Solar powered water fountains
Posted by Solar energy guru | Filed under Solar powered products
Installing a water fountain is an easy and inexpensive way to add color and variety to a garden. Using a solar powered fountain make the task even simpler by removing the need for wiring, and it saves money by using free electricity. Solar fountains are available in a range of styles to suit any garden, from the classic tiered fountain with cherubs, to the modern cascading vase fountain, and the lily fountain for ponds. They are also available in a range of materials such as fiberglass, cement, copper, and bronze.
Before purchasing a solar fountain, there are a number of points that should be considered. The location should ideally have direct sunlight throughout the day to maintain a steady rate of flow. Fountains with rechargeable batteries can keep the fountain running during during shady periods and after dark. If the fountain is to be used indoors, the solar panel may need to be placed on a window sill. Retrofit kits are available to convert fountains to solar power, but the pump capacity and the power output of the panel need to be worked out to match the size of the fountain.
Most solar fountains are self-contained units that can start working once they are moved into place. The retrofit kits require more effort to install but nothing more difficult than placing the submersible pump in the basin and concealing the wires to the solar panel. Wall fountains will probably require some preparation of the wall before they can be mounted, such as drilling holes and installing attachment points.
Accessories such as nozzle kits and solar powered lights can be used to alter the appearance of the fountain. Nozzle kits provide a variety of interesting water spray patterns, and lights highlight the decorative features and can give the water a colored look. Solar powered aerators are also available that bubble air through the water to improve its quality, by oxygenating and filtering it to reduce the buildup of algae.
Solar fountains require occasional maintenance like any other fountain. The water level should be checked regularly to ensure the pump does not run dry. Most pumps need to be submerged to remain cool and running them out of the water could cause damage through overheating. Leaves and dust also need to be wiped from the solar panel to keep the pump running at full strength. If the fountain has a rechargeable battery pack, it may need to be replaced every few years.
Solar fountains experience the same problems as mains-powered fountains but they are no more difficult to fix. A reduced flow may be caused by leaves and other debris blocking the pump water inlets, or a lack of grease in the bearings. If the pump doesn’t work at all, first check that it is switched on, and then check the wires for breaks and signs of corrosion around the terminals. Fountains which overflow have too much water in their basin, so keep the water level at least one inch below the rim but also high enough to cover the pump. Reduced flow in a solar fountain may also be caused by leaves or dust covering the solar panel.
While solar fountains attract criticism for not being as strong as mains-powered fountains, they have many advantages that are often overlooked. They are easy to install and move around the garden. They do not need to be wired back to a powerpoint, and they use low voltage which is safer. All things considered, solar fountains make a great choice to improve the look of any garden, greenhouse, or sun room.