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Best Tesla Powerwall Alternatives

Tesla Powerwall Alternatives

Tesla powerwall

Aniket

Written by qualified solar engineer Aniket. Last updated:

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Table of Contents

It is said that successful people (read: companies) do not do different things; they just do the same things differently. Tesla might not have invented the electric car or batteries, but it certainly came up with ways to improve these technologies and their respective business models. In just a few years, the Tesla Powerwall has established itself as one of the sleekest, most reliable, and reasonably-priced energy storage options in the market. 

The residential energy storage market is expected to grow fourfold to $26.4 billion by 2027, at a striking CAGR of 19.7%. It’s no wonder that CEO Elon Musk said at a recent Tesla conference call that the company might soon be making a million powerwalls every year – a prediction aptly called wild by some experts. But it doesn’t sound so wild when you consider that Tesla already has a backlog of 80,000 powerwalls, worth $500 million!

And that’s exactly why any discussion on residential energy storage is incomplete without Tesla. In the coming sections, we help you discover everything about the Tesla Powerwall, from its specifications to its pros and cons, while also exploring some of the best alternatives.

Understanding the Tesla Powerwall

In Tesla’s own words, “Powerwall is a rechargeable home battery system designed to maximize your home’s energy independence.” The powerwall stores excess energy from your solar power and supplies the same amount of energy to your house at night or during power outages, saving you money and ensuring continuous (more or less) power delivery.

Power Flow: Morning
Power Flow: Afternoon
Power Flow: Night

How the Powerwall Works (source: Tesla)

It also comes with time-based control that allows users to decide when and how much energy to use from the grid, helping them save even more money if they live in areas with time-of-use pricing. 

The makers have added another cool feature into the Powerwall – the device autonomously communicates with the National Weather Service and prioritizes charging in anticipation of severe weather.

Pros

Tesla powerwall

Let’s begin with what matters most for most people – the price tag! The Powerwall has a sticker price of $7,800, which is a price of $577 per kWh of battery capacity. Compare this to other popular products (Panasonic – $701/kWh, LG – $601/kWh), and it does not look so bad. 

Of course, there are additional costs, like supporting hardware costs and installation costs, but for something that will last a minimum of 10 years, it’s not terrible.

Speaking of longevity, the Powerwall might share the same number of warranty span with LG or other brands, but Tesla is the only one that provides unlimited cycles in its warranty, making it a genuine 10-year warranty. 

On the other hand, a battery warranty with limited cycles might be less than 10 years if you complete the specified number of cycles.

The Tesla battery also triumphs in the Depth-of-Discharge (DoD). DoD is nothing but the actual, usable amount of battery capacity. Historically, batteries often had disappointing DoDs like 60% or 70%, where the remaining 30-40% of the battery capacity wasn’t usable, meaning a 10 kWh battery bank was, in reality, a 6 or 7 kWh one. Tesla’s Li-NMC battery offers a 100% DoD. 

Not just that, its round-trip efficiency clocks at 90%, meaning if you put in 10 kWh of energy into it, you will get around 9 kWh when you extract it, which is better than many other options in the market.

Batteries can be AC-coupled or DC-coupled. An AC-coupled battery like the Tesla Powerwall is slightly less efficient but provides greater flexibility and scalability because you can charge it through an AC source. 

DC-coupled batteries are slightly more efficient, but they cannot supply power to the house simultaneously with solar since there’s just one centralized inverter. Also, DC-coupled units would be difficult to scale up, say, in the event of creating a small micro-grid out of the devices.

Tesla powerwall

DC-coupled vs AC-Coupled System Layouts (Source: NREL)

The powerwall is the only battery system in the market which employs a liquid thermal management system. Instead of passive air-cooled systems, like in an LG battery, Tesla’s uses a chemical coolant circulated through the unit to reduce heating.

This design delivers effective cooling, and you can install it without leaving space between the wall, improving the aesthetics of the unit.

Tesla powerwall

Tesla Powerwall Exploded View

Unlike many other companies, Tesla manufactures its own battery cells, thanks to the enormous investment and experience of the company in the lithium battery area from its electric cars. This avoids the hassle of dealing with a different company for warranty procedures when something goes wrong with your battery.

Additionally, while many manufacturers require customers to ship the battery back at their own expense (which can be a few hundred dollars!), Tesla right away sends a new device and picks up the old one once the new one has arrived. 

The powerwall receives updates from the company regularly and automatically, and this not only fixes bugs but also adds some new and cool features every now and then.

Cons

Tesla powerwall

If you already own a solar power system and are looking to buy a Tesla Powerwall, then it’s not your best day. A few months ago, Tesla decided that it would only sell the Powerwall together with its solar panels or solar roof.

So, if you have already bought and installed solar panels from, say, LG or SunPower, then the Powerwall is not an option for you. This is probably its greatest drawback.

The exclusivity is not limited to the purchase but also the installation. Unlike other storage products, you cannot simply buy the Powerwall and install it yourself or call your favorite electrician. You must use one of Tesla’s recognized system installers, which not only takes away the flexibility but also adds to the cost. The installation costs can sometimes take the price to as high as $15,000 per powerwall.

The company website answers the question of “Can Powerwall work without internet?” with “Powerwall needs an internet connection…”. Although the connection is mainly needed to communicate status, update stats and receive software updates, there is less clarity on whether it is essential.

When your internet goes down, or worse, you are planning to install the unit in a remote cabin where there’s no internet, the Powerwall might not be your best choice.

As mentioned, although Li-NMC technology offers many benefits over traditional lead-acid cells, it also brings with it a few concerns. For instance, if not disposed of properly, the cobalt in the cells can enter the environment and prove harmful.

Additionally, while NMC promises 500-1,000 life cycles, LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) can deliver up to 3,000 cycles.

However, despite deciding to shift to LFPs for their utility-scale batteries, Tesla is still sticking to Li-NMC for their residential product.

Top Alternatives

If you are either unable or unwilling to buy the Powerwall for one of the above reasons, you need to look at other alternatives. There are many battery products in the market today, and while not all have the benefits of the Powerwall, many are better than the Powerwall in some respects. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones:

1. LG Chem RESU 10H:

LG Chem RESU 10H

The closest competitor to the powerwall is LG’s RESU battery. LG sells a huge quantity of RESU’s every year, thanks to a legacy of decades that makes people trust in them as a brand.

The RESU is a 9.8 kWh Lithium battery and works perfectly with SolarEdge or SMA inverters. Unlike the powerwall, it’s a DC-coupled unit, meaning it is slightly more efficient. It also offers many similar advantages like in-house manufactured cells, brand reliability, expandability, and decent aesthetics.

Where the RESU lags, however, is its warranty. Despite the same 10-year warranty period, the warranty says that the battery will operate with at least 60% of its original capacity by the end of 10 years, which isn’t quite impressive.

On the pricing side, the device, including hardware and installation, costs between $10,000 and $14,000, which is a bit more expensive per kWh than the Tesla Powerwall.

2. Panasonic EverVolt:

Panasonic EverVolt

Another global electronics brand, Panasonic, is a popular name in solar as well as batteries. It doesn’t only make and offer its energy storage systems, but also provides battery cells to other brands.

Interestingly, Panasonic offers both DC and AC-coupled batteries and in two different sizes – 11.4 kWh and 17.1 kWh. The EverVolt offers perfectly reliable batteries, but these too fail to impress with a solid warranty – Panasonic also promises only 60% capacity after 10 years, just like LG.

A typical Panasonic AC-coupled EverVolt costs between $15,000 and $20,000, higher than both Tesla and LG.

3. Fortress eVault and eVault Max:

Fortress eVault and eVault Max

We’ve all seen movies of underdogs winning grand championships, and if there’s a lesser-known brand that threatens to become that champion in the energy storage world, it’s Fortress Power.

Pennsylvania-based Fortress offers two incredible battery options – eVault and eVault Max. Both units offer an astounding 18.5 kWh capacity – claimed to have “the largest capacity in the market”.

The eVault can be expanded to 222 kWh, usable not just for homes but entire buildings, while the eVault Max is AC-coupled, and you can expand it to a whopping 370 kWh.

Both batteries boast LFP technology and a 10-year warranty with an amazing 6,000+ cycles. Not just that, Fortress claims a 98% round trip efficiency, which is significantly greater than that of the Powerwall.

Both the eVault and eVault Max cost around the $13,000 mark and do not require specialized and expensive installations, making them seriously affordable per kWh of capacity.

4. BigBattery KONG:

If you are awed by the eVaults, wait till you meet the KONG! As the name suggests, the BigBattery KONG is a mammoth 12 kWh energy storage unit, but the best part – it comes with a ridiculously low price tag of $4,299, making it the most affordable on this list, at a mere $358 per kWh.

You might wonder about the brand and its experience, but BigBattery is a California-based company that claims to be the “ largest supplier of surplus batteries in the United States”, and has facilities in the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, and China.

The BigBattery KONG also uses lithium-iron-phosphate battery cells and offers a comprehensive 10-year warranty with up to 3,000 charging cycles and 100% depth-of-discharge, making it one of the most attractive options on this list.

5. Watts Battery:

Watts Battery

Subtitled “Lego-like energy to meet your lifestyle”, Watts Battery is a novel, modular concept that tries (and succeeds) in simplifying energy storage for homes. Instead of one bulky box, one module of the Watts Battery is a tiny 1.2 kWh battery+inverter. Ten such modules can be stacked, quite literally, to reach a capacity of 12 kWh, making it the most innovative item on this list.

Each module supports up to 1 kW of solar power and provides 1.5 kW (3 kW peak) of continuous output. Like the Powerwall, it connects to the internet and provides real-time data on your mobile device. 

Watts Battery advertises its product by saying “no technician, no drilling, no additional connectors, or devices”, which certainly grabs our attention. And although setting up the first module might require some work, the entire system is pretty straightforward to set up, unlike Tesla or LG’s highly technical installations. 

Watts Battery offers a slightly lower warranty period of 7 years, but at over 2,000 lifecycles, which is not bad. Each block of the Watts Battery costs $2,000, making it slightly expensive, but the simplicity and low installation costs compensate for some of it.

6. Pika Harbor 6 Smart Battery:

Pika Harbor 6 Smart Battery

A bright-colored energy storage unit, just like its colorful name, the Pika Harbor is a DC-coupled, Li-ion, modular battery unit powered using 3-6 modules. You can use it for time-of-use optimization, demand charge management, and even zero-export applications, with up to 17.1 kWh of capacity.

The battery can provide up to 10 kW of continuous power when needed. With a decent round-trip efficiency of 96.5%, a depth-of-discharge 84.5%,  and a 10-year warranty, Pika just about keeps up with the competition.

Pika Energy is a Generac company and employs battery cells manufactured by Panasonic, and is quite reliable; however, the RMA process might pose a challenge for the same reason. The Harbor 6 costs up to $20,000 with installation and is more expensive than the Powerwall.

7. Electriq Power PowerPod 2:

Electriq Power PowerPod 2

Electriq Power is another company in the long list of Californian companies that “started-in-a-garage-and-grew-rapidly”. Electriq’s PowerPod 2 is an intriguing energy storage system that comes in 10, 15, and 20 kWh capacities and both DC and AC-coupled versions.

It uses an LFP battery and boasts all the smart features similar to the Powerwall, such as a smart app and real-time monitoring. The unit also comes with a 10-year warranty and promises at least 70% capacity by year 10.

It might not be gorgeous, but Electriq’s offering is one of the best-looking options on the list and even seems to have a personality of its own. Installing the PowerPod 2 costs between $13,000 and $19,000 and is just a bit more expensive than the Powerwall.

Conclusion

Tesla’s Powerwall, like most of its other products, is a thoughtfully designed energy storage product that deserves the tremendous popularity it has garnered. A reasonable price-point, reliable performance, and top-notch service set it apart.

However, the inability to purchase a Powerwall separately, relatively higher installation costs and a long waiting period forces, us to look at other options. 

The best Powerwall alternatives are a mix of legendary brands, like LG and Panasonic, and upcoming but ambitious brands that offer a lot more at a lot lower costs, such as Fortress and BigBattery, and finally, brands that reimagine product design, such as the Watts Battery.

Ultimately, there is no single winner in the never-ending battery storage systems race, and like any other complex piece of machinery, the best option is the one that suits your needs best.

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7 Best Solar Ovens in 2021

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7 Best Solar Ovens in 2021 (Review)

Solar technology is one of the most innovative inventions of the 21st century. Solar tech is reaching every part of our lives, and it is here to stay. Even though solar cookers are not a recent invention, new and creative designs have been increasing their efficiency and aesthetics throughout the years.

More and more companies are venturing into creating solar cooking appliances, and solar ovens are not a student project or a low-budget solution anymore. Mid-range and high-end solar ovens are starting to provide some top features that make them more appealing to the average consumer.

That’s why we’ve gathered a list of the best solar ovens of 2021 for you to look out for and consider for your next outdoor or camping adventure.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Ovens

1. GoSun Go Camp Solar Cooker

best-overall-badge-long
side facing gosun go camp solar cooker

Key Features:

  • Easy to set up
  • Portable and reliable
  • EVA foam hard-shell case

Key Specifications:

  • Ultra-lightweight, 2 lbs. (0.9 kg.)
  • Reaches up to 288 °C (550°F)
  • 13.5 oz. (400 ml) capacity

Where To Buy

GoSun Go is the most portable and elegant solar-powered oven ever. Using only the sun, this ultra-lightweight oven can cook, bake, steam, and boil anywhere.

Once opened, using its sophisticated parabolic reflectors, it focuses the sunlight onto a tube, heating the cooking chamber. As the tube is vacuum-sealed, it is the perfect insulator, converting up to 80% of sunlight energy into heat.

GoSun Go’s cooking chamber can reach up to 288 °C (550°F), cooking meals on its stainless-steel cooking tray in 20-45 minutes. To serve or heat several dishes on the same tray, you can use the included silicone cooking pans. To boil water, all that you need to do is remove the cooking tray and fill the cooking chamber with water.

The unit is packed in a durable EVA foam hard-shell case for easy and portable on-the-go set up. The frame integrates an external kickstand so you can find the perfect solar angle.

Additionally, the frame integrates a universal action mount that can accommodate different mounting accessories, such as a camera or go-pro mounting brackets to set the Go up anywhere you need it.

2. Sun Ovens International Solar Oven

premium-choice-badge-long
side facing sun ovens international solar oven

Key Features:

  • Easy to set up
  • Self-contained unit ready to cook
  • Spill proof

Key Specifications:

  • Weighs 23 pounds (10 kg.)
  • Temperature range between 360-400°F (180-200 °C)
  • Attached panels reflectors

Where To Buy

A powerful option for solar ovens is the box solar cooker of All American Sun Oven. This robust and portable solar oven can reach cooking temperatures between 360-400°F (180-200 °C) within minutes of direct sun exposure.

The oven comes with a built-in thermometer and reflects the light through its collapsible reflectors, which can be folded in for easy carrying of the unit. The interior of the box comes with a dual purpose leveling rack that hangs inside the oven as a cooking surface and swings freely to prevent spilling.

The bottom part of the oven is designed to provide and hold a lot of heat, increasing the overall cooking efficiency.

The cooker box includes a self-contained leveling leg to maximize the solar angle of the panels. On purchase, the cooker also includes the Sun Oven Digital Cookbook, featuring 40 recipes.

The Sun Oven cooker weighs around 23 pounds (10 kg.) and it comes with a carrying handle, making it great portable solar power camping gear.

