Although 2013 has been a notable summer in terms of the strength and length of the sunny days, sunshine is not something we can really take for granted in the British Isles. This might put some people off when it comes to considering the choices available for powering garden water fountains. The principal fear is that in opting for a solar-powered pump, the garden water fountains will be compromised by a weak water flow, spoiling the overall effect.
Solar energy does not, however, rely on a constant stream of heat and light emanating from the sun, despite its name. In solar technology, it is the energy from the sun that is captured in photo-voltaic cells. Effectively, this means that even on a cloudy day the energy is continually being harvested. The cells then convert the sunlight energy into electricity, which can be used to run all manner of appliances in a green, cost-efficient and eco-friendly fashion, including garden fountains and even fairy lights. As gardeners tend to be nature lovers, it is a highly appealing system to work in tandem with the elements to run one’s garden water fountains in this way. It is also pleasing to see no impact on the domestic electricity bill.
Another concern may be regarding maintenance issues, but these are minimal. A solar panel merely needs to be cleaned with mild soapy water to remove any dust, bird droppings, dead leaves or snow. Some natural cleaning will occur with rainfall. In siting the panel, it is important to take overhanging trees into account, as excessive shade will impair performance. Solar PV is extremely resilient and long-lasting and is unlikely to need replacing for at least 25 years.
Freestanding, self-contained or pond fountains all come with the option of a solar-powered pump. These stone fountains are also in a range of classic textures from sandstone to white limestone, which age beautifully. Painting the stone with a weak solution of natural yoghurt is an interesting technique to further encourage an antique “mossy” effect, if so desired.
For further explanations of the reliability of solar power in garden water fountains, please do give us a telephone call. We would be happy to welcome you and provide demonstrations if you are in the area.