Solar Electric Equipment
Thermal Solar Systems
New Solar Fountains
Solar Cascade Garden Fountain
New! This glazed natural terracotta four tier cascading solar fountain
comes with an extra long 16 ft. cable so you can place your panel where
the sun is and the fountain where you want. Easy to setup! The low-voltage water pump with filter constantly recycles the water.
An AC Adaptor is included so you can also use it at night after the sun
SunJet Solar Water Pump
Turn that stagnant bird bath into a cascading bird sanctuary with the SunJet solar-powered water pump.
This kit includes a solar panel and a small but powerful pump along with three different spray heads for creating fountains up to 10 inches high. The pump operates in full sunlight, and pumps 40 gallons per hour without adding a cent to your power bill! The
kit includes an extra long 16-1/2 foot connection cable so you can put
the solar panel where it will get the most sun.
Ceramic Solar Frog Fountain
This darling solar ceramic frog fountain is a stylish water feature made from a beautiful green glazed ceramic. The soothing sound of water cascades from the frog's mouth powered by a solar pump. The kit comes with the solar panel and a 10 ft cable so you can place the solar panel separately from the fountain.
A solar water fountain is a convenient
and inexpensive way to add a touch of magic to any yard or garden.
Because solar fountains do not require you to run AC wiring from your
house they can be put in any location on your property and take very
little time to install. Solar fountains are extremely friendly to the
environment. They don't require any external power source so
they don't increase the demand for electricity from polluting coal or
natural gas electric plants. You don't have to run long electric
extension cords or wiring from your house, just a short run between
the solar panel and the fountain, so there is less digging to do and
less disruption of that garden or yard you work so hard to maintain.
Solar fountains are also inexpensive. They use simple DC pumps and
their costs are comparable to any other type of conventional fountain,
but they won't add to your electric bill.
Solar Fountains Components
Solar fountains are usually sold in kits which include the
solar panels, the fountain housing and the pump that moves the water.
There are also some optional components you might want to get
depending upon your landscaping design. Let's take a look at each of
- Fountain Housing - There is almost no limit to the
materials which can be used to create a fountain. They can be
made of stone, brick, tile, copper, iron, steel, wood, resin or
plastic and may fit any design an artist might come up with.
There are basically two types of fountains: sprays (fountain jets)
and ornamental statuary. A fountain spray consists of a jet nozzle
or ring attached to the outlet pipe of the pump above the pond's
water level. It produces an attractive ornamental spray. Geyser
jets, which produce a larger, more dramatic effect, are excellent
for aerating the water since they introduce air bubbles to the
spray. Nozzles that produce delicate sprays or thin films (such as water-bell jets) need to be installed in a virtually wind-free location
or you are going to have to constantly replenish the water supply.
Statuary fountains run the gamut of designs from classical Greek figures and wall-mounted gargoyles to modern art forms and whimsical spouting frogs or fish. Statuary fountain ornaments can be bought separately to put in the pond or next to it. They can also be bought as complete, self-contained units with pre-cast
reservoir bowls and integrated pump and filter systems.
In most cases the pump is embedded somewhere in the housing though
on some fountains the pump is remote and there is a pipe or tubing
that provides the water. For re-circulating types of fountains
there is usually a catch basin that holds the water before it is
pumped back to the starting point of the fountain's cascade.
For floating types of fountains the entire housing may be underneath
the water of a pond.
- Solar Panel - The solar panels that are used for
fountains are no different than the types that you might put on your
roof for generating electricity. Each panel contains a number
of solar cells. The more solar cells the more energy the panel
can generate. For table fountains or smaller garden fountains
a small panel (like shown above) which contains 2-4 solar cells may
be sufficient. For larger fountains, particularly shooting
fountains which require a bit more energy, you may need to use a
full-sized solar panel with up to 16 solar cells in it. We
generally recommend that you buy your solar fountain as a kit with
the solar panels included. That way you will know that the
size and output of the solar panel is properly matched to the pump
that goes with the fountain.
- Solar Pump - Solar water pumps are designed to use the DC electric power
generated by the photovoltaic panels. They must work
during low light conditions at reduced power, without stalling or
overheating. There are different types of pumps depending upon
your application. Most small cascade style fountains use a
small delivery pump to move the water from the collecting basin at
the bottom to the top of the fountain. If you are putting your
fountain in a pond or lake you would probably use a submersible type
pump. You can also purchase pumps separately should the
current pump you are using fail and replace a conventional pump with
one designed to be powered by solar panels. You will need to
get a pump that matches the output (usually measured in gallons per
minute) of the pump you are replacing. This is usually not
difficult and most solar or plumbing suppliers can help you find
what you need.