3. GoSun Sport Pro Pack Portable Solar Oven

great-value-badge-long
side facing gosun sport pro pack portable solar oven

Key Features:

  • Travel-friendly kit
  • Extra cooking tray
  • 2-3 meals per load

Key Specifications:

  • Weighs 7 lbs. (3.17 kg.)
  • Reaches high temperatures (288 °C)
  • Cooking capacity of up to 39 oz. (1.15 lt.)

Where To Buy

GoSun Sport Pack is one of the best solar ovens for cooking while on a picnic, and a perfect match to be combined with other eco-friendly gear, such as a solar lantern for a camping trip. The pack comes in a sports carrying bag and the oven can bake, roast, or steam a meal for 2 in under 20 minutes under direct sunlight.

The GoSun Sport portable solar oven uses the same design as the Go. It reflects the sun’s energy into the cooking chamber of the unit that holds the stainless-steel cooking tray, and the vacuum seal of the chamber absorbs the solar energy and transforms it into heat for cooking.

It can reach temperatures of up to 550°F (288 °C) depending on sunlight and weather conditions, cooking meals in under 30 minutes of sun exposure.

The kit includes a sport padded carrying case for secure travel and transportation, an extra cooking tray so you can prep your next meal while cooking, non-sticking silicone pans, and a brewing accessory to boil water if needed.

4. Sunspot Solar Oven

front facing sunspot solar oven

Key Features:

  • Educational kit
  • Lesson guide included
  • Easy to storage

Key Specifications:

  • Capable of reaching 350°F (180 °C)
  • Folds to 4 x 10 x 10 inches (10 x 25 x 25 cm)
  • Solar collector design

Where To Buy

Nasco is an online teaching website and e-shop with over 75 years in the market. It helps teachers and brings innovative solutions to classrooms. Its Sunspot Solar Oven offers a glimpse of the solutions and lessons displayed in their catalogs.

This Sunspot Solar Oven kit can be bought as part of its teaching course “Solar cooking, Vol. 19”. The PDF lesson plan helps teachers to explain the benefits of optical and thermal energy in a fun and didactic way. It includes the teacher’s guide for the class.

This portable solar oven can reach up to 350 degrees F (180 °C) behind the heat-retaining oven window at the solar collector, and it is built so that kids can interact with it in a classroom to learn about the possibilities of solar energy.

The compact solar oven is lightweight and simple to set up and operate. It needs to be directly pointed into the sun to reach its operating temperature. Its panels are collapsible and fold to 4 x 10 x 10 inches (10 x 25 x 25 cm) for easy storage.

5. Haines 2.0 SunUp Solar Cooker

side facing haines 2.0 sunup solar cooker

Key Features:

  • Recyclable and pollution-free
  • Includes the steel cooking pot
  • Quick and easy to set up

Key Specifications:

  • 29 oz. (820 g) in weight (without the pot)
  • 30 inches (76 cm) in diameter
  • Adjustable for high and low sun

Where To Buy

The Haines 2.0 Solar Cooker is the second version of the brand Haines solar ovens, a Washington-based company committed to the promotion and education of solar cooking.

The Haines 2.0 has an improved efficiency and high performance, with new added features and improvements. The product combines the best of the panel and parabolic cookers to create a unique design.

The Haines reflector is made out of high-temperature reflective metalized polyester (MPET) foam material, making it hydrophobic. It will not oxidize and cannot be scratched off. This material is easy to recycle and environmentally safe, making the production pollution-free.

The reflector consists of two pieces that snap together for quick assembly into a parabolic collector of 30 inches (76 cm) in diameter.

In order to cook a meal, you have to place the included Haines steel cooking pot above the UV-resistant polycarbonate cooking sleeve to elevate it, so sunlight can be reflected into the bottom of the pot, and add an insulating layer of air to retain heat above the pot.

Finally, as with the cooking sleeve, a second insulating layer is added through the UV-resistant cover to maximize the heat absorption.

6. Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven

side facing sunflair mini portable solar oven

Key Features:

  • Foldable kit
  • Collapsible silicone pot
  • Solar oven thermometer included

Key Specifications:

  • Can reach up to 285 degrees F (140 °C)
  • Fold size 2 x 11 x 13 inches (5 x 28 x 33 cm)
  • Pot capacity of 3 ½ liquid cups

Where To Buy

Sunflair’s Mini portable solar cooker is a revolutionary foldable and lightweight portable oven, perfect for hiking, fishing, RVs, or any other outdoor activity.

The oven can reach up to 285 degrees F (140 °C) depending on the season solar irradiation, location, and sunlight. This makes it a great option for boiling water, cook white rice, cooking hot dogs or baking apples.

The entire kit weighs around 1.75 lbs. (790 g) and folds into a 3-ring binder size. This is one of the handiest portable solar ovens options for packing and storing. The kit includes one solar thermometer, one trivet, a collapsible silicone pot painted in black for maximum heat absorption, and a handy bag.

Its easy-to-pack-and-unfold design makes it one of the best solar kits for RVs. The permeable pack of the unit means it can even float in extreme conditions, so it’s a great option for an emergency or survival kit.

This solar powered oven is a great choice for the environment as it is recyclable and pollution-free.

7. KECOP Solar Oven

side facing ete etmate solar oven

Key Features:

  • Ready to use, no set up needed
  • Carriable unit
  • Rigid carrying bag

Key Specifications:

  • Weighs 11.24 pounds (5.1 kg.)
  • Oven volume capacity of 4.5 lt.
  • Working temperature range 200°F (93 °C) – 450°F (232 °C)

Where To Buy

Another great option for camping and outdoor activities is the KECOP Solar Oven, a practical and portable solar oven which can cook meals very quickly (under 15 minutes of full sun exposure). It doesn’t cause any smoke or chemical emissions. If it is a sunny day, you will have a hot meal wherever you need it.

This oven can reach high temperatures of 550 degrees F (288 °C) in full sunlight, and its reflectors and the high capacity cooking chamber effectively capture ultraviolet light and hold the created heat where the food is cooking.

The cooking tray and the metal holders of the chamber are made out of 304 food-grade stainless-steel for easy-to-clean utensils. Additionally, the self-healing polymers maximize the effects of the sun and ensure the durability of the mirrors.

The All unit is self-contained in a portable and rigid carrying bag for easy transportation, weighing just 11.24 pounds (5.1 kg.), and ready to use by simply unzipping the luggage. This makes it one of the best solar cooker options for family activities.

Solar Ovens – Buying Guide and FAQ

5 Features to Look for in Solar Ovens

Food Capacity

One of the first things you want to know is how much food your oven can heat. The capacity is usually determined by the cooking pot, the volume of the cooking chamber for a vacuum tube oven, or the internal dimensions of a box cooker. Often, the capacity can be specified in cups for when you’re boiling water.

Portability/Weight

a man has on his back a bag with a solar oven

As with all outdoor and camping equipment, the main factor to look out for in solar oven units is weight and portability. For an outdoor adventure, you will need to consider the best equipment for easy carrying and storage in a bag, while on a camping holiday or a picnic, you will might want an easy-to-carry large solar oven for cooking big meals. How the unit folds, stores itself, and lends itself to being carried is just as important as its food capacity.

Working temperature

When cooking at home, one of the most important things to look out for is the temperature of the oven. For solar ovens, it’s just the same. The maximum reachable temperature is handy for working this out, but a nice feature to look out for is an integrated solar oven thermometer. This will let you know the exact working temperature. Some models have cooking temperature ranges which can also be useful to determine minimum values under direct sunlight scenarios.

Unit’s efficiency/insulation

Most of a solar cooker’s efficiency depends on the insulation of the cooking section of the oven. The insulation is usually a pocket of air, or in the case of the vacuum tube solar ovens, an empty space (more energy efficient) which traps the heat generated by the reflected sunlight and prevents it from escaping the zone where it’s needed the most. When there is good insulation in the oven, the conserved heat translates into faster and more efficient cooking.

Leveling and adjusting accessories

Solar ovens need to harvest solar energy just as all solar panels do. Thus, they need to point at the right angle to work as efficiently as possible. This is why leveling and adjusting accessories, which allow you to maximize the solar angle incident on the oven, are a really important feature.

Solar Ovens FAQ

Q: What types of Solar Ovens exist?

A: There are 4 main categories for solar ovens.

Solar panel cooker

This type of oven utilizes reflective panels to focus the sunlight onto one spot to increase the heat of a pot or a pan. This type of design is the simplest and least expensive as it is simple to build and can be made out of any reflective material. Many home projects are designed this way.

Box Solar Ovens

Box solar ovens have an insulated box at their core. This is where the cooking accessories lie, and where the reflectors point to. Most of the time, the box is covered with transparent glass for better insulation of the cooking area.

Parabolic Solar Ovens

Parabolic ovens use a concentric curved reflector to concentrate the sunlight onto the back and sides of a cooking pot or any cookware. The cookware is elevated by a holder right at the center of the oven to fully harvest the energy of the sun.

Vacuum tube solar oven

a solar oven on a table at a picnic

This type of design is the most innovative one as it uses a vacuum tube as a cooking chamber to fully utilize solar energy. The vacuum tube insulates the cooking chamber on the inside, retaining more heat while cooking. It can be combined with the best reflector design to complete a technological unit that can reach up to 550 degrees F (287 °C)

Each design has its pros and cons, but the most efficient one is the vacuum tube oven, because it captures a wider spectrum of light. Unsurprisingly, it is the most expensive one.

Q: Can I cook everything in a Solar Oven?

A: Cooking in a solar oven is a bit different to cooking in a conventional oven. It isn’t as easy as turning the gas on and preheating the oven. With a sun oven, you will probably need a specialized cook book so you can explore different solar oven recipes and experiment with them. Once you get used to solar cooking, you will be able to plan your meals and become an elite chef.

Q: How long does it take for my meal to cook?

A: It all depends on the sunlight and the oven’s operating temperature. That’s why the best way to start experimenting with a solar oven is to follow a recipe book intended for solar ovens. Most recipes can be ready in 1-2 hours of cooking, and with practice, you will be able to invent your own!

Q: How long does it take to boil water?

A: Most solar cookers can reach the boiling temperature of water of 212°F (100 °C), but how long the water will take to boil depends on the amount of water and the strength of the sunlight. With good sunlight and at the rated water capacity of the oven, the water should boil in 30-45 minutes.

Q: How often do I have to adjust the angle of the oven to the sun?

A: It depends on the design of your solar oven; a parabolic design may require less adjustment than a panel cooker. Nonetheless, it’s good practice to adjust the oven to the optimum sun’s azimuth and tilt its angle, just as you would do with Renogy solar modules, which are among the best solar panels to use when camping.

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a solar powered water pump working in a small pond

10 Best Solar Powered Water Pump Kits in 2021

a solar powered water pump near some flower pots

10 Best Solar Powered Water Pump Kits in 2022 (Review)

Everybody enjoys having a source of water in their garden or backyard. It provides a natural touch that no other element can provide. To add water to your landscape, you should think about installing a fountain or a small pond.

That being said, stagnant water can become a problem because mosquitoes and other insects are attracted to it. That’s why installing a pump system is essential. Wiring a pump system to your backyard can be complicated and not very appealing.

Just as a small solar panel can be used to power a DC motor and generate movement in a solar powered automatic gate opener, a photovoltaic cell can also be used to power a small DC motor and generate movement in a solar powered water pump. By installing some of the best solar water pumps in 2022 at home, you can rest assured knowing that your garden will look beautiful. The best thing is that since they are powered by solar panels, no wiring will be needed. Let’s look at some of the models that you can choose from.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Powered Water Pump Kits

best-overall-badge-long

1. Solatec Solar Powered Water Pump

Key Features:

  • 1-year warranty
  • Four nozzle heads
  • Freezing and weather-resistant

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.3 x 1.6 inches (16 x 16 x 4 cm)
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces (158.75 g)
  • Water elevation: 11.8 – 19.69 inches (30 -50 cm)

Where To Buy

The Solatec Solar Powered Water Pump is an excellent choice for those customers who are looking for a floatable model that would be easy to install and easy to clean as well.

The product features a polycrystalline silicon solar panel that converts sunlight into electricity to power a brushless motor that keeps an internal submersible pump working. The product also includes four different nozzle heads that can easily change the height of the water between 30-50 cm (11.8 – 19.69 inches).

Moreover, this model works perfectly for different applications such as a small pond, a pool, or a fish tank while favoring water circulation for any of these cases. It is important to notice that this small solar powered water pump should be submerged underwater to ensure proper functioning.

This solar garden water pump should be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid dirt from blocking it and the photovoltaic cells located on top should also be cleaned by using solar panel cleaning equipment to ensure power conversion is efficient. Keep in mind that this model does not store energy inside a battery, therefore it is highly dependent on good solar radiation to work properly.

2. Lewisia Solar Pump 1.5 watt

Key Features:

  • Maximum flow rate: 175 liters/hr
  • Filter bag for a clean pump included
  • Panel and pump separated by 10 feet (3m.) cabl

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.2 x 5.4 x 2.3 inches (15.7 x 13.71 x 5.84 cm)
  • Weight: 12 ounces (340 g)
  • Water height: 21.65 inches (55cm)

Where To Buy

The Lewisia Solar Pump 1.5 watt solar water pump can also be used for small applications such as fish tanks or ponds.

In this case, the product features four different heads that can change the spray pattern of water as well as the height that can be reached. According to the manufacturer, the maximum water height that can be achieved is nearly 21.65 inches (55 cm) which is higher than other models available. On the other hand, the maximum flow rate that can be expected is 175 liters/hr.

Additionally, the Lewisia solar water pump systems feature another unusual complement which is the filter bag that is installed between the power cable cord and the nozzle head. This avoids the solar pond pump from getting blocked with dirt or any other particles in water.

More on this matter, the power cable is a 10 feet cord that goes from the inlet of the pump back to the polycrystalline module. In other words, the panel and pump are separated by almost 3m.

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3. Roadtec Solar Fountain Pump Kit

Key Features:

  • Maximum water flow: 200 liters/hr
  • Lifetime: 20,000 hours
  • Starting delay: 3 seconds

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.6 x 2 inches (20.32 x 14.22 x 5.08 cm)
  • Weight: 8.5 ounces (241 g)
  • Water height: 27.6 inches (70cm)

Where To Buy

The Roadtec Solar Fountain Pump Kits are equipped with a complete set that consists of a solar panel, water pump, four nozzle heads, and power cable.

The solar panel is a polycrystalline model that has a 9V output and a 1.8W wattage rating, enough to power the 10V water fountain pump that is included in the kit. This pump can be installed at the bottom of a fountain with enough water to cover the pump entirely. As with other models, it is not advisable to keep the pump running without water and it is required to empty the inner air before putting it inside the water (briefly activating it outside the fountain).

Furthermore, the Roadtec pump can generate enough pumping strength to boost the water up to 27.6 inches (70cm.) in the air with a flow rate capability of 200 liters/hr. As powerful as this may sound, it is important to keep in mind maintenance routines to the pump and the panel for the kit to reach the expected 20,000 hours of operation.

