Accessing a safe, sustainable water supply is what every region desires one day. Solar water pumps allow users to enjoy free energy that enables a free flow of sustainable water, which becomes an advantage over fossil fuel pumps. These water pumps are powered by solar panels and remain the most sustainable.
The water pumps are also assets in desert areas. According to solar water pump experts, Sunmaster, these pumps are used to alleviate desert dryness, especially if the water sources are shallow. The World Bank also hails solar water pumps as an environmentally attractive and economically preferred technology.
There are two types of solar pumps; submerged and surface water pumps. When buying solar water pumps, you must always consider if there is enough access to sunlight, what your water source is and how clean it is, the maximum flow rate of the pump, the size of the system, wattage of the solar panel and how much water you will need.
To know the best solar water pumps currently on the market, we took a week and tested 15 solar pumps for this guide to determine the best solar water pump. We assessed different homesteads and noted the solar water pumps’ advantages, disadvantages, efficiency, longevity, flow rate, and features. Below is what we found out.
Best for Large Fountains: Solariver 360 GPH Solar Water Pump Kit
✓ Very easy to install and DIY
✓ Powerful pump that pushes water in full sunlight
✓ Works well in both salty and freshwater
✘It has a very short cord
✘Sponge clogs quickly and decreases water flow
This solar pump kit from Solariver is best known for use in large fountains, ponds, water features, waterfalls, greenhouses, rainwater collection, animal troughs, aquaponics and hydroponics, streams, and natural pools. It is a submersible water pump, and its ability to move large masses of water off-grid impressed us the most.
We also liked how this water pump did not corrode in salty water, as it works perfectly in both saline and freshwater bodies. It is quiet and is not toxic at all to aquatic life. One drawback we found was its short 16ft cord. This short cord could be challenging if the water source is far from where it should be pumped. It was also disappointing that its two extra cords are sold separately instead of with the water pump.
Best for Small Ponds: Eco-Worthy 196 GPH Solar Water Pump
✓ It is very budget friendly
✓ It has a long cord
✓ Easy to install
✘It has no power backup
✘Only functional in daytime
Eco-Worthy is among the most trusted brands that offer this budget-friendly solar water pump that is convenient for birdbaths, ponds, and pools. It has a quality build, and we also appreciate its long cord. The water pump is also suitable for remote areas and has a long lifespan. Unfortunately, it does not have a power backup as there is no built-in battery; hence, when there is no sun, it won’t work.
Best Value: Aisitin 5.5 W Solar Water Pump Kit
✓ It has six water-style sprays
✓ Very budget friendly
✓ Can be used even on cloudy days
✓ It has a built-in battery
✘Easily gets dirty and clogged since it has no filter
✘The battery does not stay long
✘Small and not very powerful
This solar water pump is used in pools, birdbaths, fish tanks, and gardens. We were carried away by its ability to power off when there was no water to be pumped. This ensures solar power is saved and can be used later.
Another key feature that interested us was how it can still pump water all day long, even when the sky is not as clear. The only disadvantage it had, was its size and hence not as powerful. It would, therefore, be a challenge for someone looking to pump large amounts of water.
Best for Weather Resistance: Viajero 3W Solar Fountain Pump
✓ It can be mounted on the wall
✓ It is weather resistant and adapts to different weather conditions because of its sturdy solar panel material.
✓ It has two different installation methods: the solar panel can be attached to the ground or screwed on the wall.
✓ It has a long cord of 10 ft.
✘Very small water pump
✘No inbuilt battery; hence does not run at night
If you are interested in a solar water pump that is weather resistant and can adapt to different weather conditions, then the Viajero 3W solar fountain pump would be the best option. The pump’s durability and resistance to extreme weather conditions are all thanks to its sturdy build and high-quality solar panel material.
We were impressed by its ability to deliver different sprinkling styles thanks to its seven different water sprayers. To top it off, it is stunning when you place it in your backyard. Not to mention, it can be mounted on the wall, making it look even more unique. The pump’s only drawback is that it is a small solar water pump and, therefore, cannot do too much. Still, it produces enough power for such a small pump.
