Solar powered ponds & waterfalls

Written by nina kramer
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Solar powered ponds & waterfalls
Solar-powered pumps keep water circulating and healthy. (dual ponds image by Andrew Kazmierski from

Water landscape features such as ponds and waterfalls are increasingly popular among property owners. They add beauty, elegance and, with the water's movement, soothing, restful sounds. With increasing interest in using eco-friendly systems, solar-powered pumps for ponds and waterfalls are increasingly the pumps of choice. Unlike other systems, they emit no harmful chemicals and use a renewable source of energy, the sun. The system components include the solar panel, pump and battery pack.

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Solar Panel

The solar panel is the unit that collects the sun's energy and converts it into usable energy that is transferred by cable to the pump. It must be placed near the pond and in an area that receives the most sunlight. Built on top of a pole several feet high, the panel must face the sun. The larger the solar panel, the more energy collected and provided to the pump.

Solar powered ponds & waterfalls
The solar panel should be placed at the edge of the pond. (solar panel image by danimarco from

Solar Water Pump

Solar pumps are either submerged beneath the water or float above it. They operate best on DC, not AC, current and have varying voltage. If an existing water pump has an AC current, then an inverter situated in the solar panel will convert it to DC. Twelve-volt, solar pumps work well for small waterfalls and ponds. Bigger ponds and waterfalls, however, require larger solar equipment with higher voltage.

Solar powered ponds & waterfalls
Large waterfalls require large solar systems. (SCENIC WATERFALLS image by brelsbil from

Battery Pack

Since the water pump will work only on days when the sun shines and produces energy, a battery pack is usually installed in the solar system. On sunny days, the sun's energy charges the batteries, creating a reserve of energy. Then, when there is no sun on overcast days or in the evenings, the solar pumps continue to work.

Solar powered ponds & waterfalls
Battery packs provide energy to drive water pumps on overcast days. (Overcast landscape image by Lucy Cherniak from


Water pumps are used for oxygenation and circulation in ponds. Oxygenation provides oxygen to plant and fish life in the pond, necessary for healthy aquatic life. Circulation of water in the pond reduces mosquito hatching and algae formation. Ponds that contain aquatic life should use solar systems designed specifically for them.

Solar powered ponds & waterfalls
Solar-powered pumps aerate and oxygenate ponds for healthy fish. (fish pond image by Pawel Dowgiallo from


Shop around when buying solar equipment. The same product from different retailers can vary by hundreds of dollars. Solar Power at Home estimates that a solar pump and panel suitable for a small pond will cost between £48 and £325. Larger systems can cost as much as thousands of dollars.

Solar powered ponds & waterfalls
Mounting a solar panel on a nearby roof could be more cost-effective. (Solar hoch auf dem dach image by DevilGB from

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