4. Viajero 2.5W Solar Fountain Pump

Key Features:

  • Water flow: 180 liters/hr
  • Battery Backup: 800 mAh
  • Delay:15 seconds

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 7.3 x 2.2 inches (18.54 x 18.54 x 5.58 cm)
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces (317.5g)
  • Water height: 50 cm

Where To Buy

The Viajero 2.5W Solar Fountain Pump models are definitely among the elite within the best solar water pumps. Not only due to the fact that the integrated 2.5W solar panel provides more power than other similar floating models available on the market, but especially because the product integrates an 800mAh battery that gets charged with solar power. The reason why this makes it different from previous models is that the Viajero pond pump can maintain its performance throughout cloudy days (or even through the night) as the brushless motor draws power from the battery instead of the panel.

Besides, the brushless pump is capable of boosting water up to 19.68 inches (50 cm) in the air while handling up to 180 liters/hr. The only downside of this model is that unlike previous products where the pump started working as soon as sunlight hits the panels, the Viajero model takes up to 15 seconds to start working.

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5. OKMEE Solar

Key Features:

  • Lifetime: 10,000 hours
  • Water flow: 160 liters/hr
  • Rose shape

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.7 x 1.5 inches (17.27 x 17 x 3.81 cm)
  • Weight: 5 ounces (141.75 g)
  • Water height: 19.68 inches (50cm)

Where To Buy

The OKMEE Solar powered water pump are maybe the best choice for you if you value aesthetics.

Designed with a beautiful flower shape structure, the JuTai AS60 is the perfect floating pump for gardens with roses. On the other hand, from a technical perspective, the 9V/1.1W water pump is capable of running up to 160 liters/hr. while boosting water up to 19.68 inches (50 cm) in the air. This is not outside of the average performance that can be expected. In other words, performance is not sacrificed due to aesthetics. Another interesting fact is that the pump includes 8 fountain heads that allow you to adjust the water height that can be obtained.

The solar cells can generate up to 1.4W under ideal sunlight conditions with a lifetime of 10,000 hours. Additionally, it is quite easy to clean, which allows you to keep periodic maintenance.

6. Ankway Solar Water Pump for Fountains 

Key Features:

  • Solar panels use IP65 waterproof level
  • Functions extended for 30,000 hours
  • 5 sprinkle heads

Key Specifications:

  • Polycrystalline glass lamination
  • Maximum flow: 160L/H
  • Working current: 200mA

Where To Buy

Another valuable model among solar fountain pumps is the Ankway product. This model is capable of converting sunlight into electricity to power a small integrated pond pump that can move up to 40 gallons per hour under direct sunlight.

The Ankway Solar Powered Water Pump kit does not include a battery backup either, therefore, the fountain water pump will be highly dependent on the instantaneous electric current that the integrated solar panel can generate. This pump kit also features 8 different kinds of spray heads that can provide water jets of up to 18 inches in the air.

Keep in mind that for the pond pump to work properly, the water depth of the fountain or container should be at least 1 ¾”.

7. AISITIN 6.5W Solar Fountain Pump

Key Features:

  • 6.5W solar panel 
  • Built-in 1500mAh Battery
  • 6 Different Water Style Sprayer

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum quantity of flow : 190L/H
  • Maximum water height : 23.62″
  • Working hours on sunny days: 2-2.5 hrs

Where To Buy

Unlike the previous models, the AISITIN Solar Powered Water Pump product does not offer a floating capability but an independent connection where the solar panel must be located outside the water on a dry place while the submersible pump must be installed firmly on the bottom of the container or pond. The nozzle head can be exchanged between four different options.

Furthermore, the height that can be achieved by the solar powered submersible water pump can be up to 30-60 cm depending on the availability of sunlight on the surface of the solar panel. The submersible pump runs automatically with the output of the solar cell, with no battery backup.

Regarding some valuable specs of the 12-volt water pump solar kit, you should know that the maximum flow rate that can be achieved by the pump is up to 160 liters per hour, the lifetime is expected to have up to 20,000 hours of work, and that the power output of the cell is rated at 1.2W.

8. Soonhua Solar Pump

Key Features:

  • Solar panel power rate 1.4W
  • Pump input voltage: 4.5 – 10V
  • Four nozzle heads

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.6 x 2.1 inches (17 x 16.7 x 5.33 cm)
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces (250 g)
  • Water height: 17.71 inches (45cm)

Where To Buy

The Soonhua Solar Pump water pumps are also a valuable option to consider.

The product features four different nozzle heads to adjust the flow and pattern of water spray that allows the water to reach up to 17.71 inches (45 cm) in height. The brushless pump is easy to install as all that needs to be done is to assemble the nozzle head and the solar panel (rated 1.4W) structure to then submerge it underwater to get it working.

The pump kit is located on the backside of the panels and will float on the water, working continuously by converting solar energy into electricity while keeping away mosquitoes from the pond as the water moves. The pump input voltage is located between 4.5 – 10V.

9. Mademax 1.4W

Key Features:

  • Easy to use
  • Protection mode during water shortage
  •  4 nozzles 

Key Specifications:

  • Solar Panel Diameter: 16cm (6.3 inches)
  • Maximum pump flow: 150 L / H
  • Maximum water spray height: 70cm(27.55in)

Where To Buy

The Mademax 1.4W solar water pumps are an eco-friendly way to add a beautiful touch to your garden patio, pond, or fountain and also to keep it clean and safe from mosquito invasions as these do not lay eggs on moving water.

Working as solar powered birdbath fountains, the Mademax models are perfect for attracting birds with their four different sprinkle heads that vary in intensity and pattern. To provide a reference of the most powerful nozzle head, the water height that could be achieved would be as high as 27.6 inches (70cm), assuming ideal sunlight conditions. This makes it one of the most powerful solar pumps on this list.

Among other things, the pump must be installed on a fixed location underwater with the nozzle head outside. The panel which has a 7V output must be installed outside the water in a nearby location within a 9.5ft range through the included waterproof cable that will be connected to the pump.

These solar-powered water pumps have a 3 seconds delay after the panel receives direct sunlight, they can handle up to 150 liters/hr. and they are expected to have over 20,000 hours of operation.

10. Ankway 1.4W Solar Fountain

Key Features:

  • Minimum water depth for the container: 1 ¾ inch
  • Maximum flow rate: 40 gallons/hr
  • 8 different spray water patterns

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.8 x 2.2 x 6.5 inches (17.27 x 5.58 x 16.51 cm)
  • Weight: 7.8 ounces (221.13 g)
  • Maximum water elevation: 18 inches

Where To Buy

Another valuable model among solar fountain pumps is the Ankway product. This model is capable of converting sunlight into electricity to power a small integrated pond pump that can move up to 40 gallons per hour under direct sunlight.

The Generic 1.2 Watt Solar Powered Water Pump kit does not include a battery backup either, therefore, the fountain water pump will be highly dependent on the instantaneous electric current that the integrated solar panel can generate. This pump kit also features 8 different kinds of spray heads that can provide water jets of up to 18 inches in the air.

Keep in mind that for the pond pump to work properly, the water depth of the fountain or container should be at least 1 ¾”.

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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10 Best Solar Birdbath Fountains in 2021

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10 Best Solar Birdbath Fountains in 2022 (Review)

If you have a large area in the backyard, you might want to use it to make a beautiful garden. No garden is complete without flowers and animal life. Birds are essential in providing that colorful and relaxing atmosphere in any backyard.

There are two ways to attract birds to your garden: using bird feeders or birdbath fountains. If you choose to install birdbath fountains, you need to circulate the water by installing a pump. Without this, the water becomes stagnant, attracting mosquitos instead of birds. To do so requires you to wire the water pump to an electrical outlet, which makes the process tedious and dangerous.

The solution is to install one of the best solar birdbath fountains in 2022. Powered by solar energy, these products will keep the water running and will require no complicated wiring to complete the installation. Let’s take a look at some of the valuable options that you have available.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Birdbath Fountains

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1. Smart Solar 20633R01 Solar Birdbath Fountain

front facing smart solar 20633r01 solar birdbath fountain

Key Features:

  • Olive green finish
  • Glass-fiber reinforced concrete material
  • Low-temperature limit: 4°C

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 17.8 x 24.5 inches
  • Weight: 16.5 pounds
  • Water capacity: 1 gallon (3.79 liters)

Where To Buy

The Smart Solar 20633R01 birdbath fountain is the perfect addition to your garden or patio that has been designed with an olive green color to mix easily with the environment.

The smart solar birdbaths are constructed with a glass-fiber reinforced concrete material that has a durable and sustainable performance. Such construction makes it very easy to clean and install.

This small solar fountain for a birdbath has been designed with a pump system that can operate under direct sunlight or even with partial shades caused by cloudy days. Moreover, among other specs, the fountain has a water capacity of 1 gallon along with a bowl depth of 1.3 inches.

It is important to notice that smart solar birdbath fountains need to be empty and stored in a cool location whenever ambient temperatures fall below 39°F/4°C due to frozen damage risks.

2. Smart Solar 34222RM1 Solar Birdbath Fountain

front facing smart solar 34222rm1 solar birdbath fountain

Key Features:

  • Battery running time: 6 hours
  • Glass fiber reinforced concrete material
  • Weathered stone finish

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 32 inches (53.34 x 53.34 x 81.28 cm)
  • Weight: 24 pounds (10.88 kg)
  • Capacity: 2.5 gallons of water (9.45 liters)

Where To Buy

The Smart Solar 34222RM1 birdbath fountains have a weathered stone finish that makes them perfect for outdoor use in country gardens. Furthermore, they are also built with glass fiber reinforced concrete that has been constructed to last many years.

They also integrate solar panels that charge a DC rechargeable battery that can keep the fountain running continuously for 6 hours after 1 or 2 sunny days. Moreover, this birdbath with a solar fountain will keep the water pump running during the day using direct sunlight while charging the battery. It also features an integrated switch that will allow you to turn on/off the pump during the day or night.

This model features bubbler and spray heads to vary water patterns. Finally, the fountain has 21 inches in diameter, has a water capacity of 2.5 gallons and a bowl depth of 4.3 inches as well.

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3. Wishing Well Solar Fountain

front facing wishing well solar fountain

Key Features:

  • Materials: polyresin, stone powder, and sand
  • Wiring needed
  • UL listed

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 25 inches (38.1 x 38.1 x 63.5 cm)
  • Weight: 17 pounds (7.7 kg)
  • Two bowl set

Where To Buy

Solar birdbaths should be intended to reflect a forest-stone classic style that reminds of enchanted places. This free-standing model has been designed with such an idea by manufacturing it with polyresin, sand and stone powder to make it durable, reliable and cozy.

Since it is equipped with two sets of bowls, the integrated pump is capable of keeping the water flow constantly moving from the lower bowl to the upper one in a smooth and controlled manner.

Moreover, unlike previous models in this list, the Wishing Well Solar Fountain has been designed with a separate solar panel that is wired with the water pump to keep it running. This feature allows you to place the solar panel in another position or area where the amount of sunlight throughout the day is bigger than the place where the fountain is be located. This translates into better efficiency and pumping more liters per hour.

The downside of the wishing well is that there is wiring needed. Nevertheless, it has received so many positive solar birdbath fountain reviews that it is definitely worth it to consider.

4. Smart Solar Ceramic Solar Bird Bath

front facing smart solar ceramic solar bird bath

Key Features:

  • Material: Ceramic
  • Blue finish
  • No wiring needed

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 25.2 x 20.5 x 21.3 inches (64 x 52.07 x 54.1 cm)
  • Weight: 32 pounds (14.5 kg)
  • Single bowl

Where To Buy

The Smart Solar Ceramic Solar Bird Bath make the perfect addition for an elegant backyard, garden or patio. Designed with a beautiful blue finish color and decorated with ornamental flower designs that add a remarkable touch of sophisticated classic style.

Like other models of solar birdbath fountains that use pumps, the Smart Solar product also integrates a solar panel kit that using sunlight converts solar energy into electricity to keep the water pump running. It is important to notice that unlike the previous wishing well, the solar panel in this model is already integrated with the fountain, therefore, it needs to be installed in a location with wide access to solar radiation.

Moreover, despite it is easy to install as it simply needs to be placed over a flat and even surface, it also needs a couple of hands to carry it to the installation location as it is heavier than other models. Besides, since it is made out of ceramic material, it is important to know that it is more delicate than other models made out of stone or concrete.

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5. Smart Solar Somerset Verdigris

front facing smart solar somerset verdigris

Key Features:

  • Bathing depth is 2 inches
  • Iron stand
  • Water spray head integrated

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 30 inches (45.72 x 45.72 x 76.2 cm)
  • Weight: 11 pounds (5 kg)
  • Water capacity: 1-1.5 gallons (3.78- 5.67 liters)

Where To Buy

Smart Solar Somerset Verdigris as a valuable designer of outdoor solar garden fountains, has developed this traditional and strong birdbath fountain manufactured with an iron stand to make it last and make it suitable for any landscaping scenario.

Like other models in this list, the fountain uses a solar panel that is integrated into the base of the bowl and that powers a brushless motor that is connected to a solar powered water pump that makes water flow. Moving water constantly is essential to avoid the presence or growth of mosquitoes or bacteria in stagnant water. Moreover, this model uses a water spray head that makes birds get attracted to the sound of flowing water and that makes these solar fountains more beautiful at sight.

The iron fountain base has a free-standing construction that makes it safe and easy to install. Among other factors, the bathing depth is approximately 2 inches which allows it to hold between 1 and 1.5 gallons of water.

6. Smart Solar 20622R01

front facing smart solar 20622r01

Key Features:

  • Concrete construction
  • Stone finish
  • Two nozzle heads: umbrella or bubbling

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 29 inches (53.34 x 53.34 x 73.66 cm)
  • Weight: 20 pounds (9.07 kg)
  • Water capacity: 1 gallon (3.78 liters)

Where To Buy

The Smart Solar 20622R01 model has been designed with a glass-fiber reinforced concrete construction that provides a solid structure — resistant to damages, erosion, and multiple weather conditions. Moreover, this concrete construction has a stone finish that mixes perfectly with any garden, deck, patio or balcony, and that includes two turtles located on the edge of the bowl that add a beautiful touch to this fountain.

The water fountain can operate using a solar panel that converts sunlight into electricity for the pump system which makes water flow through the fountain. Moreover, the water fountain contains two nozzle heads that allow you to switch the operation and the view of the fountain between an umbrella spray and a bubbling head feature.

Among other interesting facts of this solar water fountain, the bowl has a 1.3-inch depth along with a water capacity of 1 gallon. Finally, regarding maintenance routines, the stone fountain requires just to simply drain the water to wipe and rinse it down, to refill it with water.

7. Smart Solar Blue Ceramic Fountain

front facing smart solar blue ceramic fountain

Key Features:

  • Cascade design
  • Blue ceramic construction
  • Separated solar panel

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 17.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 25 pounds (11.3 kg)
  • 10 ft. cable for solar power

Where To Buy

The Smart Solar Blue Ceramic Fountain is another good product from the brand that can be placed on any garden or patio to add a remarkable nature touch.

Unlike previous birdbaths on this list, this model has a cascade feature that consists of a 5-piece set of different design bowls through which water flows until the last and largest recipient. This last recipient is connected to a small low-voltage pump that pushes water back to the top (urn) through a hose. The water then starts to gently fall through 3 jugs in order to begin the cycle again.

The water pump is powered by a solar panel that is separated from the rest of the kit and that can be installed on any position or tilt angle. This allows the installer to optimize solar power harvesting as the solar cells can be placed in an area where the amount of sunlight is higher throughout the day, even though the fountain is placed in another position or location. Keep in mind that the solar panel will have a 3m (10ft.) cable which is enough range to make a proper setup.

