accessibility by trimming and removing excess trees while increasing teeing surfaces from under two acres to nearly five. Beginning in 2014, Shaun’s team renovated greens to return them to their original size, improved miles of drain lines, and upgraded the irrigation system. Always an industry leader, Mr. Donahue installed Tidewater’s first two PondHawk systems in 2017 on the lake on Hole 14. After seeing the results, hearing positive feedback from the homeowners, and enjoying the reduced maintenance, Shaun added two more PondHawk systems on the irrigation lake on Hole 10 in 2019. Systematically, Shaun plans to add PondHawk aeration throughout the club’s nearly ten acres of water assets.
Mr. Donahue is a Past President of the Palmetto Golf Course Superintendent Association and is proud to serve as a LINNE Industries Senior Advisor.
Kimberly Kiener serves as LINNE Industries’ Senior Regulatory Advisor, bringing over 30 years of state and federal energy policy and regulation experience.
As owner of Birch Island Energy Consulting, Kim provides regulatory, economic, and financial consulting services for energy efficiency programs, transmission and distribution ratemaking, renewable energy, regulatory strategy, and policy analysis.
While earning her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Dayton, Kim worked on the consumer side of the energy regulation business, working for the Ohio Consumers Counsel. After a stint with the Vermont Public Service Board, Kim moved to the utility side of the business, working for both investor-owned and public power utilities.
Kim has extensive experience working with organizations including: US Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, DOE National Labs, The Solar Electric Power Association, Solar Energy Industries Association, Western Electricity Coordination Council, Western Governors Association, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, CAISO, American Public Power Association, WestConnect, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and over 50 utilities in the Western U.S.