Read these 14 Solar Powered Fountains Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Fountains tips and hundreds of other topics.
Most solar water fountains come ready to use; little or no installation is required. If the solar panel is built into the fountain, installation is as simple as packing the fountain, locating it in sun-filled, stable location, assembling accessorizing parts per manufacturer's directions, filling the fountain and waiting for the sun to do the rest.
For a solar powered fountain with a separate solar panel, the panel is connected to the fountain pump. Once connected, a mounting system allows the panel to stand, staked in the ground or hung in full sunlight up to 15 feet from the fountain. Many solar fountains also come with a built-in solar lighting. Following simple how-to-connect instructions that come with the fountain, you are ready to fill the fountain and enjoy power via Mother Nature.
Many outdoor garden pond enthusiasts have also discovered the benefits of replacing or converting outdated 120-volt garden pond fountain pumps with an energy saving solar power water fountain pump. After all, the hard work is done: the planning and preparation, the digging, lining, edging, plumbing, filling and fencing. Landscaping is complete and plants are flourishing. Therefore, it makes sense to save energy with a solar replacement pump.
Earth Day is an annual environmental celebration that draws attention to the continuing need for eco-awareness to protect out planet's natural gifts. Although celebrated to some degree around the world, Earth Day is not an official national or world holiday. In many cities, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 and in others Earth Day falls on the March equinox. Some cities around the world also turn Earth Day celebrations into Earth Week with educational events and ongoing projects. You don't have to wait for one of the official dates to celebrate Earth Day by installing a solar fountain.
Natural fountain materials like slate, granite, copper, pottery and wood echo environmental awareness. Entice birds to the backyard with a solar powered birdbath. Create a serene ecological sanctuary with a garden pond stocked with aquatic plants, fish, a soothing solar pond fountain and solar lighting for outdoor pleasure day and night.
As the popularity of solar powered water fountains and accessories continues to grow, so do the choices. Solar powered fountains come in a myriad of styles, sizes and price ranges to complement any decorating theme, personal taste and budget. Choose from tabletop solar fountains, free-standing solar fountains, floating solar fountains and decorative solar statuary fountains. If a Earth Day celebration solar powered fountain piques your interest, visit an online fountain specialist for easy product and price comparisons.
Powered by the sun, a fountain pump keeps the fountain water or spray flowing. Choosing the best solar fountain pump for a water feature is a key to efficient fountain operation. There are three basic types of solar fountain pumps.
For most consumers, the energy-saving and simplicity of solar water fountains, solar pumps and solar garden accessories far outweigh the few drawbacks. The most obvious requirement for a solar fountain to work properly is an adequate supply of sunlight. Therefore, location of solar fountain with a built-in solar panel or a separate solar panel is important. Solar powered fountains do not work well in heavily shaded locations or in climates that rarely enjoy sunny days.
Basic solar fountains consist of a built-in panel and pump that operate only in direct sunlight. They do not store solar power. No sun, no water movement. If the sun goes behind a cloud or the fountain falls into a shade, water flow ceases shortly. For water flow during cloudy periods and evening hours, a solar fountain pump with battery backup is needed.
And, while solar fountains can be used most of the year in most of the world, when temperatures fall below freezing and during periods of snow and ice, it is best to disconnect the solar panel from the pump and move them inside to prevent potential damage to the solar panels.
Once upon a time the world didn't think much about energy. Few people worried about how much electricity was consumed or its effect on the environment. Today, all over the world, increased eco-awareness and eco-activism are leading to small changes and some very significant changes in the way we use our planet.
“Going Green” with a solar powered fountain and solar garden lights is a natural choice for environmentally conscious consumers. In addition to conserving energy, there are many other benefits to solar fountains and solar garden accessories:
You don't have to deal with the complex process of wiring and conduit when providing electricity for your fountains and garden accessories. With the popularity of solar-powered fountains and accessories, most everything you need comes available in a sun powered package. Whether you're looking for garden sculptures that light up, pathway lights for your backyard, a pump for your waterfall or a self-contained fountain, you can find one that runs on solar electricity. So why should you bother with these solar products? We have six good reasons why.
1. You'll be minimizing the impact of running your garden products by using a renewable energy source.
2. Using a solar-powered fountain or accessory is a great start to creating some savings on energy costs.
3. You can avoid the need for running an electrical source and having to provide wiring to your fountain or fountain accessory.
4. Solar-powered products for the garden tend to be low maintenance. You simply allow the sun to do its work and the product runs on its own.
5. You have a lot of choices. Major retailers, like Lowes and Home Depot, carry solar power garden products. You can find these items online and in specialty stores. Get a decorative butterfly that glows at night or a bird bath with circulating water.
6. Solar cells don't disrupt the appearance of a gardening product. These days, the solar cells are cleverly disguised and don't detract from the appearance of the product.
If you're looking for a solar-powered fountain accessory that not only is functional, but creates a continuous spray pattern, there's a product for you. The solar-powered lily pad fountain is a floating device containing a thin solar panel, low voltage pump and a filter. You simply set it atop your fountain and this device will operate in direct sunlight to project a 17-inch stream of water in your fountain. You can select from one of three fountain heads for the type of spray stream you want. It helps you keep your fountain environment in good shape, as well. It oxygenates your water to eliminate odors and water discoloring and keeps water in motion to eliminate mosquitoes.