8. TBI Pro Terra Cotta Mosaic Design Solar Birdbath

front facing tbi pro terra cotta mosaic design solar birdbath

Key Features:

  • Terra cotta fountain bowls
  • 5-piece set
  • Cascade design

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 20.5 inches
  • Weight: 24 lbs. (10.8 kg)
  • 15-foot cord for solar panel

Where To Buy

Following a similar concept to the blue ceramic fountain, the TBI Pro Terra Cotta Mosaic Design Solar Birdbath is another excellent choice to be added to any yard or garden.

The TBI product consists of a 5-piece set cascade design under which water continuously flows from a top urn which gently trickles water into three small jugs to eventually end up in a large bowl that discreetly contains a pump that sends water back to the initial and highest point of the fountain through a hose. As the water flows from the urn into the jugs it increases speed, and by the time it gets to the last bowl it is much faster than what it was when it left the urn due to potential energy. The largest bowl can be decorated with stones, flowers or other ornaments.

Moreover, the water pump is powered by a separated solar panel which can be wall or stand mounted by using the included hardware. The panel and the pump are connected through a 15-foot cord that allows you to place the fountain in one spot and the module in another one. This provides a mobility range as not always the most aesthetical position for the fountain is the best for solar power harvesting.

9. Smart Solar 20221R01

front facing smart solar 20221r01

Key Features:

  • Freezing damage below 39°F / 4°C
  • Glass handy painted bowl
  • Two fountain heads: spray and bubbler

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 24 inches
  • Weight: 12 pounds (5.4 kg)
  • Water capacity: 1.5 gallons

Where To Buy

Last but not least, Smart Solar 20221R01 brings this colorful fountain design made out of a two-piece set: base and bowl. The bowl is made out of a delicate glass material that has been painted at hand and that has the drawing of a peacock. On the other hand, the base is made out of pure steel and covered with a black powder-coated finish that provides safety and durability.

Installation of these birdbaths is quite simple as all that needs to be done is to place the base on flat terrain and then put the glass bowl on top of it. Among other things, the product has two fountain heads: a 360-degree spray and a bubbler. Besides, the water fountain is able to hold a capacity of 1.5 gallons.

Regarding its functionality, the fountain is solar power based through an integrated photovoltaic cell that is located on the bottom of the bowl and that can work underwater. As light passes through water and reaches the cell, it is able to power a low voltage water pump with filter integration that allows keeping the water circulation for oxygen.

10. Vivohome Polyresin Antique Solar Birdbath Fountain

front facing vivohome polyresin antique solar birdbath fountain

Key Features:

  • Polyresin material
  • Floating solar powered pump
  • 5 exchangeable fountain heads

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 20.3 x 4.6 inches (52.32 x 51.56 x 11.68cm)
  • Weight: 6 lbs. (2.72 kg)
  • Lifetime operation: 8000 hours

Where To Buy

Vivohome Polyresin Antique has developed a weather-resistant polyresin to be the core of its beautiful birdbath fountains made with heavy-duty construction. Designed with an antique green pattern that makes a gorgeous addition to any backyard or patio and that is easy to clean and also easy to install.

The solar powered birdbath kit consists of two main combo sets: 1 garden birdbath and 1 pump. The first combo consists of 4 different pieces that can be easily joined together. Meanwhile, the pump kit has a star shape and consists of 5 pieces that after assembled they can float on the water. The kit also features multiple fountain heads that can be easily exchanged and that provide different water patterns to make it more attractive at sight.

One of the interesting facts of this floating solar fountain for a birdbath is that water circulation for oxygen is favored with this model as the water that is pumped is located on the surface. Moreover, the water pump is expected to have over 8000 hours of lifetime operation.

5 Things to Think of Before Choosing A Solar Birdbath Fountain

solar birdbath fountain is close the chair

Location and Dimensions

Before you install a solar water fountain, the first thing that you need to know is that you need to check the available space that you have for it. It is useful to have two or three possible arrangements (depending on the size of your garden) that allow you to evaluate what is the best option for you.

In any case, you must be fully aware of the dimensions available in your garden for the fountain under each scenario and compare them with the size of the models available to verify that it fits properly in width, length, and height.

Solar Panel Connection

The next factor to consider is the schematic that the solar panel connection must follow. In other words, whether the solar cell is already integrated into the base of the bowl or if the solar panel is separated from the fountain itself with a cable.

Those solar fountains that have the photovoltaic cell located on the bottom of the bowl must be patented to work underwater conditions as they will permanently generate electricity underwater. These have an aesthetic advantage, however, they are highly dependent on the location where the fountain will be installed for aesthetically purposes which could be located under a tree, or close to another object that causes shades on the solar cell.

This eventually reduces the performance of the water pumps and could lead to a lower speed or even stagnant water. Moreover, as the light needs to pass through the water to reach the solar cell, part of the light beam is reflected by the water which means lower conversion efficiency. In other words, to ensure the proper function of the fountain, you must place it in a location that is constantly receiving sunlight, no matter if it looks better aesthetically in another place.

Meanwhile, the solar panel that is separated by a cable does not have such a problem. You can place the fountain wherever you like and find the best spot to install the solar panel.

Head Types and Bowl Configuration

Solar fountains will have different head types available, mainly between bubbles, spray and others that will provide different water features. Moreover, you may also find single or two-tiered fountain bowls and even some like the TBI Terra Cotta or the Smart Solar Blue Ceramic models that can offer up to a 5 piece set. Choosing different combinations among them is part of the decision.

Weight and Materials

The weight and the material of construction is another element to consider. A lightweight fountain is preferable for installation purposes, but it is also likely to be more fragile. Regarding the material, it is preferable if the base of the fountain is solid and strong like steel, iron or concrete. Other materials such as ceramic, terra cotta or glass can also be considered but they must be installed carefully and in an area free of children.

Aesthetics

Finally, the last factor to consider is the beauty of the fountain, the style and how well it mixes up with your garden. Choosing a fountain in which color is low or too dark into a garden that misses life is not a good investment. Fountains must be installed to add life and beauty into your garden or to contrast as well. If your garden is already full of flowers and led lights, then it misses no color and a serious or elegant tone could be a good addition for it. Getting assessed by a designer in that aspect might be a good idea.

What are the Different Types of Solar Birdbath Fountains?

the green fountain is on the ground

Solar birdbaths can be classified according to the fountain solar – pump system as follows:

Floating fountain pumps

The solar panel and the pump come as a single device that can be placed on top of the water to operate. Water circulation for oxygen and efficiency is improved when compared to the fixed solar panel pump kit. Example: Vivohome.

Fixed solar panel pump kit fountain

The solar panel is located at the bottom of the bowl and works permanently underwater. It’s simple to install, but it’s also highly dependent on the fountain location. Example: Smart Solar 20633R01.

Separated solar panel pump fountain

This solar panel can be installed in position different from the fountain location. The pump is integrated and fixed inside the fountain. Efficiency is increased, the power source and the fountain are independent of each other, no wiring is required. Example: Wishing well fountain.

Do Solar Fountains Require Much Maintenance?

From a maintenance perspective, birdbaths are very simple to handle. They only require you to drain the water and wipe it down. It is useful to have the equipment for cleaning the solar panel on hand because the photovoltaic cell also needs to be clean to work properly. You must continue with the cleaning process of the fountain by rinsing it and filling it with new water. Performing this process once a week during spring or summer and once every two weeks during autumn is more than enough. During winter it is safer to store it.

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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7 Best Solar Powered Security Cameras in 2021

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7 Best Solar Powered Security Cameras (Review)

Home security is great priority to have, especially if you have a family. If you own a large home or estate, it may be difficult to keep watch over your entire property. Moreover, staying alert all the time wouldn’t allow you to have a normal and relaxed lifestyle. You may need something reliable that can help you keep watch over your property.

This review of the best solar powered security cameras in 2022 can help you do just that. By integrating motion detection and alarm notifications, your house, farm, or property will be continuously guarded. The best advantage of installing a solar-powered wireless camera is that your security is never compromised by a power outage or by a wire failure. This enhances safety and ensures that no intruder surrounding your house will go unnoticed.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Powered Security Cameras

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1. Reolink Argus 2 Solar Powered Security Camera

Key Features:

  • IP65 waterproof protection for camera and solar panel
  • High definition quality video 1080p
  • Local and cloud storage

Key Specifications:

  • WiFi connection at 2.4 GHz
  • 33 feet night vision cover
  • 64GB for built-in SD card slot

The Reolink Argus 2 solar powered wireless security camera is a state-of-the-art home surveillance system that offers multiple advantages for the homeowner.

First, as a wireless security camera, you will not need to make any connections between your computer and the cameras to get a view of your outdoor area. By simply using a 2.4GHz WiFi connection and using the Reolink’s App on your mobile phone, you can gain instant access to your camera’s video everywhere and anytime. Up to 10 users from family or friends can have access to the same Reolink’s App to watch the live streaming signal.

As part of Reolink’s features, you will get live audio which will allow you to hear any visitant and to communicate through its 2-way audio system. Video recordings are stored inside a Micro SD card slot with a capacity up to 64GB. Videos can also be saved in the Reolink’s cloud storage platform to avoid any loose footage.

This WiFi surveillance camera can be supported by a rechargeable battery or through its weather-resistant solar panel. It can also be mounted on any wall using its magnetic mounting system to be placed in your front door, back door, porch or simply placed flatly on any table. An important feature to notice is its 1080p full HD quality video with night vision as well (both HD and black & white). Finally, it also integrates a PIR motion sensor with a customizable voice alert to detect any intruder.

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2. REOLINK Argus Eco Solar Powered Security Camera

Key Features:

  • Works with Google Assistant
  • Two-way audio
  • Smart Color Night Vision

Key Specifications:

  • WiFI connection at 2.4GHz
  • 30 feet night vision
  • 64GB for SD and 1GB cloud storage

The REOLINK Argus Eco solar powered surveillance cameras are designed with a 1080p full HD video resolution to show images in their best video quality. The camera system works with Google Assistant, which allows you to communicate with the camera by voice commands such as: “Google, Show Front Door!” This is a more elegant and original solution than other products on the market.

Among other things, the Reolink Argus Eco has been designed with an advanced CMOS image sensor and with a 100° wide field of vision to provide a clear picture of any environment up to 30ft in the distance even at night thanks to its 850nm infrared LED light.

Working through a 2.4G WiFi connection, the camera configuration can be easily done by downloading and registering the Reolink Cloud App. Moreover, the smart PIR motion detection feature allows you to make sure that any movement detected will be sent to your mobile phone through email alerts or sirens. To avoid unnecessary alerts or false alarms, the wireless security camera allows you to set the working time for sending alerts on motion detection.

The camera’s battery is powered by a separated solar panel that has monocrystalline technology and can also get charged by a 5V 2A adapter.

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3. Soliom Solar Powered Security Camera

Key Features:

  • Adjustable PIR motion sensibility
  • Field of vision: 160°
  • Unique aesthetic design

Key Specifications:

  • WiFi connection at 2.4GHz
  • 50 feet range distance for night vision
  • 64GB for micro-SD card slot

Where To Buy

The Soliom wireless Solar powered security camera system is one of the top models available on the market with an original and beautiful design and remarkable functionalities.

The Soliom S60 Bird camera is powered by a built-in 4000mAh battery (smaller size than usual). At the same time, it is charged by a solar panel that is already integrated into the structure of the camera. One hour of full sunlight energy is enough to provide 24 hours of video recordings.

Moreover, the S60 has a wide field of vision that reaches over 160 degrees (the highest in this list) and is also capable of using LED lights to enhance the night vision from 33 feet up to 50 feet in distance. The PIR motion sensor is capable of adjusting PIR sensitivity (disable – low – medium – high). It focuses the motion detection in a specific area within a 15-foot range and a 110-degree angle range. The motion sensor is also capable of sending notifications to the Soliom App for Android/iOS in less than 1 second once the movement is detected in the PIR range.

A full HD 1080p image will be visible in camera recordings thanks to its 5 refined layers of glass lenses. Its recorded videos will be stored onto a micro-SD with a 64GB capacity. There is also the option of cloud storage in the Soliom App. This model is waterproof with an IP66 rating and a temperature range of operation between – 20 ~ 60°C.

4. Hiseeu Solar Powered Security Camera

Key Features:

  • Adjustable PIR motion sensibility
  • Field of vision: 160°
  • Unique aesthetic design

Key Specifications:

  • WiFi connection at 2.4GHz
  • 50 feet range distance for night vision
  • 64GB for micro-SD card slot

Where To Buy

The Hiseeu Solar powered outdoor security camera is another excellent choice when it comes to increasing the safety of your home.

Integrated with a 6000mAh Panasonic built-in rechargeable battery that can last up to 6 years, the Hiseeu surveillance camera system can work for 120 continuous days with the first single charge. Moreover, the battery takes 5 days to get charged up to 99% by using the 3.2W monocrystalline solar panel that is included in the package. The combination of solar power and efficient rechargeable battery ensures that your camera system will never run out of power. For the solar panel connection, you will have a 12.8 ft. cable.

Among other things, the mounting system can be selected either by a magnet or by a screw fixed configuration. This WiFi surveillance camera works at 2.4GHz and does not need any wiring connection between the camera and any computer. All the installation, live streaming, history recordings, and more can be simply visualized through the Hisseu’s CloudEdge App by simply scanning the QR code.

Moreover, the camera has a good outdoor performance perfectly working in temperatures between -7.6 and 140 °F. It also has PIR motion detection and a real-time security camera alarm synchronized with CloudEdge.

5. AKASO Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

Key Features:

  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
  • Super Night Vision and 1080P HD
  • PIR Motion Detection

Key Specifications:

  • 33 feet vision range during the night
  • Weight: 2.18 lbs
  • 2 A batteries included

Where To Buy

The Akaso Wireless security camera is another valuable option on the market. The camera system has been designed to provide a 1080p full HD video to the user with a 33-foot range and 6 infrared LEDs with a wavelength at 850nm to increase night vision.

The camera’s footage can be safely saved in a built-in memory with a capacity of 64GB or remotely stored in a cloud. Moreover, the security camera system continuously takes pictures whenever motion is detected and stores these images for 7 days. The Smart PIR motion detection capability sends alarm notifications to the registered mobile phone whenever motion is detected in a 130° wide angle range that reduces the presence of blinds spots. An interesting feature of this alarm system is that in case of an undesired intruder, you can activate a siren from your phone to scare any suspicious person.

The camera is powered by a 6400mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a separate solar panel based in monocrystalline technology that provides continuous power without needing the grid.

6. Conico Outdoor Security Camera

Key Features:

  • IP65 Weatherproof
  • 4 Infrared LED lights included
  • Works with CloudEdge

Key Specifications:

  • WiFi connection at 2.4GHz
  • 50 feet range for night vision
  • 128 Gb for micro-SD

Where To Buy

The Conico is a solar powered home security camera with multiple features designed to increase the safety of your house perimeter.

This camera installation is very simple since only by using 4 screws you can attach the camera to any wall surface. Meanwhile, the configuration of the camera can be done through the CloudEdge App. Simply scan the QR code that appears on your mobile phone once you register the device.

The surveillance camera is powered by a 6400mAh battery that can be recharged through AC power or through an integrated solar panel that has a 200mA and 1W output. The solar panel’s tilt angle is adjustable to optimize solar energy harvesting according to the location and is already wired up to the camera.