Most Stylish: SYHILON 3.5W Floating Water Pump
✓ Has a rechargeable battery that acts as backup power
✓ Has six LED lights with six colors that make the water look very decorative
✘It does not last for long
This particular solar water pump is built for birdbaths and ponds. It is a 6-nozzle floating water pump with an inbuilt battery backup. We loved how stylish this floating water pump is. Its most impressive feature is its 3.5 watts built-in solar panel. The panel not only gets energy from sunlight to operate the pump but also to recharge the battery. Its six-colored LED lights give the water a beautifully decorated appearance.
Its challenge is that it is only a suitable device if you want something decorative and not something durable. Aside from its short lifespan, it is also not a high-power water pump compared to some of the pumps on this list.
Best for Deep Wells: VEVOR Solar Deep Well Pump DC 24V
✓ It has sensors that automatically turn the pump off when the tank gets full
✓ It is of very high quality
✓ Easy to install
✘It is costly
✘Solar panels are not included
This solar pump is useful for livestock watering, irrigation, cabins, ponds, and remote villages. The feature we enjoyed most about this solar water pump is how its stainless steel, heat-resistant material, prevents corrosion and ensures a longer lifespan for the pump.
It is capable of raising water to high depths of over 300ft, and because of its maximum power point tracker (MPPT) technology, it also converts solar energy to electric energy. Another fascinating feature was the pump’s sensors. This enabled it to automatically turn off when the tank gets full or if the water source drops too low.
While this water pump is of high quality, we did not appreciate that it is among the market’s most expensive solar water pumps. Aside from the pump itself being expensive, you still need to purchase two additional 130W solar panels separately for this pump to work efficiently.
What to Look For in Solar Water Pumps
The following are the main considerations to look out for before buying a solar water pump.
You must weigh whether repair costs will be high or relatively low to gauge whether the water pump is worth purchasing.
Ease of Install
Always gauge the simplicity of a water pump’s installation if you opt for pumps that you can DIY.
Solar Panel Wattage
A powerful solar panel will make the pump more effective; hence you have to read through the wattage instructions and ensure you have the right panel for the job.
If the solar water pumps you need use fuel, consider if the fuel costs will be high before buying one.
It is essential to know your budget. You should consider whether you are looking for a budget-friendly solar water pump or the best one on the market, regardless of price.
It’s important to consider battery life if you don’t want a water pump that is only useful in the daytime but has an in-built battery.
Check out the build quality of the solar water pump and ensure your solar water pump has a lifespan of 10,000 hours+.
Picking a solar water pump with no warranty is risky as you will not enjoy after-sales services if the product becomes faulty.
If your water source is shallow, your best pump choice should be a surface pump. However,
water levels above 7m require a submersible pump.
What is the difference between a submersible and a surface solar water pump mean?
A submersible water pump must always stay under the water to function. It is usually expensive to maintain and is best used for boreholes and wells. On the other hand, a surface solar water pump stays above the water with a depth of up to 10 meters.
Is it compulsory for my solar water pump to have a battery?
Not really. However, it depends on your water consumption. If you can store the pumped water at night, you will not need batteries for your solar water pump. But if you also need to pump your water at night, then you will need a battery for your pump.
Should solar panels be cleaned?
As long as the solar panels are mounted up to 10 to 15 degrees, there is no need to clean them since they will be cleaned up by rain. But you can clean them if no rain is expected for a prolonged period and the panels get dirty. While doing so, ensure you use a soft cloth with no mineral water.
What is the importance of solar water pumps compared to conventional electric pumps?
The most important aspects of solar water pumps are that:
- They do not need any fuel or electricity to pump water. This makes life easier than when using electric pumps.
- The solar water pumps can be used in remote, rural, and underserved areas without electricity or fuel access.
- The solar panels are very easy to operate.
- The solar water pumps are not affected by power cuts, electricity problems, or motor burning. Unlike electric water pumps, they will get the work done no matter the situation.
- No lubricants are used to operate the solar water pumps, hence no contamination of the water or soil.
- Unlike electric water pumps, solar water pumps require low or zero maintenance; hence no maintenance costs are incurred.
What are the disadvantages of solar water pumping?
- Capital costs are always high. You will have to buy solar panels and solar pumps all at once.
- You cannot pump water when it is dark unless it has the latest technology that allows it to do so, which is not always the case.
- The system is always dependent on the solar radiation levels
- There is always a risk of theft of the solar panels