06 Dec 2022

Murray Darling Blackwater Event

In the wake of the "blackwater" event that affected the Murray Darling Basin in October this year, Adam Best from Battery Tec in Swan Hill (with support of Master Instruments) partnered with Tim & Adele Betts to develop a solar storage system to power a water aeration system to re-oxigenate the water systems for the benefit of wild fish breeding stocks native to the region.
Floodwaters in the region has pushed broken down debris and vegetation into the waterways, increasing the amount of dissolved carbon and depleting the oxygen needed for fish and other aquatic animals to survive. The tributaries of the Wakool River, Edwards River & Merran Creek are critical natural nurseries for native fish such as Murray Cod, Golden Perch (commonly known as Yellow Belly), Silver Perch and the endangered Eel Tailed Catfish. Unfortunately large blackwater events have only in recent years (2011) become an issue for what appears to be rivers below Barmah in the Murray, the Wakool system below Barham, and below the Loddon entry at Benjeroop.
Tim & Adele Betts, who’s property is surrounded by Merran Creek & Wakool River frontage, have witnessed these events and have given their time, money and effort into mitigating catastrophic fish losses. "Regardless of the cause of these events we need to be proactive in protecting the breeding fish population in our River systems. Maintaining wild fish stocks is very important for maintaining a large pool of genetic diversity for the future of native fish, localised extinction is the precursor for extinction."
Together they have employed a Vertex Air Station Diffuser which works in both deep and shallow water, critical for when the DO (Dissolved oxygen) in the water falls below 3%. Fish can smell and follow oxygen. 
The Vertex Air station has to operate in a damp environment with ranging temperatures and conditions. By replacing the existing battery setup, which had failed, with 2 x Pylontech RT12100G31 batteries in a series configuration, and pairing this with a Victron Energy 100/30 MPPT solar controller to harness the solar energy from the 2 x 260W solar panels, Adam was able to have the system up and running within 24 hours of hearing of the low Dissolved oxygen levels affecting the fish.
Because the Vertex Air station's operating environment, the Pylontech's wide operating temperature range capability, rugged IP67 rated casing and bluetooth output was the perfect product. And Victron Energy's bluetooth functionality also allows them to monitor the historical data, panel performance and overall system performance to ensure the system was running at maximum efficiency.
Master Instruments was proud to support Battery Tec and Tim & Adele Betts for their time and effort over the years in mitigating aquatic animal deaths.

Click to find out more:
RT12100G31 Webpage Click here to view the Pylontech RT12100G31 battery
Victron MPPT Range Click here to view Victron Energy's range of MPPT Solar Controllers
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