Solar Water FeaturesAs the range of water features has become more and more varied, an increasingly popular range of features have appeared that dazzle us with displays powered not from a humble plug socket but from that huge ball of nuclear space-fire that we have such a long and beneficial relationship with; the sun. Solar power has become a major selling point in the water feature world: they utilise green energy, cost nothing to run, don’t require any lengthy cabling and run our water features at the time we want them to the most; when the sun is out! All well and good if you live in the South of France, you could argue, but what about those who dwell in more temperate (okay, rainy) regions like, say, the UK; surely solar power is no real option for such soggy climes? It’s not as simple as that, thankfully. Solar water features are a real alternative.
Luckily, for those who do want a feature that’ll run when the weather’s looking considerably greyer than we’d like, solar technology manufacturers have heard their pleas and come up with a number of solutions. The simplest, the size, capacity and efficiency of solar panels continues to improve and so features equipped with a high quality panel (look out for high capacity solar cells and panels utilising polyvinyl butyral) are capable of capturing enough sunlight to perform effectively under less-than-optimal conditions. Still, one of the nice things about having a water feature is having the ability to use it whenever you like, and a simple direct sunlight-only model might disappoint in this respect.
Solar Powered Water FeaturesA possible solution is in hand, however, as features increasingly use a panel with a battery backup system, allowing the panel to be charged either by sunlight or an A/C adaptor and then used as required. These are perfect for British summertime, as they’ll make the most of that precious sun and store enough power to keep running when the inevitable cloud rumbles over to ruin everything. These systems often allow for timers to be set up so that your feature will turn on at a certain time during the day and at their best will match the flexibility and efficiency of a mains powered feature.
In the not so distant past, an issue with solar power was that inefficient panels meant only the smallest of pumps could be used -- and therefore only the most vertically-challenged features could make much use of it. There’s not much point having a solar powered feature if your pump isn’t man enough to push anything more than a drip out of the top of it, after all. This, too, is becoming much less of an issue, with the new generation of solar kits able to pump up to a very respectable two metres, rather larger than your typical garden fountain. Still, it’ll be some time before consumer-level solar kits are suitable for the largest features on the market and as the panels get larger they get more difficult to disguise, as they’re not the most attractive addition to a garden yet demand a prominent position so they can soak up that sun!
Solar Powered FountainsIn conclusion, solar power is a gathering force in the water feature field and as technology advances its shortcomings become less of an issue. As it stands, for those who desire a smaller feature, green energy enthusiasts and dedicated sunbathers, they’re an excellent option.
Why not visit our website to view the latest range of solar water features, including the ever popular Solar Powered Classical Tier Water Feature
Posted by David Hellowell
Water Features 2 Go is one of the UK's leading online Water Feature retailers and stocks a huge range of pond pumps, pond liners, fountains and Water Features