Solar powered fountains are typically associated with outside use. With the exception of home solar roof panels for heating water and running some household appliances, the idea of tapping the power of sunlight with an indoor solar water fountain is relatively new.
Here's how it works. Choose a solar water fountain with a detachable solar panel and AC power adaptor. The detachable solar panel is placed outside in full sunlight within 10-15 feet of the inside fountain. It collects the sun's energy and transits the energy to the fountain pump during sunlight hours. Some solar fountains feature a backup battery that stores solar energy for use on cloudy days or evenings. Otherwise, the AC adaptor powers the pump when there is no sun.
Multi-tiered, hand-crafted from terracotta, ceramic or copper, Serenity Health's Cascade Solar Fountains are an example of solar powered fountains with indoor potential. A six-volt solar pump in the fountain's bottom basin circulates water to the top pitcher where it cascades like a waterfall down a series of bowls back to the basin. A separate solar fountain panel with a 10 foot solar cable sits directly outside a nearby window or wall collecting the sunlight that powers the water flow on sunny days. (Note: This panel does not store power; it works directly off bright sunlight.) At night, an AC Adaptor (for indoor use only) operates the fountain thorough a household AC outlet.
Solar fountains work compliments of Mother Nature. The sun typically provides about 1,000 watts of solar energy per square meter of the earth's surface and that's a lot of wattage. (For non-metric folks, a square meter and a square yard are almost identical. A square yard is just slightly less than a square meter.)
Here's a very basic explanation of how solar energy is produced. Solar panels are made up of very thin photovoltaic (PV) cells created primarily from a material (typically silicon) that functions as a semiconductor. When the silicon combines with additional elements, a photovoltaic reaction occurs that converts sunlight to energy. This energy produces water flow or spray for a solar fountain.
When a solar panel has a battery back-up, solar energy can be stored for later use. For instance, most solar powered fountain lights feature a built-in battery and sensor that stores energy by day to produce light at night. Remote solar panels can also be used to collect the sun's power and operate an indoor solar fountain up to 10-15 feet away.
A great way to harness the sun's energy to create movement in a water feature is via the use of a solar-powered pump. A solar-powered pump gives you the benefit of saving on electrical costs, wiring costs and having unsightly electrical lines to your fountain. You can use a solar-powered pump to create a steady stream of water or to simply create constant water movement. A solar-powered pump is appropriate for home use or commercial use in decorative fountains, waterfalls and garden ponds with fish. However, you can also use a solar-powered pump for low lift irrigation and livestock water, as well. One thing to keep in mind with the solar-powered pump is that it does use sunlight to operate, so typically, your fountain would run primarily during daylight hours.
These days, solar-powered products are big with homeowners concerned about the environment. One easy-to-install, low maintenance piece is the solar power light. You can use a solar power light to brighten up the pathways around your fountain or light up the fountain itself. An inexpensive solar power light for a pathway might just be $30 to $40 for a four-piece set. A high-end set might run you ten times that much. Want a solar-operated pump? You can find them everywhere, from home and garden stores to online locations and catalogs. If you want to add water spray to your fountain, you can even do that with a circular floating spray which shoots water up to 17 inches. There's even a birdbath that circulates water and runs on solar power, as well.
If you're looking for a birdbath that can spray a continuous stream of water and operate without any plugs or electricity, there are several products available that can do that. The solar-powered birdbath will let you create a delicate centerpiece for your garden without having to deal with running electricity to your unit. You can choose from versions with the classic lines of a Greek column or a sleek version more suited to a Japanese garden. A solar-powered bird bath typically has solar cells embedded in the fountain bowl which will absorb the suns rays to power the spray of water. You can also find versions which simply re-circulate the water, keeping it in constant motion.
If you're interested in adding a solar-powered product to your garden, it's a good time to check out what's on the market. Solar garden products from fountains to lights are taking to the market and readily available to the gardening consumer. Consumers like the fact that they can just purchase a product, let the sun provide the energy and then walk away. So how does it all work?
A solar-powered product contains a solar panel or solar cells which work to collect the sun's rays, turning it into a usable form of electricity. This electricity is stored in a rechargeable battery on the unit. When night falls, this energy gets released. Depending on the product, your solar power unit might run for a few hours or more during the evening. When a solar-powered product collects more sunlight on sunnier days, the energy lasts longer after darkness than on a cloudy day.
A steady stream of flowing water glides down a row of terracotta pots. The water then recycles back to the top. There's nothing unique about this scenario except that the pump is a solar-powered unit, hidden away in the cascading fountain. Although the cascading fountain runs in sunlight, you can use an AC adapter during days when then sun isn't out or if you decide to run the fountain indoors. The weather resistant metal frame makes this cascading fountain suitable for the outdoors. The individual terracotta pots are removable for easy storage and you can set this solar-powered fountain up without having to do any special installation.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|