Allotment Articles 2.
As with all modern technological applications, advancements are being made with pond pumps. Firstly it was the newly designed impeller and then it was the ceramic drive shafts.
The latest advancement concerns the power source for pond pumps. Until now pumps have always been powered by mains electricity whether it was low voltage off a transformer, or full 240 volt mains, but the latest development uses solar power to drive the pump. Admittedly it is only low power, operating a fountain about 1 ½ feet, or 45 cm in height on a bright sunny day, but you can be sure that in years to come that the power rating will go up.
The solar powered pump costs about as much as a small to medium sized pump, but obviously it saves a fortune on cables that you would normally have to run across your garden to your pond. Also of course there are no running costs that over the years can mount up to a lot of money.
The first Solar pumps were as unconventional in appearance as their power source looking more like an upside down dome in shape than the usual cylindrical shape of most pumps. The inlet to the pumps was underneath where there was a fairly large foam pre-filter to stop debris from being sucked up into the pump. This of course needed cleaning regularly to keep the pump operating at peak efficiency. The photoelectric cell covered the whole top surface of the circular pump with the fountain nozzle in the middle. The cell had to be kept clean and free from leaves which otherwise might mar its performance as it floated around the pool. This pump had much going for it as regards suitability for small pools and only had a couple of drawbacks. The first was its low power as it would not drive a waterfall, but this was to come in time. The other small point was that on no account should the pump be left in the pool for winter. Ice could form and as the pump floated on the surface, might damage the pump, so it always had to be removed and stored somewhere dry and dark until the Spring. Recent developments in Solar cell technology has meant that more powerful power generating cells are often separate from the pumps and positioned next to the pond rather than in it. The benefits of this are enormous as regards longevity of the cells, efficiency and pump design.