On the other hand, the viewing angle of the camera has a range of 110 degrees and has a 1080p resolution with infrared LEDs for night vision. Moreover, the solar panel security camera works with a wireless network of 2.4Ghz and allows to store the recorded videos in a cloud of the Alexa’s App.

7. ZUMIMALL Solar Powered Camera

 

Key Features:

  • PIR Sensor for human-shapes only
  • Rapid wake-up
  • Customized alarm plan

Key Specifications:

  • WiFi connection at 2.4GHz
  • 33 feet vision range during the night
  • 64 Gb supported for the micro-SD

Where To Buy

ZUMIMALL also provides its own solar powered security camera systems solutions.

With a wide range of visualization up to 104° and a PIR motion sensor, the ZUMIMALL Cameras does not miss a single spot. It quickly detects the presence of movement and sends an alert of an intruder to your mobile phone. The camera is linked to a 2.4GHz WiFi connection to the ToSee App from Alexa. This model also shows a live streaming signal with a 1080p high quality video.

Moreover, the ZUMIMALL camera is powered by a 6400mAh Panasonic rechargeable battery. It works with either AC power or with a solar panel that is separated from the camera kit. The panel is connected through a 9.84ft cable which ensures recording even if the power grid fails.

Among other things, the product has a two-way audio systems thanks to its built-in speaker and microphone. Finally, the camera is supported by an IP65 waterproof rating and has 6 built-in infrared lights with a viewing distance up to 33ft. even at night.

How to Choose a Solar Powered Surveillance Camera – 3 Things to Think About

Camera Recording Features

The most important factors that you must be considering when selecting solar powered security cameras are the details related to the video recording.

In this aspect, many parameters come into the scene. The first is visual quality. Security cameras should have a high resolution to clearly visualize all the images during the daytime video, meaning that video should be 1080p Full HD. The second one is the night vision range. Most cameras will have the ability to clearly catch images up to 33 feet, but this parameter may change from model to model. On many occasions, in case visibility during the night needs to be improved, you can also install solar flood lights or another type of outdoor solar powered lighting. This will add illumination and improve the color night vision of the camera.

Also, you must watch for the availability of storage capacity, both local and remote. Local storage refers to the micro-SD card slot capacity (generally between 32GB and 64GB) and remote storage to cloud-based systems (amount of continuous days where the video recordings will be safely stored).

View and Solar Angles

The view angle of the camera is also very important. The wider the angle, the fewer the blind spots in the area. Most cameras will have a view angle similar to 100°, so to reach full visibility, you may need to add other cameras in other spots.

The other factor is related to the solar panel itself. A separated solar panel will have better adjustability when it comes to solar power harvesting. A solar panel that is attached to the camera will not have this same effect. The camera’s angle is the most important — it will focus the area that wants to be recorded in video. However, the ability to change the solar panel’s orientation through an extension wire is a desirable feature. Therefore, wireless security cameras with separated solar panels will have a better performance in the module. This is because they will have wider tilt and azimuth angle options.

Motion Security Detection

The WiFi surveillance camera also needs to have a motion detection feature. This is probably the most important feature to consider. It is important to check if the security camera will have an infrared vision to detect movement at night. Also, you must verify how the system will alert you that there is movement. Most systems will send email notifications, while others will send a camera alarm to your mobile phone. Actually, some systems will allow you to activate a siren to scare unwanted guests.

You must also keep in mind that the motion sensor of these cameras is better at detecting side-to-side movements rather than motion in the lineal direction of the camera.  Therefore, when installing your security systems, place the camera in a position where the intruder’s motion would be horizontal when viewed from the camera’s screen perspective.

Wired vs Wireless Solar Security Cameras

Reolink Argus Solar Powered Security Camera on the outside of a house

You will find security camera models on the market that need to be wired to a network router and computer system to record videos of surveillance. There are multiple disadvantages to using these models when compared to wireless solar security cameras.

From an installation perspective, wireless models are far easier to install (no wiring, no drilling). They’re also easier to configure since everything is done through the corresponding mobile App.  This is related to the aesthetics of the installation. A wireless camera will look more elegant and will not affect the appearance of your property.

Another bonus is that wireless cameras can be hidden more easily than their wired counterparts. To watch remote properties such as farms, you may not have a power supply nearby to wire the cameras. If this is the case, installing wireless solar powered security cameras will be the best choice. From a security point of view, wireless cameras are also safer since the wiring system cannot be trimmed or hacked easily.

Are All Outdoor Solar Security Cameras Waterproof?

Reolink Argus Solar Powered Security Camera

Solar security cameras are designed to be located in the outdoors, so manufacturers must consider multiple weather conditions for the devices to withstand – without affecting their performance. All cameras should be waterproof to resist rain and dust. The solar panels are waterproof as well, no matter if they are separated or attached to the camera.

However, one thing that you must notice is that not all camera systems will have the same resistance or performance against different weather conditions. In extreme weather conditions (hot summer or cold winter) temperature operation ranges can vary from one model to the other. You must verify this with each manufacturer and model.

Besides, each solar powered security camera will have its IP rating, which will specify how protected will the camera will be against water and dust. The rating for these devices is generally IP65, which provides complete protection against dust and also against water jets.

Is There a Difference in Performance Between Regular and Solar Security Camera Systems?

The performance of the camera’s video quality, PIR motion detection, or night vision properties will not change according to the type of security camera that you use.

The difference is linked to the fact that a solar powered camera will get powered by the sun, while the other one will be directly powered by AC. This means that to work properly, the camera should be installed in a location where a good solar resource is available, minimizing shadows and nearby objects that could cause interference. This also implies that in places located in the far northern region of the US, the battery of the camera could get discharged. For these cases, it is advisable to choose a solar powered camera that sends a notification to your mobile phone (for instance the Soliom model) whenever the battery is low. This way, you will have the possibility to charge it manually through a 5V/2A adapter.

Since solar security cameras are intended to be wireless, there are many advantages when compared to other regular models as we explained before. However, there is also vulnerability towards the WiFi signal. In the case that it is low (due to weather or wall thickness), unstable data and transmission issues could occur. If you encounter these issues, you can check this link to find out how to solve this problem.

What Additional Equipment is Needed for Installation and Can You Install Them Yourself?

Wireless solar powered security cameras are designed to be easy to install and suitable for DIY projects. There is no need to hire electricians or technicians to do the installation since it does not involve complex drilling or complicated configurations to the internet router.

Most of these cameras will have two mounting options: screw type or magnet type. Both of them are quite simple. After the camera is installed, the configuration process simply involves downloading and registering in the corresponding App of the brand, scanning the QR code that will be placed on the backside of the camera with your mobile phone, then scanning the QR code that will appear on your smartphone with the camera. Once that process is finished, you will have your camera installed, configured, and ready to start recording.

No additional equipment is required, but a good addition to a home security camera system would be motion detection security lights. These products increase visualization for the security cameras at night and serve for spotting the intruder with a clear flash image.

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7 Best Solar Pool Covers in 2021

pool at the garden

7 Best Solar Pool Covers in 2022 (Review)

The most demanding electrical consumption in any household is always related to heating. Using heaters for your indoor areas and also for heating water consumes a lot of electricity. Therefore, it has an important impact on your energy bill at the end of the month.

If you own a pool, then you probably like to have tempered water, but by installing a traditional pool heating system, you will spend a lot of money in equipment and installation — not to mention the increased energy costs that you will have to pay for every month. A simple and economical solution to this problem is to install a solar pool cover. Solar pool covers use the sun’s heat to keep water warm and save money on electricity. Furthermore, these pool covers can also be used as a protection to your pool which in combination with solar pool cleaners, will keep the water of your pool free from contamination and bacteria.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Pool Covers

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1. Intex 15ft Solar Pool Cover

front facing intex 15ft solar pool cover

Key Features:

  • Floats in place
  • Reusable carrying bag included
  • Light blue color

Key Specifications:

  • Weight: 7.06 lbs. (3.2kg.)
  • Diameter: 15 feet (4.57m)
  • Evaporation reduction: 95%

Where To Buy

Intex 15ft is a Canadian brand focused on delivering home type products such as airbeds, air furniture, and above-ground pool items.

The Intex solar cover is a blanket that retains solar heat inside the pool for a longer period of time. This product is intended for above-ground pools that have a 15ft. diameter and especially for those customers who do not want to install a complex and expensive pool heating system.

The 15 ft round solar pool cover can reduce evaporation of water by 95% which allows keeping water temperatures inside the pool and allows a maximum and efficient use of the water. The pool cover is designed to fit inside the edges of the pool, this allows it to float in place without the need to make any adjustment. Also, an additional advantage of a solar pool cover like this is that you can keep debris and dirt out of the pool always.

Keep in mind that when not in use, the solar pool cover needs to be immediately stored in a shaded area, away from direct sunlight, otherwise the air bubbles could burst.

2. Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot Round Solar Pool Cover

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front facing sun2solar blue 16-foot round solar pool cover

Key Features:

  • The manufacturer allows to trim or cut to fit the desired shape
  • Includes 2’’-4’’ extra to properly size and trim
  • Suitable for a rounded above ground or inground pool

Key Specifications:

  • Diameter: 16 ft
  • Evaporation reduction: 95%
  • Dark blue color

Where To Buy

The Sun2Solar solar pool blanket 1200 series is another excellent choice for using the sun’s energy to heat your swimming pool.

This solar cover for an above ground pool is made of a film of thousands of tiny bubbles that create a bubble wrap that works to collect and retain the heat inside the pool at night and especially during chilly days. The pool cover is designed to keep water from evaporating up to 95% while maintaining a warm temperature. This avoids the need to refill your pool in those hot summer days, reduces chemical loss, and allows you to keep heat trapped inside.

An interesting feature of this solar blanket pool cover is that it can be trimmed to fit any shape or size. All you need to do to provide the right shape is placing the cover on top of the pool and make sure to mark it accurately to fit inside it. However, keep in mind that this pool solar cover has been specially designed for 16 ft round shape pools.

Keep in mind to keep the tiny air bubbles facing down when installing the cover, otherwise, you will lose heat efficiency.

3. Blue Wave NS110 Solar Pool Cover

front facing blue wave ns110 solar pool cover

Key Features:

  • Intended for round above-ground pools
  • Dark blue color

Key Specifications:

  • Diameter: 18 feet
  • Increases the temperature of your pool to 15°F
  • Thickness: 8 mil

Where To Buy

The Blue Wave NS110 8-mil is an 18 ft round solar pool cover that has been designed with multiple tiny air bubbles that trap the sun’s heat below the blanket to keep water warm up to a pleasant pool temperature of 15°F. This extends your pool swimming season and allows you to save money as well.

The Blue Wave solar pool blanket has been specifically designed for round above-ground pools with an 18 feet diameter and has a dark blue color that ensures heat retention is enhanced. The blanket is rated for UV protection on both sides and can provide many years of coverage. According to the brand, durability and performance of these solar blankets is their main standard.

The round solar pool cover can be easily trimmed to fit the corners and curves of the pool walls properly by using simple household scissors. Moreover, keep in mind that extreme temperatures can also damage or shorten the life of the pool solar blanket, if you detect that the temperature of your pool is raising above 90°F, then you should remove the cover.

4. In The Swim Rectangle Swimming Pool Blanket

front facing in the swim rectangle swimming pool blanket

Key Features:

  • Light blue color
  • Easily trim to fit other shapes and sizes
  • Flat seams

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 18 x 36 feet
  • Temperature rise up to 15°F
  • Thickness: 12 Mil

Where To Buy

In The Swim, a brand especially focused on developing all kinds of tools, items, and equipment for pools brings the 12 Mil thick pool solar cover.

This product has been manufactured using a UV-stabilized resin that guarantees the maximum performance under solar radiation, not only to enhance solar heating efficiency for water temperature increase, but also to ensure the durability of the bubble wrap blanket.

The product is intended mainly to cover rectangle shaped pools that have dimension parameters equal to or lower than 18 x 36 feet. Moreover, the blanket has been designed to raise the pool temperature up to 15°F while at the same time reducing chemical loss by preventing evaporation.

An interesting feature about this 18 ft solar pool cover is that the flat seams of the cover have been reinforced with top quality materials to ensure better wear and tear resistance for everyday performance.

Also, despite that it has been designed specifically for rectangle shape swimming pools, you can also trim or cut the blanket to fit kidney, oval, rounded or any irregular shape pool that fits within the 18 x 36 feet area. Thanks to the properties, quality and performance of this model, it has earned multiple positive solar pool cover reviews.

5. Blue Wave NS520

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front facing blue wave ns520

Key Features:

  • Clear light transparent cover
  • Intended for inground rectangular shaped pools

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 32 feet
  • Temperature rise up to 15°F
  • Thickness: 14 Mil

Where To Buy

Another valuable model available from Blue Wave NS520 clear solar blanket. Designed with small tiny air bubbles, this 14 Mil solar blanket can cover your swimming pool and use solar energy to transfer heat to the water and increase the temperature up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

The thermal bubbles ensure that the temperature of the pool stays within a pleasant warm value throughout the night and the cloudy days as well. Moreover, this solar blanket cover has been specifically designed to fit an inground pool and it is able to resist constant ultraviolet radiation as well as pool chemicals — without getting damaged or deteriorated over time.

The pool cover also has a clear light color design that allows more light and heat to pass through the plastic.

Among other things, the solar cover for an inground pool should be used for rectangular shaped pools that have dimensions similar to 16 x 32 feet. This cover is also made of a polymer-based material. Keep in mind that you should remove the cover in case that temperature of the pool exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you must remove the cover when the swimming season ends; the cover is not intended to withstand winter temperatures.

6. Thermo-Tex 2831632

front facing thermo-tex 2831632

Key Features:

  • Intended for inground rectangular pools
  • Extends swimming season up to 2 months

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 32 feet
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Light blue color

Where To Buy

The Thermo-Tex 2831632 solar pool cover is another product intended to keep the sun’s heat trapped inside the pool that is expected to extend your swimming season by up to 2 months. These products are made of high-quality UV stabilized polymer materials that are designed to withstand many hours under direct sunlight without receiving any damage or getting deteriorated over time.

This 16 ft solar pool cover is mainly intended for a rectangular-shaped inground swimming pool.

7. Thermo-Tex 2831224

front facing thermo-tex 2831224

Key Features:

  • Light blue color
  • Intended for rectangular pools

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 34 feet
  • Weight: 9 pounds (4.08kg)
  • Thickness: 6-M

Where To Buy

Another option is the Thermo-Tex 2831224 16 x 34’ rectangle solar cover. Designed with a light blue color, the cover traps the heat from the sun inside the swimming pool to make the best and most efficient use of solar energy. Similar to other products, the blanket cover uses small air bubbles that when placed facing the water, they can retain heat inside and transfer it to the water.

The 12 ft solar pool cover is also designed with a UV protection and a polymer material that is also resistant to chemicals contained inside any pool. Among other things, the blanket cover has a 6-Mil thickness that is thinner than other regular bubble covers, which makes it extremely lightweight and easy to handle when compared to other similar products.

How to Choose a Solar Pool Cover – 3 Key Things to Make Sure Of

a woman covering the pool

Size of your pool

One of the first details that you must look into when selecting swimming pool solar covers is related to the size and dimensions of the product. Here, you must also consider what is the shape of your pool. Typical configurations are rectangle, round, oval and kidney-shaped swimming pools.

