As more and more people become aware of the value of solar power, and it becomes more accessible and less expensive, an increasing number of people are looking to replace electrically powered appliances and machines with those that rely on solar energy. In the garden, solar powered lighting has already made its mark, and solar pond pumps are increasing in popularity.
Advantages of Solar Pond Pumps
Not only do solar-powered pond pumps save energy, but they are also environmentally friendly. They don’t cause any type of pollution and do not affect the fish. They are also the easiest pumps to install in any sort of pond, because there is absolutely no wiring at all. They also require minimal maintenance, which saves money in the long term.
One possible problem, though, is that if you have a biological filter, it needs to run constantly. If the pump has a powerful enough battery, it will continue to run without any sunlight. If it isn’t, it won’t work for a biological filter. Even if the pump continues to operate on overcast days, there will inevitably be times when it will run out of power. So be aware of this possibility.
What Are Solar Pumps Used For?
Like any other type of pump, solar pond pumps may be used to power fountains, waterfalls and generally to move water from one level to another. In fact they are particularly great for small pond fountains.
Like other types of pond pumps, there are both submersible types and models that are linked to the pool from above the surface of the water. And, like other types of pumps that are suitable for ponds, you will find solar pond pumps alongside all your other popular fish pond supplies.
Types of Solar Pond Pumps
While some solar pumps have little solar panels attached directly to them, most that are suitable for fish ponds have a solar panel or solar module that is separate to the pump itself. The benefit of this is that you can place the panel where it will get the most sunlight – facing south in the northern hemisphere and north in the southern hemisphere, and away from trees and buildings that will produce shade. They also come with back-up battery units that are invaluable when there hasn’t been sun for a while.
The pumps that have panels or solar cells attached are sometimes called solar islands because when they float on the water they look small floating islands. They are less expensive than the other type, but definitely not as efficient.
Size of Solar Pond Pumps
In addition, the more water you need to move, the larger the pump will need to be. This means that the larger your pond is, you will need to make a bigger investment in terms of equipment. But as solar becomes more popular, costs do seem to be coming down internationally.
While there are not many large pump options that are suitable for ponds, solar pumping systems for drinking water are being developed, which shows that there is still huge potential for solar technology.
Maintaining Solar Pond Pumps
Like any other type of pump, solar-powered models do need to be maintained and cleaned regularly. If the cells on the solar panel get dirty, they simply won’t work effectively.