- Pump Controller - A pump controller is a device that is
used to allow a solar pump to run more effectively given the changes
that will occur in power output from your solar cells during the
day. In the morning and late evening when the sun is low they
will give your pump a boost so it can run a bit longer. We
recommend pump controllers on larger fountains because they make the
fountain run longer and reduce the strain on the pump itself.
- Batteries - When it comes to fountains batteries are strictly an
option. If you don't want to run your fountain at night then
you don't need them. The pump for the solar fountain will simply
stop running once the sun goes down. On the other hand if you
like to see your fountain at night then you will need a battery
pack. These battery packs will charge during the day and then
a built in light sensor will automatically turn them on once the sun goes down.
- Wiring - There may or may not be external wiring as part
of the kit depending upon the type of fountain you are getting.
Some small fountains have a small solar panel or solar cell built
into the housing of the fountain so there are no external wires.
However, for fountains that use a separate solar panel there is
wiring that goes from the solar panel to the pump in the fountain.
The longer the wiring the more flexibility you will have as to where
to position the pump.
- Nozzles - Many of the shooting type of fountain kits come
with a variety of water nozzles so you can experiment with different
water effects. One thing to consider when using nozzle is the
extent to which they are going to be impacted by wind. If your
fountain is in a windy area and the stream is too high the wind may
blow a lot of the water out of the fountain's catch basin. Beyond
the fact this may occasionally douse you or your guest, it will also
mean you have to constantly replenish the water supply which can be
a bit of a headache.
Tips on Buying and Using Solar Fountains
Here are some tips to help you out with your fountain:
- Battery -- if you want your fountain to run at night, you will likely need to get a battery. Most do not come with one, and therefore run only when the sun is out.
- Solar panels -- if you find that your pump is not running at its full capacity, ensure that the solar panel is aligned where it will receive the most sun throughout the day. If additional power is needed, add extra solar panels.
- Wiring -- if you know where you are going to put your
fountain consider where you are going to put the solar panel that
powers it. If you are not sure go with a pump that has a pretty good
length of wire between the solar panel and the pump so you have
maximum flexibility in positioning it. This is important, not only
for aesthetic reasons in landscaping but because in many cases
repositioning the solar panel may be essential if the fountain is in
- Fluctuations -- know that your fountain will likely produce different water movement, depending on the intensity of the sun.
- Placement -- if the solar panel is separate from your
fountain, you can place your fountain anywhere you choose, as long
as the panel can be placed in the sun. If the panels are integrated,
on the other hand, the entire fountain must be placed in the sun.
And because solar fountains do not need to be "plugged in," you can
place them as far from a power source as you please.
A water feature in a garden can be very calming and relaxing.
Many people like to sit outside near their solar fountains or other
garden features after a long day at work, and just listen to and
Knowing that your fountain is good for the environment makes it just
that much better. Enjoy!
|We have been getting a lot of questions
lately as to the costs for a solar
PV system and how soon PV systems pay for themselves. It is not always
easy to tell given the host of federal and state regulations. To
provide some clarity on these cost issues we have updated our section on
Typical Costs to reflect the
latest prices and have added a new article on
Calculating the Payback for
a solar PV System. Take a look!
|PV Demand Growing -
Global photovoltaic demand continues to soar in 2010 and is currently projected to double over the rate of installations
year last year, according to Solarbuzz®, a solar energy market research company.
Solarbuzz has raised its 2010 market size to 15.2 GW, which compares with a revised 7.5 GW in 2009.
New Solar Fountains
Sunforce Solar Floating Fountain
This solar powered
fountain is designed to be placed in your pool or pond. It requires no
wiring and comes with 3 different spray nozzels so you can choose the
effect you want. Floating fountains not only add a great touch to any pond,
they also help to oxygenate the water and reduce algae.
Solar Brushed Copper Cascade Water Fountain & Bird Bath
The Solar Brushed Copper Cascade Water Fountain and Bird Bath features
four tiers of brushed copper bowls that will add an appealing visual element
to any outdoor setting. And since this fountain uses solar energy you can be at peace with an environmentally friendly design that has no running costs. The
solar panel can be wall-mounted, stand-mounted or stand-alone. A 15-foot cord attaches to the solar panel making it easy to position almost anywhere. This product carries a two-year warranty.
Blue Ceramic Solar Fountain
This blue ceramic solar fountain is both soothing and stunning at once
- by capturing the power of the sun, this tranquil fountain flows from a jug into a series of bowls, all crafted of cobalt-glazed ceramic. Includes solar-power pump, weather-resistant steel frame and solar panel. (Stones not included.)