A solar pump receives sunlight through a small panel made of photovoltaic cells that collect and store the energy. This energy is what powers the pump. No electricity is used. Other pond pumps work off of electricity that is built into the pump. All pumps work the same. The only difference is where the power comes from.
Before we can decide if a solar pump is right for you we will discuss both the pros and cons to using solar pumps.
The positive aspects of using a Solar Pump are:
• They are great for the environment. It is a natural resource. They do not emit any hazardous substance into the air.
• It is cost effective since you do not use electricity and only use the sunlight.
• You do not have to worry about the pond or fountain being close to an outlet.
• No worries of electrocution. Your dog and children are safe!
• There is very little or no noise.
The negative aspects of using a Solar Pump are:
• Sunshine is required to run the pump. As cloud cover increases or something blocks the sunlight, the energy to run the pump diminishes. Those pretty fluffy white clouds can really reduce the solar device's output. I certainly hope you live where the sun shines the majority of the time.
• It is important to a ponds filtration system that the pump continues operating through the night. To do this you would have to incorporate a battery system and control equipment to store the energy.
• Flow capacity is lower than a regular pond pump.
• They are more expensive to purchase.
The pumps job is very important if you have Koi in your pond. The pump is responsible for circulation, filtering and oxygenating the water in your pond. It is the heart of the pond and it is responsible for keeping everything going. In addition to providing oxygen for the fish, the pump provides oxygen to bacteria in the fish pond bio filter. It is the pumps job to continuously replenish the pond with freshly oxygenated water. The bacteria need oxygen from the circulating water to be able to live and do their job of purifying pond water. These bacteria use up large amounts of dissolved oxygen which has to be replaced. Oxygen is used the most during the night so it is extremely important for the pump to continue running 24/7.
The solar pump is a great choice for a fountain. It would not be critical for it to continue running at night. If the solar pump is used for a pond with Koi and has to handle the main filtration you will probably end up with problems. The only way a solar pond will work with Koi is if you use some kind of battery system so that the pump runs all of the time.