ATI is sporting a new gridwheel design to its new ATI Power Cone protein skimmer we touched on recently. Dubbed the Gitterrad, this gridwheel is one of the handful of new designs to the Sicce PSK 2500 pump helping to increase the efficiency of the bubbles and deliver a 1.5:1 air to water ratio in the skimmer. ATI Aquaristik has always been at the forefront of trend setting in the skimmer market and this new gridwheel could definitely be the next big thing since the meshwheel.
The increased surface area and molded plastic cage seems just more logical than the random nature of the meshwheel where stray strands and bits can cause pressure and balance issues within the pump assembly. Having a balanced agitator within the pump should not only increase bubble production but alleviate some of the issues that do plague the meshwheel design. More details after the break.
Meshwheels have been a simple modification many hobbyists can incorporate to get more oomph from lackluster skimmers and we’ve even seen some experiments with a solid and alloy meshwheel design over the years. We’ll have to see this design in action to see if it shares similar qualities as using mesh. The larger surface area could become a detritus trap just like the mesh but at first glance, it appears this design may be easier to keep clean in the long term.
Another added design to the Sicce on the Power Cone is the design of the air intake volute. Most skimmers utilize the typical venturi cone with the air draw at the middle portion of the design. The new ATI model uses a unique air injection design. The air is actually drawn from the end and delivered through a central channel towards the gridwheel and the water is now streamed from the edges over the air chamber and mixing much closer to the impeller through a series of holes evenly spaced around the edge. With the numbers ATI is providing, this is looking to be one of the most energy efficient skimmers using a touch over 35 watts with over 2,700 lph of air intake.
As we mentioned earlier, ATI is always on the cutting edge and setting standards in the skimmer industry and we know it will be just a matter of time before we start seeing these types of designs incorporated on other skimmers. We’re looking forward to getting notes from the trenches on these features and hope the results are as promising as the design looks.