According to the configuration, you must verify that the pool cover has been designed for your specific shape. Some pool covers will have a rectangular shape, but you may adjust or fit the bubble wrap to the size of the pool. The best way to measure this would be to check the size of your pool (if you don’t know it, you would need to go and measure with tape) and then calculate if that particular pool shape and size would be able to fit within the rectangle bubble wrap. For instance, a 15 ft solar pool cover may be used to fit a 10 ft round pool (depending on width), while a 10 ft solar pool cover may be too short to be trimmed. Keep in mind to always leave around 4” extra to trim the cover.

Keep in mind that the reference values for parameter sizing are:

Rectangle: Width x large

Round: Diameter

Oval: Minor axis x major axis

Kidney: Large, shallow end and the deep end

Color

Another factor that must be considered is the color of the pool cover. Some pool covers are designed with a transparent layer that allows more light and energy to pass through the cover to the water, this means that the heat gain is higher and therefore, water gets warmer faster.

The bad side of a clear transparent cover is that it absorbs less heat, which means that the cover would not be able to maintain heat as much as a darker color cover would. Besides, since almost all UV radiation is allowed to pass through the cover, the chemical loss is higher and also customers say that clear covers are not as aesthetic as blue ones.

The other two options are a light blue or a dark blue solar pool cover. The light blue cover will do a better work trapping the heat inside and also keeping UV rays out (which reduces chemical losses), however, the downside is that it will block out some of the heat. Meanwhile, dark blue covers are the best ones to trap heat inside, but the heat gain can be as low as half when compared to clear solar blankets.

In a few words, a transparent cover is best for heat gain (warming water faster), while a dark blue cover is best for trapping heat inside. Finally, a light blue color solar blanket is probably the best balance between them.

Thickness

Another useful parameter to consider is the thickness of the solar pool cover. Thickness can be usually found between 8 Mil, 12 Mil, 14 Mil and up to 16 Mil. When evaluating performance, a thinner solar blanket cover allows heat to pass through to the water more easily, however, it does not trap heat as efficiently. A thicker solar cover will trap heat more efficiently inside but will heat the pool at a slower rate than a clear one would. The trade-off between these two factors is usually a 12 Mil solar blanket, which is the one that most people use.

What are the Different Types of Solar Pool Blankets?

Solar pool blankets can be classified according to three categories.

The first category would be related to shape. In this aspect, there are rectangular, round, and oval shape covers. If you own a kidney shape cover, you will need to trim a rectangular solar blanket to fit the size of your pool.

The second category is related to color type. As we discussed in the section above, there are three color types: clear, light blue and dark blue.  The darker the color, the better it will be for heat retention, while the lighter, the better it will be for heat absorption. If you intend to use the blanket during the night, then it would be best to use a darker color one, while if you intend to use it during the day, then use a clear transparent one.

Finally, the third category is the type of pool that is designed for. It can either be for in-ground or above-ground pools.

How Much Warmer Will Your Swimming Pool Be?

the pool is covered

Average pool covers can raise the temperature up to 15 additional degrees Fahrenheit than what the temperature of the pool would be without the blanket. This is dependent on the solar radiation of your location and season. Using a clear solar blanket in a cloudy location will not raise temperature as efficiently and will not keep the water warm. In that case, using darker models may be better.

If you still want to raise temperature values with an eco-friendly solution, then combining solar pool covers with solar pool heaters is probably the most environmentally and economically attractive option.

How to Make Sure the Cover Doesn’t Get Damaged in Bad Weather

The solar cover is just a simple polymer material blanket designed to trap the heat of the sun inside the pool, so in bad weather conditions, you should take care of it. To get started, when the swimming season is over, simply remove and store the pool cover inside a cool temperature place which temperature does not exceed 120°F. Pool covers are not designed for low temperature and snow conditions during the winter season.

For the colder months, you will need a winter cover for the pool. Under bad weather conditions such as storms, you must remove the cover and store it in a dry but cool place. Among other maintenance considerations, keep in mind that when you remove the cover you need to avoid or remove any nearby sharp points. Also, the blanket is not designed to be placed under the sun for long periods of time without water beneath it, therefore is better that you place it under the shade when it’s not on the water.

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10 Best Solar Electric Fence Chargers in 2021

a solar electric fence charger on the grass

10 Best Solar Electric Fence Chargers in 2022 (Review)

To control livestock and domestic animals, you need an electric fence that creates a low but quick damage shock when touched. This keeps them contained inside the fence. Moreover, you might also need to keep pests and wild animals including wolves, wild dogs, or foxes outside of your property to protect your livestock.

However, on many occasions, AC outlets are not available to install an electric fence charger in a nearby location. Besides, under a blackout or power outage, your animals won’t be protected or contained.

The best solar electric fence chargers in 2022 will never run out of energy or require long installations for AC wiring across medium or large pastures. In this guide, you will see many solar electric fence charger reviews from the top products in the market, and we will show you how to buy a good solar powered charger for your property.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

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The Best Solar Electric Fence Chargers

1. Parmak MAG12-SP Solar Electric Fence Charger

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side facing parmak mag12-sp solar electric fence charger

Key Features:

  • 3-year warranty
  • Suitable for medium to large pastures
  • Low-impedance charger

Key Specifications:

  • Range: 30 miles
  • Voltage at 500 ohms: 6,100 volts
  • 1.1 – 3.1 joules output

Where To Buy

The Parmak MAG12-SP Solar Electric Fence Charger is the state of the art solar powered product from Parmak.

The Parmak Magnum model is designed and manufactured entirely by a 100% American brand that has years of experience in the electric fence market. The kit component includes a small solar panel that daily charges a 12V sealed lead-acid solar rechargeable battery that powers the fence system during the night.

After turning on the solar electric fence, the built-in performance meter will offer you three main functions.

The first one of them is the performance meter operation test under which you will verify if the meter movement is smooth and if it’s able to indicate voltage output at full scale.

The second is the solar battery level test, which will indicate three options (red, yellow and green) if the battery is discharged or if it’s suitable for operation.

Finally, the third function that will offer is the voltage output test, which after performing the battery level test, will indicate the exact level of voltage available on the fence.

The Parmak Magnum 12 volt solar electric fence charger is a low-impedance charger fence with an open circuit voltage of 11,000 volts with a range up to 30 miles and that is suitable for medium to large pastures.

The Parmak MAG12-SP is the perfect solar electric fence for cattle, horses, deer, predators, dogs, pigs, bears, and sheep.

2. Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Electric Fence Charger

side facing parmak df-sp-li solar electric fence charger

Key Features:

  • Suitable for small to medium pastures
  • Animals: Cattle, horses, pigs, dogs
  • UL and CAS listed

Key Specifications:

  • 3-year warranty
  • 25 miles of fence range
  • Energy Output: 0.75 – 1.6 joules

Where To Buy

The Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Electric Fence Charger is the second option available from Parmak for small to medium pastures.

Designed with solid state circuitry, computer precision, and laser trimmed, the Parmak DF-SP-LI provides a powerful low impedance shock up to the electric fences. This electric fence charger uses a small solar panel that constantly powers a 6-volt battery with over 42% more solar battery charging. It has enough energy as to cover up to 25 miles of fence.

Moreover, the Parmak DF-SP-LI has 3 years of warranty covered by the brand and is a good solar electric fence for horses, cattle, pigs, and dogs. The energy discharged during the shock reaches between 0.75 and 1.6 joules and the voltage of the fence at 500 ohms goes up to 9,000 volts.

Among other things, the Deluxe Field Solar-Pak 6 is totally weatherproof, perfect for outdoor use and also includes a built-in performance meter which shows the condition of the fence at all times.

Just as with the Parmak Magnum solar-pak model, the performance meter features three operation tests: meter test, solar battery charge level, and voltage output test.

3. Zareba ESP10M-Z Solar Electric Fence Charger

front facing zareba esp10m-z solar electric fence charger

Key Features:

  • Suitable for bulls, cattle, goats, horses, pigs, and sheep
  • 1-year warranty
  • Easy-grip knobs integrated

Key Specifications:

  • 10 miles range
  • Energy output: 0.15 joules
  • Open circuit voltage: 11,400 volts

Where To Buy

The Zareba ESP10M-Z Solar Electric Fence Charger is a great choice to consider as it is another amazing brand focused on designing and manufacturing electric fencing systems.

This 10-mile solar electric fence is perfect for animals such as bulls, goats, cattle, and horses as well. This product provides up to 0.15 joules of energy shock that is designed to keep short-haired animals contained inside their fence system.

Zareba systems recommends charging the 6-volt battery for nearly 3 days in the off position in order to completely charge the rechargeable battery. Once it is fully charged, these solar powered electric fence chargers will be able to last up to two weeks without a charge (providing remarkable reliability based in solar power).

Moreover, the Zareba ESP10M-Z is able to reach up to 10 miles of electric fence with no weeds if it’s steel wire and 5 miles if it is a poly wire with no weeds. Heavy weed conditions reduce the range to zero while light weed can reduce it to 5 miles (steel wire) or 2.5 miles (poly wire).

4. Patriot SolarGuard 50 Fence Energizer

side facing patriot solarGuard 50 fence energizer

Key Features:

  • IPX4 rated weatherproof
  • Fence and earth leads included
  • 2-year warranty

Key Specifications:

  • Distance range: 1 km
  • 0.05-joule output
  • 2.2kV at 1,000 ohms

Where To Buy

The Patriot SolarGuard 50 Fence Energizer is a small solar electric fence charger intended for residential yards or even vegetable gardens. It is also great for applications such as containing domestic animals or keeping pests outs.

Among some of the interesting features that you will find about this product, it includes an intelligent battery management system that maximizes battery life for up to two weeks without a charge.

This is a fence charger suitable for multiple animals including dogs, pigs, rabbits, squirrels, roosters, cattle and horses.

Moreover, its compact design provides up to 0.05 joules of energy and allows it to reach up to 1 km (0.62 miles). The model is designed to generate an output voltage equivalent to 4.7kV (open-circuit) and 2.2kV at 1,000 ohms with an electric current consumption that is lower than 15 mA.

Among other things, you will love its portability and its integrated solar panel that is designed to charge a 6-volt battery with the Sun’s energy.

The solar powered electric fence charger includes a red flashing light that will indicate the state of charge of the battery and will let you know if the fence is properly working or not.

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5. Zareba ESP2M-Z

front facing zareba esp2m-z

Key Features:

  • Suitable for dogs, roosters, and rabbits
  • 1-year warranty
  • Works with poly rope, poly tape, poly wire, and steel

Key Specifications:

  • Nominal output voltage: 8kV
  • Distance range on steel wire and no weed: 2 miles
  • 20 mA output

Where To Buy

The Zareba ESP2M-Z mile solar electric fence charger is perfectly suitable to keep domestic animals outside of your garden or any other restricted area.

The solar powered electric fence works completely using a built-in solar panel that charges a 4-volt battery that has a 0.04-joule output. It also features low impedance for maximum performance.

Depending on weed conditions, the distance range varies between 2 miles for steel wire and no weeds, or 1 mile for light weeds and steel wires. If you are using poly wire, the distance range reduces to 1 mile (no weeds) or 0.5 miles (light weeds). The product works with high tensile steel or aluminum wire, poly rope or poly tape as well

Moreover, the Zareba systems product is able to operate day and night using its 4-volt rechargeable battery which features a battery life of two weeks without sunlight after a full charge based on solar power.

The product is designed with a durable case that protects the internal circuitry and also the integrated mount solar panel for extreme weather conditions.

6. Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer

front facing patriot solarGuard 155 fence energizer

Key Features:

  • Includes lightning protection
  • 2-year warranty
  • 21 days of uninterrupted performance after full charge

Key Specifications:

  • 0.15 joules of energy
    Range: 2 km
  • Voltage output at 2,000
  • ohms is 5.4kV

Where To Buy

The Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer is a fully portable solution (with handle included) from the brand that features an all-in-one compact design that also makes it easy to install on wood posts or on a T-post.

This model is designed with an integrated solar panel and battery (12 volts and 7Ah capacity) that allow a complete off-grid solution for your electric fence system. Among other things, the range for the fence charger reaches up to 2km or 1.2 miles in distance. Besides, you will also find that at 2,000 ohms, the portable fence charger provides a peak joule output of 0.15 and a voltage output that reaches 5.4kV at 2,000 ohms as well.

The amazing performance and storage capability of this electric fence energizer allows it to keep working (after full solar charge) for 21 consecutive days without receiving any extra power. This offers one of the longest and reliable performances among solar electric fence chargers.

Among other things, the Patriot SolarGuard 155  also features an intelligent battery management system that enhances battery life, and the monocrystalline solar panel is also secured by a strong aluminum frame that protects it from any damage.

7. RED SNAP’R ESP6V-RSS

front facing red snap'r esp6v-rss

Key Features:

  • 2-year warranty
  • 100% steel case
  • Suitable for small to medium areas

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum distance range: 15 miles
  • Output voltage 8.7 kV
  • 0.2 joules of energy

Where To Buy

The RED SNAP’R ESP6V-RSS solar fence charger is a small to medium size solution to keep the animals contained inside a relatively considerable area.

Moreover, the Red Snap’r features a 100% steel case for maximum protection and suitable for weather protection as well. The solar-powered electric fence charger generates a 0.2-joule output with an indicator light that shows if the charger is working or not.

Regarding the distance ranges for customers that use steel wire, the fence charger can reach up to 15 miles (assuming no weed in the landscape). The contact with weeds will reduce the performance of this solar fence to control livestock as light weeds will only allow a 7 miles range. Under heavy weed conditions it could even be reduced to 3.5 miles. Poly wires can also be used with this solar powered fence, but using them will reduce the range distance to the half in every case.

Among other things, the Red Snap’r also features an 8.7 kV voltage output and is covered by a 2-year warranty even against damages caused by lightning strikes.

8. Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS

front facing Fi-shock esp2m-fs

Key Features:

  • 1-year warranty covered against lightning
  • Suitable for dogs, rabbits, and poultry.
  • Compatible with steel, aluminum, poly rope, poly tap, and poly wires

Key Specifications:

  • 2 miles of electric fence range
  • 4VDC battery
  • 0.04 joules of energy

Where To Buy

The Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS 2-Mile Solar electric fence charger is mainly used to control domestic animals (dogs and rabbits) and poultry. At the same time, it can also be used to exclude annoying animals that you want to keep out from your property. This solar electric fence is perfect for those who do not have an AC outlet close to the fenced area.

Among other things, the Fi-Shock ESP-FS model has a range capacity that is able to power up to 2 miles of electric fence using a solar charged 4VDC lead-acid battery. The joule output of the charger reaches 0.04 joules.

Moreover, this solar fence charger is compatible with steel, aluminum, poly rope, poly tape and also with poly wires, covering all the options for fences. The Fi-Shock ESP-FS has also been designed using low impedance technology, which enhances performance by reducing battery drainage, allowing it to resist short-circuits when the electric fence is in contact with weeds.

Regarding warranty terms, the product is guaranteed with a 1-year protection that includes damages caused by lightning strikes.

9. Silver Streak 12 Volt Lightning Diverter

front facing silver streak 12 volt lightning diverter

Key Features:

  • Suitable for small to medium pastures
  • Suitable for large animals
  • Lightning protection included

Key Specifications:

  • 2 joules output
  • Up to 100 acres of contention area
  • 12 VDC battery compatible

Where To Buy

The Silver Streak 12 Volt Lightning Diverter solar fence charger is perfectly suitable for containing large animals.

