Working of Solar Pond Pumps

Gardenerdy Staff Oct 6, 2018
A solar pond pump, as the name suggests, is a pump that runs on energy that is harvested by solar panels installed in the unit. Find out more about how these work, and their pros and cons, before you invest in one.
Having a water component, either a small pond or a fountain, always enhances the beauty of a landscape design. However, as garden ponds are stagnant man-made water bodies without a natural water source, regular cleaning is mandatory in order to maintain the pond water.
Otherwise, overgrowth of algae and mosses will occur over a period of time, turning the water green and filthy. In such a situation, depletion of oxygen occurs, leading to suffocation and death of the pond inhabitants, including fish and frogs.
A pond pump is the best option to maintain the quality of pond water. It helps in circulating and aerating the water, thus preventing the growth of unwanted vegetation.
Nevertheless, the main issue of concern is their operation cost. An electric pond pump is very costly to maintain. Hence, in recent times, majority of the hobbyists are opting for solar-powered pond pumps.


A solar pond pump, as the name signifies, is operated using solar energy.
Similar to conventional pond pumps, there are two types of solar-powered pumps, namely, external and submersion. In the former, the pump is installed outside the pond, whereas in the latter, the pump functions while remaining underwater. An external pond pump is noisy, while there is no issue of noise in case of a submersion type pump.
Speaking about the feasibility, an external pump is appropriate for medium to large ponds with more than 1,000 gallons of water, while a submersion pump is best suited for small landscape ponds with less than 1,000 gallons of water.
The size of the pumps are labeled in terms of gallons per hour (GPH) or horsepower (HP). Usually, small pond pumps are marked in GPH, whereas larger sized pumps are labeled in HP.
If you are planning to purchase a solar-powered pond pump, first decide on the size of the pump according to the water capacity of your landscape pond. You can refer to the manufacturer's reference guidelines about the size of the pump with reference to the pond.
While choosing a solar pump, you can select several added features to add scenic beauty to your landscape and to increase the pump's performance. You can incorporate waterfalls, fountains, water sprays, streams and water filters.

Pros and Cons

In case of an electric solar pump, operating extra features consumes more electricity. Very often, one needs to think while installing extra accessories, like sculptures. As the pump runs with the help of solar energy, it is environmental friendly and cost-effective.
Though the initial installation cost is expensive, it is energy efficient for long-term operation. Another advantage is its safe operation. As electricity is not involved, there is no chance for a short circuit or other dangers.
One of the major drawbacks of these is that the solar panel should be installed in sunny areas to harvest solar energy. Considering this, the usage of these pumps is limited to warm countries, where there is optimum sunlight.
Also, the outcome of whether the pump operates efficiently or not is directly proportional to the amount of solar energy harvested by the panel on that particular day. Hence, you cannot rely on a solar pond pump on a cloudy or rainy day. In order to run the pump continuously, installation of backup batteries or other control equipment is necessary.