This article about solar pumps was brought to our attention by a customer, and prompted us to write a bit about solar pumps vs low voltage pumps.

This was our response, which we hope is useful to others.

How do you find the performance of the pump in the British sun? We hear from customers here in Australia (where the sun is much stronger) that solar pumps just don't perform well enough yet to justify installing them.

Almost all the requirements for a basic fountain can be met by a Low Voltage fountain pump e.g. the British made Hozelock Cascade 700LV.

There's only one real disadvantage of Low Voltage pumps and that is getting the cable in (which can be a problem if the surround is concreted/paved) but Low Voltage cables can be buried and hidden with ease (yourself, no electrician required) and are safe.

Lastly, if you're using a solar pump to try to save electricity, these small pumps only use 15W which would cost you about $30 a year in Australia.

What are your thoughts on solar?

We hope that one day soon solar pumps give enough performance, but they really will need a battery backup (like a hybrid car) to be able to run long enough that your pond health is maintained.