Providing up to 100 acres of contention (about 400,000 m2 of fence area), this is a good solar electric fence charger with over 2 joules of output (one of the strongest in the list). This low impedance technology charger works with a 12volt deep cycle battery (lead-acid technology) which is not currently included in the product, but can be simply installed using clips to get the terminals connected.

Moreover, the EFL solar fence charger includes a lightning protection diverter which has been specially designed to protect the internal circuitry from a lightning strike. Lightning fuses are also included in the product which maximizes protection against this phenomenon unlike any other fence charger.

The product includes a polycrystalline solar panel that is powerful enough to charge the selected lead-acid battery (ideally AGM type). Notice that it is easy to install by using T-Post mounting brackets.

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10. Gallagher S40

side facing gallagher s100 1.0 joule

Key Features:

  • Working performance up to 3 weeks after full charge
  • Lightning protection included
  • Two operating modes

Key Specifications:

  • Range capacity: 30 km
  • (single wire) or 10 acres property size
  • 0.74-joule output
    12VDC battery included

Where To Buy

The Gallagher S40 is one of the best portable solutions for solar powered electric fence chargers in the market.

This product features a built-in solar panel and battery along with a handle that makes it easy to install and transport.

The Gallagher S100 has 1 joule of stored energy and 0.74-joule output that is able to power a fence system up to 10 acres. Moreover, by fully charging the battery of the product, the energizer will be able to continue working for up to 3 weeks without sunlight.

The case is also water and all weather resistant (against rain, hail, shine or snow) and has installed a very convenient lightning protection, which is crucial for open-wide areas with important lightning activity.

An innovative and unique integrated feature is that the solar fence charger has two operating modes. One under which the product operates at half power but with fast pulses for day and night, and the other one in which the charger runs at full power (but pulses are much slower at night when animals should be less active).

How to Choose a Solar-Powered Electric Fence Charger – 5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing

Range Capacity

Each solar fence energizer is designed to power up fence wires up to a specific or maximum length. The range capacity of the charger is dictated by the open-circuit voltage of the device and the estimated voltage drops that are suffered across the wires.

One of the first things that you must look into when selecting a solar powered electric fence is the length in the wire of your fence. Selecting a product that has a lower range capacity than required will result in a low performance over time and across the fence.

In order to find out the range capacity that you must verify with the manufacturer, it is recommended that you apply the following expression:

Range rating = Fence Length ⦁ Number of Wires ⦁ 2

This expression will allow you to safely compensate voltage drops and ensure good performance.

Type of Animal and Voltage

The second factor that you must look into is the type of animal that you want to contain or keep away from your fence.

Voltage requirements vary according to the size of the animal that you are dealing with. For instance, big animals such as deer, moose, or predators might need between 4,000 – 5,000 volts minimum to generate a good electric shock that keeps them inside or away. Meanwhile, cattle and horses would need between 2,000 and 3,000 volts available in the fence wire. You can use the Zareba systems minimum voltage chart as a reference for this purpose.

voltage minimum requirements according to the type of animal

Voltage Minimum Requirements According to the Type of Animal

Joules

There is another unit that is often used and provided in electric fence chargers which is the joule output. The joule is a unit of energy which also represents watts ⦁ seconds (W⦁s).

In electric fence chargers, the joule is an indicator of the strength of the electric shock that the animal will receive. At the end, the intensity of the shock and the damage it can cause depends on the amount of energy dissipated in the body of the animal. Since Watt = Voltage x Current, then the shock received will depend on voltage, current, time of electric pulse and the electrical resistance of the animal’s body.

Fence charges are designed following standards like the UL-69 or IEC 60335-2-76 that establish that an electric pulse emitted by the charger must not occur less than one time per second. Also, standards like these establish that while there is a load of 500 ohms, the impulse duration will last less than 10 milliseconds. These standards ensure that the maximum joule output that a solar fence charger shock should provide will not be bigger than 5 joules (safety limit to avoid damage to the body).

However, as you can expect, the higher the joule output, the stronger the electrical shock. If your animal is bigger (bison, bull, predator) it will need more joules to create an electrical shock that the animal will remember that a rabbit or dog. Remember that the solar fence is only a psychological barrier, the animals must be trained to recognize the fence as a barrier.

Fence Wire Use and Weed Conditions

Manufacturers offer at least two types of voltage conditions.

The first one is the open circuit voltage. This is referred to the voltage that should be available in the fence if there is no animal or vegetation touching the fence and should be an indicator for voltage selection according to the animal under ideal conditions.

However, factors like excessive weed conditions or selection of steel, poly tape, rope, or poly wires could lead to important reductions in the effective voltage available in the fence wiring.

Therefore, you must be aware of the fence voltage that the manufacturer establishes under light, medium, or heavy weed conditions. You should also be aware of variations in voltage output according to the type of wire (steel always obtaining best results). You may also find references indicating voltage at 500 ohms or 100 ohms. These are referred to the electrical resistance generated by weeds mainly. 500-ohm voltage is referred to medium weed levels and 100-ohm voltage is referred to heavy weed.

Warranty

Finally, a warranty is an additional factor that is worth to consider. Typical ranges of warranty terms vary between 1-3 years depending on brand and range capacity.

Choose the fence chargers with the correct range capacity and the longest warranty.

What are the Different Types of Solar Electric Fence Chargers?

There are mainly three types of fence chargers that use solar power.

The first one is the continuous output fence charger. This type provides a constant charge on the hot wires, unlike pulse chargers. This consumes more power and is also less safe, which is why they are rarely common these days.

The second is the solid state fence charger, which delivers a medium amperage shock in pulses of medium duration. Good for controlling shorthaired livestock in low weed conditions.

The last one is the low impedance technology charger which is the state-of-the-art design that has a lower electrical resistance (impedance) in the charger. This means that more power can flow through the wire, which makes it the most ideal option in weed conditions and in general situations as well.

Where Should you Install the Charger to Avoid it Being Damaged?

solar electric fence charger installed just inside the fence

Solar electric fence chargers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions under the rain, hail or snow. Therefore, environmental conditions are not something to get worried about.

On the other hand, you must keep in mind that the solar panels need to receive direct sunlight in order to maximize energy conversion and charge the battery faster. Position the charger off-ground in a place where no shade covers the product (not close to trees).

Also, try to install the solar charger outside of the fence in order to avoid collision or damage caused by the animals.

Finally, among other considerations not related to safety but to improve performance, place the solar charger as close as possible to the grounding rods that you have installed. This will reduce the resistive path back to the solar charger.

The solar fence charger should also be installed in the middle of the fence or in the position where one side of the fence is not extremely far away from the product when compared to the other side. This will ensure that you will have a similar voltage across the fence and that no drastic voltage drop will be present at any point of the fence. You can also try positioning the fence charger in other points if you notice a significant amount of voltage drop across the fence. In general, you will find models that are like solar phone chargers which are easier to move and transport and will allow you to try several configurations without much effort to reach the desired voltage drop.

What are the Benefits of Owning a Solar Electric Fence Charger?

There are multiple benefits associated with a solar powered fence. The first one of them is economical.

In isolated regions or areas where an AC power outlet connection is not available, you will need to request the installation of an AC power point to the utility company, which could imply a very costly connection. The other option is to make the installation yourself and send wires through the terrain from the nearest AC power point.

However, the costs associated with wiring and the work required to make the installation safe and protected from any wildlife or terrain may not be easy. Harsh weather conditions, animals, and other factors can damage the AC cables and result in no power for your fence charger at any time.

Moreover, another disadvantage from the AC power source is that under blackout, power outage, or even short-circuit situation inside the house, the fence charger will be left out of power, resulting in possible escaping or trespassing of animals or intruders.

By installing solar powered electric fences, you will not have to worry about any of these things. Solar powered electric fence chargers have fewer chances of getting damaged by lightning strikes than AC models. Moreover, even if your farm is located close to an AC outlet, you can still achieve savings in the long term and contribute to the environment using an eco-friendly electric fence.

How to Safely Operate an Electric Fence

connecting solar electric fence chargers

Unlike other home solar products, electric fence chargers are specifically designed to generate a shock or damage. Therefore, it is necessary to know the keys to safely and successfully operate an electric fence by performing several tests.

Before installing the fence charger in a wood post, you must make sure that the device is turned off. The battery contained inside the product will probably have some charge. Turning on the device before connecting it to the hot and ground terminals could lead to an unexpected electric shock.

The next step after installation is finished is to leave the product for at least 3-4 days receiving direct sunlight to allow the solar panels to recharge the DC battery. Then, you must turn on the solar powered electric fence charger and perform the corresponding tests. A performance meter or indicator light will generally be available to perform tests on the product.

The first test should be performed to verify that the meter actually works, and it will show you if the meter is able to smoothly measure the increase in voltage to the ultimate value.

The second test is related to checking the state of charge of the battery which will indicate how much energy is available inside the battery regarding its maximum capacity.

Finally, the last test should be to check the voltage output of the solar electric fence under normal conditions. The meter should indicate the open-circuit value of the electric fence.

Moreover, a voltage tester can also be used to verify the voltage output across the fence. Voltage drop will probably occur, as the fence wire is located far away from the charger.

Keep in mind that the grounding system is the most essential part of keeping the fence system in safe operation. A good grounding system will guarantee that the electrical current will rapidly find the shortest path back to the fence charger.

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10 Best Solar Gate Openers in 2021

car leaving through a solar gate opener

10 Best Solar Gate Openers in 2022 (Review)

The access to your house or property is one of the most important details that you must take into account. Installing an automatic gate will enhance the value of your home.

Most automatic gates depend on electricity to work. Therefore, in the case of a blackout or power outage, your automatic gates will not open.

Today, this problem can get solved thanks to solar energy. By installing the best solar gate openers in 2022, you will be able to gain complete access to your property no matter the conditions of the power grid or the distance to an AC connection.

Here you will find a complete solar gate opener review for the top 10 products of the market with all the details that you need to know about them.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Gate Openers

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1. Ghost Controls TDS2XP Solar Gate Openers

front facing ghost controls tds2xp solar gate openers

Key Features:

  • Two operator arms
  • Two standard 3-button remote transmitters
  • A lockable system control board

Key Specifications:

  • 10-watt monocrystalline solar panel
  • Maximum weight capacity: 900 lbs
  • Maximum length capacity: 20 feet

Where To Buy

Ghost Controls is one of the American leaders in the design and manufacturing of the gate automation market. What makes them different from other brands is that these gate openers are solar powered and work under DC low voltage in environments where no AC power is available.

The Ghost Controls TDS2XP solar gate openers have been designed especially for dual agricultural or tubular style gates. Moreover, the system features two operator arms, one with a 6’ cable and the second one with a 30’ cable. Also, the gate opener includes two standard 3-button remote transmitters to activate the device.

The solar dual gate opener works independently by using a 10-watt monocrystalline solar panel (without diodes) including its mounting hardware, brackets, and fasteners. This PV module charges a 12V battery (not included) which allows to daily charge the energy storage device.

Multiple optional accessories are available for the Ghost Controls TDS2XP heavy-duty gate opener, such as the ABBT-2 battery box kit (includes two 12V 7Ah batteries) that has been specially designed to avoid potential acid leaks that could damage the electric gate system. A wireless keypad, a 5-button remote and a wired vehicle exit wand can also be added to your purchase.

This solar remote gate opener will work for maximum gate weights up to 900 lbs. and lengths up to 20 feet.

2. Mighty Mule FM500 Solar Gate Openers

front facing mighty mule fm500 solar gate openers

Key Features:

  • Obstruction sense technology
  • Built-in battery backup
  • 18-month Mighty Mule limited warranty

Key Specifications:

  • Capacity up to 850lbs.
  • Open length up to 18 feet in length.
  • 10W solar panel

Where To Buy

The Mighty Mule solar swing gate opener is the perfect solution for those who are looking for an automatic single electric gate opener.

The Mighty Mule FM500 solar gate openers have been designed as heavy-duty solar products with the capacity to open gates up to 850 lbs. and 18 feet long. Moreover, this model suits multiple types of gates such as chain link, panel vinyl, ornament iron or vinyl wood.

The solar gate opener kit includes everything you need to carry on your installation, which requires no electrician or welding to be done. Among some things that are included, you will find that the swing gate opener is built with an ABS housing and cast aluminum brackets coupled with a 10-watt solar panel. This PV module charges a built-in battery backup that allows you to activate your gates in spite of a power blackout.

Additionally, the kit includes an extra-large control board that has been pre-wired to add two batteries and a 120V AC transformer for connection to the grid if it is available. Finally, a single remote control can be used to activate your gates from the distance with a soft start and soft stop feature. Auto-close is also available in 120 seconds and includes obstruction sense technology system to avoid any crash.

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3. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Solar Gate Openers

side facing usautomatic 020320 sentry 300 solar gate openers

Key Features:

  • 18-month warranty
  • Two dual button transmitters included
  • The battery gets charged by AC transformer or solar power

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum weight capacity is 1,000 lbs.
  • 6-watt solar panel kit
  • Up to 20 feet in length

Where To Buy

The USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 solar gate openers are the perfect option to open and close your gates.

The Sentry 300 commercial grade gate opener has been designed to be powered by a 12VDC battery that has two charging options. The first option is independent from the power grid as it features a 6-watt solar kit (qualified for 30% federal tax credit) that needs no wiring and includes mounting hardware. Meanwhile, the second option charges the battery using power from the grid through a connection with an AC transformer.

Moreover, the kit includes two LCR dual button remote transmitters that allow you to open your gate from your car. An additional fixed wireless push button can be installed a couple of feet away from the gate to open it.

This solar powered automatic gate opener has a linear actuator that can provide up to 400 lbs. of thrust and a compression rating of 1000lbs.

Regarding open and close times, they are usually around 16 seconds without variations related to the weight of your gate. The automatic Sentry also acts as a solar farm gate opener, as it is suitable up to 20 feet in length

4. Mighty Mule MM371W

Key Features:

  • Soft stop/start
  • Single swing gate opener
  • 18-month warranty

Key Specifications:

  • Weight capacity: Up to 850 lbs.
  • Length capacity: Up to 18 feet long.
  • Up to 185 backup cycles with FM150 battery

Where To Buy

The Mighty Mule MM371W is another good option from the brand for those who are looking for a single gate opener.

This product features dual sense technology that meets UL325 standards to maximize the protection and safety of every user. Among other things, the solar gate opener has been designed to fit multiple types of gates: chain link, ornamental iron, panel, wood, and vinyl.

Moreover, the Mighty Mule MM560 has been manufactured to open and close heavy duty single swing gates with maximum weight capacities that reach 850 lbs. and is able to handle gates up to 18 feet in length. This product also features soft start and soft stop which increases the gate opener life.

This automatic gate opener kit includes many things such as a single button remote to open your gate from the distance. Also, you can have access to an AC transformer suitable for battery charging, along with a 12V and 7Ah FM150 battery from the brand. The control box is also included in the kit with all the required hardware for the installation.

This is maybe one of the most heavy-duty solar single automatic gate openers of Mighty Mule and has the capability to get the battery (included) charged by a 10W solar panel (FM-123 accessory).

5. Mighty Mule MM360

side facing mighty mule mm360

Key Features:

  • Dual sense technology
  • Single button remote transmitter
  • 1-year warranty

Key Specifications:

  • Weight capacity: 550 lbs.
  • Length Capacity: 16 feet.
  • Up to 145 backup cycles

Where To Buy

The Mighty Mule MM360 gate operator has been designed for medium size gates. Therefore, they serve mainly as solar driveway gate openers, also suitable for small farm gates.

