What is a solar pump?
Selecting a solar powered pond pump as an alternative to a wired pump can save money in the long run. It also makes it a lot easier to start a pond at home. There’s no need for mains socket and there’s no wiring needed. After the valves are connected, all you need to do is put the solar panel in a spot that attracts the most sun (or just decent light) during the day. And because you are setting yourself free from the power grid, you save money on electricity.
Since collecting energy from the sun depends on the size and quality of the solar panel, most of the solar powered pumps are quite modest regarding the power/water output and in general are best suited for smaller ponds. Also, most of the pumps shut down after dark, some have batteries to keep them running 2-3 hours.
Solar pumps and PV panels (photo voltaic panels, also known as solar panels) still remain quite expensive than a mains powered pump, so if you have a choice to use mains supply and don’t mind cables, a regular mains pond pumps is a preferred choice. If there’s no access to electricity in your back yard then solar power can really come in useful here. If you start calculating the price of wiring, digging a trench, setting the wiring in a trench or power lines from the air, and the extra time spent, solar power can actually turn out a better and a more affordable option. Solar type pumps also suits well because when the sun is shining the most, you need the water flow the most, so the pumps operate the best.
Features of a solar pump
- Easier to set up
- Zero running costs
- Perfect to use in remote locations
- Best for fountains
- Great for the environment
- Less noise
- Smaller power output & lower water flow
- Only fit for smaller ponds
- Too much cloudy days can lessen the pumps output
- There are not too many manufacturers who make solar-powered pumps, yet, so the choices are limited.
- More expensive
How do I find the best solar pump for me?
When you’re shopping for a solar pump, there are a number of factors you should consider:
Power & Water flow
The power output! The higher the numbers the more powerful it is, naturally. Smaller ponds don’t need as much power though. The power and water flow capacity all depends on the size of your fountain or pond. Read all three pump reviews carefully to choose the right one.
Solar pumps have a variable flow rate, which is governed largely by the strength and direction of the sun; you need to purchase a pool pump that meets the needs of your pool’s flirtation system.
Not all solar pond pumps are created equal, before buying a pump you need to consider your pond needs. For instance, does your pond contain abundant life, or does it serve a more decorative purpose with fountains and sprays? Some solar pumps have a stronger flow than others are, as such, are better suited to ponds with water spouts, while others, with gentler flow, are more suited to ponds with fish, plants and frogs. As with pond pumps, you need to consider your needs before committing to a solar pool pump.
Does it work as a fountain?
The solar pump is an excellent solution for a fountain. With fountain, it’s not necessary to continue running it at night. If the solar pump is used for a pond with Koi and has to handle the foremost filtration you will most likely end up with troubles. If you want a solar pond operating with Koi pond, is if you use a panel/pump with battery backup or two separate pumps(a solar pump for the day + a normal electrical pump for the night) so that the water flow and refreshing is continuous.
Is battery necessary for operating at night?
If you have a pond with Koi fish in it, then it would be advisable to use a real electrical pond pump. See the comparison table here.
Top 3 solar pump review/overview
Magicfly 12V 5W Solar Power Fountain Pond Water Pump Brushless
- High Quality Polycrystalline Silicon Solar Panel
- High efficiency/Eco-friendly
- Stable performance/Easy usage and operation
- Maximum water height: 5.2 ft. (160cm)
- Maximum flow: 100 GPH (380L/H)
The Instapark solar water pump is a step to the infinite and free solar energy to power your garden pond or fountain. No extension cables are needed, eliminating the dangers of electrical shock. If you want to add a fountain to your pond or water feature, or replace the current electric pump to an eco-friendly option, the Instapark GYD-0050 is your choice. This compact, solar-powered pump involves only minimal assembly and is easy to set up by anyone. The water pump is fueled by a high capability mono-crystalline solar panel, which can crank out plenty of power to pump the water up to 126 inches (3,2 meters or 10.5 feet) high and distribute the water at a decent rate of 220 gallons per hour. Three spray nozzles are enclosed with. Plus a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Solar Panel Water Pump with Battery & LED 2×10 Watts
- Driven by Two 10 watts solar panels + support stands
- Vertical water lift up to 6.5 ft. (2 meters)
- Adjustable water flow (maximum of 400 GPH)
- Designed for Fountain or Pond
- Battery backup for operating at night
- Solar panel size – 13.77 x 11.22 inches (36x24cm)
This solar powered pump is a great choice, a great alternative to electrical pumps. The kit includes a pump, two solar panels (total power 20 watts) and fancy LED lights for water spray. No cables (the only cables being the one between panels pump and control box), no wiring necessary, no chance of electrical shock. This kit suits well if you need an energy efficient pump for a small pond. The setup is easy and straightforward. Water flow can be adjusted from the control knob with 4 different flow settings. There’s also a battery (12V-4AH) included, which enables the pump to work in total darkness for a maximum of two hours. Dimensions: 14.5L x 8.5W x 10.5H cm
Solar Pump & Solar Panel kit with 48″ head, battery pack and LED light
- 3 watt Solar Panel with ground spike
- Needs direct sunlight to run during day and stores energy in battery pack. With full battery, the pump can work for up to 4 hours.
- Pump water flow – 80 GPH
- Vertical water spray up to 4 ft. (1.2 meters)
- 8 different fountain spray heads
This brushless pump can work on solar and on battery power. If there’s plenty of sunlight, it will work on solar energy, while at the same time recharging the battery for operating the pump when it’s dark or nighttime. If the batteries are entirely charged, the batteries can run the pump up to four hours. It is set to automatically run the pump again in the morning when the sun rises and sunlight “shows up”. If the pump is set to off position, solar panels charge the batteries and not run the pump. This means you can have batteries fully charged and let’s say turn the fountain pump on in the evening when the guests arrive let’s say, for a special event. The 3 watt solar panel is enough to give the output for water 80 gallons per hour and lift the water up to 4 feet. Keep in mind that this pump is meant for fountains only and it comes with 8 different nozzle/sprinkler heads for many ways of “flying” water.
Do i even need a pond pump?
If you plan to have Koi in your pond, then having a water pump is very important. The pump is accountable for 3 important things – circulating, filtering and oxygenating the water. It is what keeps everything in order, keeps the pond healthy. The pump supplies the necessary oxygen for the fish. It is the pumps role to regularly renew the pond with fresh oxygenated water. The bacteria requires oxygen from moving water in order to live and to help cleansing the water. The pump helps to replace the oxygen.
I would use a solar pump for fountains, with no fish. They are great in the ecological sense and virtually cost nothing to run. But, if you have Koi I would not use a pond that only operates during daylight. The persistent functioning of the pond filtration system and pump are important for the Koi fish.