Particularly this model features dual sense technology designed to maximize protection for your car. Moreover, this single automatic gate opener has been specifically designed to resist a maximum length gate of 16 feet and also to open gates up to 550 lbs. As you can see, this is a medium-sized gate opener.

On the other hand, a single button remote control is also included as part of the kit. The gate opener is also solar compatible thanks to a 10W solar panel accessory (FM123) or 5-watt PV module (FM121), both of them approved by the brand.

Using these modules and a 12V automotive or marine battery type (not included) with 250 cold cranking amps, you are able to obtain a self-sustainable stand-alone solution that does not need from the grid. This solar powered swing gate opener is able to withstand 145 backup cycles by simply using the transformer and the solar power generated by the modules.

6. E8 400MM Stainless

front facing e8 400mm stainless

Key Features:

  • Suitable for pull to open or push to open configurations
  • Dual swing gate opener
  • 3 dual button remote controls included

Key Specifications:

  • 20-watt solar panel
  • 7Ah lead acid battery
  • 110VAC/16VAC transformer rate

Where To Buy

The E8 400MM stainless heavy-duty solar gate opener has been designed for maximum weight and length withstanding for dual swing gates.

Able to open two leaves up to 26 feet long or weighing 1200lbs in total and installed with a screw driven type system that increases reliability and safety. Moreover, the dual gate opener features an AC/DC configuration for battery backup in the case of power blackouts while also sharing solar compatibility by adding a small size 20-watt PV module.

The gate opener kit includes multiple components such as a receiver with 3 dual button remote transmitters. There is also a unit transformer with 110V/16V output, along with a single 7Ah lead-acid battery model for maximum independence from the power grid.

You will find a control box that includes a simple wiring diagram that can be followed, which makes it easy to install and also two stainless steel linear actuators.

Keep in mind that the E8 dual swing gate opener has been designed for installations on pull-to-open or push-to-open gates and that the product can be used on chain link, farm tube, aluminum and iron gates.

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7. Mighty Mule MM260

side facing mighty mule mm260

Key Features:

  • Single swing gate
  • Light duty design
  • 1-year warranty

Key Specifications:

  • Solar compatible with 5 or 10-watt solar panel models
  • Weight capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Length Capacity: 12 feet.

Where To Buy

The Mighty Mule automatic gate opener models MM260 are the perfect residential solar driveway gate openers. Intended for light duty, low size, low weight, and lower price.

The product has been designed for most single gate types such as chain link, tube panel, wood, and vinyl.  Moreover, the FM135 single button remote is included as part of the gate opener kit, as well as a control box and hardware installation manuals. The AC transformer RB570 that is included in the kit can also be used to operate the gate using an AC source that powers the control system and that can charge a 12V automotive battery (not included) as well that is able to produce 250 cold cranking amps.

Moreover, the Mighty Mule MM260 model is easy to install (only takes 2-3 hours, designed for DIY) and is solar compatible. By using a 5-watt or 10-watt solar panel model, the gate opener can get solar power and use it to charge the 12V battery as a stand-alone system.

Regarding capacities of these single swing gates, the maximum weight of your gate to fit this model should be 300 lbs. or have a 12 ft. long gate leaf.

8. Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B

side facing mighty mule mm-sl2000b

Key Features:

  • Sliding gate opener
  • AC and DC compatible
  • Radio receiver and transmitter included

Key Specifications:

  • Weight capacity: 1,000 pounds
  • Length capacity: 30 feet long
  • Compatible with 24Ah battery kit

Where To Buy

Mighty Mule also manufactures sliding gate openers and the MM-SL2000B model is probably one of the best options available to choose for sliding gates.

This package includes all of the components that you need to get the gate opener running using solar energy as a secondary or primary source of power. Among some of the components included, you will find a radio receiver, a pre-installed battery, an entry transmitter, mounting hardware, and also an AC transformer for grid power connection.

Almost all sliding gates (chain link, tubular steel, ornamental and wood) are compatible with this automatic opener. The capacity of this gate opener reaches up to 1,000 pounds in gate weight and 30 feet in length (assuming a 20-ft. opening). Moreover, this equipment has obstruction sensing adjustability and is compatible as well with multiple accessories such as safety loops, intercoms, phone systems, and wands.

The Mighty Mule MM-SL2000B is also solar capable and compatible with 10-watt solar panels from the brand, along with the 24Ah battery kit.

9. Ghost Controls DEP2

side facing ghost controls dd2u dual kit

Key Features:

  • Dual gate opener
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Two remote controls included

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum length: 20 feet
  • Weight capacity: 1,000 lbs.
  • Item weight: 45.7 pounds

Where To Buy

The Ghost Controls DEP2 dual kit is a remarkable solution from the brand that can be used for opening and closing of dual swing gates.

This solar remote gate opener has a fast mounting system that makes it very easy to install. Moreover, the product has been optimized to fit decorative purposes in swing type or tub swing type gates as well.

Multiple gate lengths and weights can be coupled with this solar dual automatic gate opener, from 5 feet and 1000 lbs. to 20 feet long and 300 lbs. capacity. This makes it suitable for heavy duty purposes.

The Ghost Controls gate opener is also solar capable by simply adding the solar panel kit (sold separately) that can be used to charge a 12V automotive battery (not included) and maximize independence from the grid under power outage scenarios (ABBT2 battery box kit from the brand can also be selected). The brand also offers a lockable battery box that avoids potential lead-acid leaks that could damage the control system. The gate opener also works and charges the battery with an AC source located within 1,000 feet from the control box by using an AC transformer

The gate opener kit includes two AXP1 remote controls, two operator arms, a control box, mounting hardware, gate mounting brackets for decorative purposes, along with an instruction manual for the installation.

Thanks to its performance, quality, and decorative design, the DD2U model from Ghost Controls has received several positive solar gate opener reviews, making it a great option to install at home.

10. Mighty Mule EZGO-Solar

front facing mighty mule ezgo-solar

Key Features:

  • Single gate opener
  • 1-year warranty
  • Two remote controls FM135 included

Key Specifications:

  • Maximum length: 20 feet
  • Weight capacity: 1,000 lbs.
  • Item weight: 45.7 pounds

Where To Buy

The Mighty Mule Ezgo-Solar automatic swing gate opener has been specifically designed to serve the residential market as a driveway gate opener.

The kit includes a 5W solar panel (FM121) that can daily power a 12V automotive or marine type battery (not included). When fully charged, the battery has 145 backup cycles to keep the solar gate opener active. The swing gate opener is easy to install without the need to hire an electrician and can also be powered by an AC connection.

This Mighty Mule automatic gate operator is designed to open and close gates up to 550 lbs. and 16 feet long. Moreover, the gate opener kit also includes two remote controls (FM135) to activate the gate while you are seated in your car.

The main difference between this and other models form Mighty Mule is that this product already includes the 5W PV module, while the others are solar capable but need to purchase the solar panel separately. A similar product purchase with similar capabilities and features is the Mighty Mule MM360 model.

How to Choose a Solar Gate Opener – 3 Key Features to Look For?

Capacities

One of the most important features that you must evaluate is the capacity of the solar gate opener.

Each manufacturer establishes boundaries for the safe and correct operation of the linear actuator related mainly to length and weight. The linear actuator has an integrated DC motor that has a maximum torque capacity.

The mechanical torque that this motor is able to provide is limited by its configuration and therefore, exceeding its capacity to open the gate will not allow proper operation.

Solar gate openers are classified as light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty depending on the lengths and weights that they can handle. Compare the specs of your gate related to these factors and make sure that the gate opener that you select has the capacity to handle the length or weight of your gate.

Keep in mind that the capacity usually refers to maximum length OR maximum weight, but not to the combination of them (your gate cannot have the maximum weight and maximum length at the same time). You can also check the chart from Ghost Controls to have a better idea about variations between lengths and weights.

Type of Gate Opener

The second fact that you must look into is the purpose of the gate openers.

Gate opener kits are designed for specific purposes. There are mainly four types of gate openers:

  • Single swing gate openers
  • Dual swing gate openers
  • Single slide gate openers
  • Dual slide gate openers

The first two are intended for gates that will require torque to follow a semi-circular shape path to open or close under push or pull modes. The main difference between them is simply related to whether you have installed a single or dual gate.

Meanwhile, a solar sliding gate opener works using mechanisms in which the gate will open in the same direction as it is positioned. Dual or single gate modes are available.

Additional Features

There are additional features related to gate openers that you must also consider to make a decision.

Gate opener kits may be very different from one another, and accessories for each gate may also be very different. While some kits may include batteries, dual or even triple remote controls, others may sell the battery separately and include a single remote.

You can always purchase components separately, but it is often easier to have everything you need within a single kit.

How Many Watts are Required to Power a Solar Dual Gate Opener?

solar gate opener on the fence

Solar gate openers are composed of two main components: the solar panels and the batteries.

Generally, solar gate openers are sized to be used with 12V and 7Ah batteries. Between these batteries and the solar panel, there is a control system that constantly charges the battery using solar power. Moreover, charging can also be made by using AC power from the grid and an AC transformer that is connected to the control board that switches AC to DC signal for battery charging.

Since most gate openers have AC connection and use solar power in the case of a power outage, then the need for a higher wattage solar panels is not that important. Generally, with a 5-watt or 10-watt solar module, you will be able to keep the battery running and the gate actively working for as long as the power outage lasts.

However, there may be cases in which installing a low voltage cable from the nearest AC power point to the control board may be too expensive. Such is the case for solar powered electric fence chargers which are generally installed on farms or places with little or no access to electricity. In that case, the solar gate would have to work only using DC electricity from the battery and the PV module.

To briefly size the module that you need, you can use the following expression:

When you add the voltage and the energy in Ah of the battery that you have decided to install, then adding the wattage of the modules that you could purchase. The resulting time should be located below 8 hours and ideally below 6 hours to properly keep the gate working on solar energy alone. The same principle applies to other solar products for around the home.

What Type of Gate Opener Should you buy for Swing Gates?

This depends mainly on the number of gate leaves that you have. If you have a single leaf gate, then you will need to purchase a kit that is specifically designed for single swing gates.

On the other hand, if your door gate uses two leaves, then you will need to purchase a dual swing gate opener to fit your purpose.

Moreover, you will also need to make sure that the swing gate that you are selecting fits the length and weight of your own door gate.

One of the best model types that you can select is the Mighty Mule MM560 model. Intended for heavy duty purposes with up to 850 lbs. and 18 feet long capacity, the MM560 is suitable for almost every configuration which makes it the most ideal model that you can use for single gates.  Also, the Ghost Controls TDS2XP heavy-duty solar dual gate opener is the best option for those customers who have dual gates.

What Type of Gate Opener Should you buy for Sliding Gates?

solar gate open

Similarly, there are two options for sliding gates. Either you select a solar sliding gate opener under a single mode (most common type) or you can also select a dual slide gate opener (less usual).

Keep in mind that just like swing gate openers, you also have to consider the weight and length capacity of the product.

Generally speaking, slide gates often require more capacity than a similar size swing gate as the traction required for slide gates is often bigger than the torqued needed for swing gates. This makes swing gates more suitable for solar powered products

This is the reason why you will find more solar swing gate openers than solar slide gate openers.

Based on this fact, it is advisable to select just the right size sliding gate opener that you need.  The MM-SL2200B dual slide opener is a very good option to consider from Mighty Mule.

How Does a Solar Powered Gate Opener Work?

A solar automatic gate opener kit consists of multiple components that together make it possible to create an automated system for the opening and closing of your gates.

The first important component is the linear actuator. This mechanical and electrical mechanism is designed with an internal DC motor that is powered using DC current. As the electric current reaches the stator of the DC motor and creates a magnetic field, movement is created on the shaft, the rotor increases speeds, and that makes the internal mechanism composed of multiple gears generate the swing movement that the gate needs.

The electrical feed of this component is controlled by another element known as the control board. This element regulates all the sensing technology (working under the same mechanism as a solar motion sensor light), as well as the control mechanism to start and stop the gate opener. Also, the control board administrates the energy flows coming from the solar panels, the battery and the AC feed line to power the DC motor.

Finally, the other two components are the solar panel and the DC battery. The lead-acid battery is generally a 12V 7Ah model that is installed in a battery box to prevent lead acids from damaging the control system. Meanwhile, the PV module is installed in the top side of the gate (not a moving part) to harvest solar energy and produce electricity

Now that you know the basic components, you can understand the process itself.

First, power from the PV module is constantly injected into the control board to charge the battery and reduce consumption from the grid.

A second power source coming from an AC cable installed up to the control board is also used to complement the required energy from the grid to charge the battery and activate the linear actuator when needed.

In the case of a power blackout, the gate opener enters into a stand-alone mode, using only the power provided by the PV module to operate the electric gate

3 Tips to Reduce Damage and Wear Occurring on Your Gate Opener

the gate opens for the car to enter

Keep in mind these few tips whenever you think about doing maintenance to your solar gate opener:

Purchase a battery box

Batteries for these types of applications are generally 12V, automotive lead-acid models. Therefore, you must be careful with the lead acids that may come out from the battery.

After some time, the battery may emit toxic gases that could damage whatever wires or control boards you may have located close to the battery. Manufacturers generally offer a solution to this problem, like the Ghost Controls ABBT2 battery box kit, which is separated from the control board.

If your solar gate configuration does not allow that, keep periodic maintenance to the terminals of the battery and replace it every 4-5 years.

Always keep the solar powered gate opener system clean

The push and pull tubes of the solar automatic gate opener should always be clean and lubricated for maximum performance. Using a soft cloth and silicon spray, you can clean it once every two months.

Moreover, during the winter season, keep control of the amount of snow that accumulates close to the gates. For swing gates, accumulated snow can add an additional torque needed that could demand a higher effort for the DC motor. Therefore, if you keep the path as clear as possible, your system will not have much problem while opening the gate during winter.

Finally, the solar panel is also a crucial thing to be cleaned. Dust, snow, or even bird droppings on the surface of the module can reduce performance drastically. Keep in mind that since these PV modules are small, the effect of soiling over them is much more important than on regular size models. Check the module every once in a while, and keep it clean using a soft cloth and water.

Keep the bugs out

Solar gates will most likely be located in wide opened areas, especially with farm gates.

Snails, slugs, and spider webs can create a moist environment that could damage the circuitry and other electrical components. Keep them out by using insect repellents, and purchase products that can help you keep moisture out of the control box.

We hope you liked this article. Please rate it or leave us a comment.

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solar pool heaters featured image new

10 Best Solar Pool Heaters in 2022

thermal solar panels installed on the roof of a large house

10 Best Solar Pool Heaters in 2022 (Review)

Jumping into a swimming pool is not always a fun experience, especially during the fall and spring season when colder winds start blowing.

Most homeowners will have a gas pool heater to increase the temperature of their pool water. However, constantly paying gas bills that increase due to the extra consumption of gas can be very expensive and undesired. Electric heaters have the same problem with high costs.

The economical and eco-friendly solution is to install one of the best solar pool heaters in 2021 available from multiple brands such as FAFCO, Smartpool, Sun2Solar, Sungrabber and many more. Just as the solar powered showers, these use the sun as a source of heat that can be used to increase the temperature of the water inside in an environmentally friendly way.

Carlos

Written by qualified solar engineer Carlos. Last updated:

The Best Solar Pool Heaters

1. Fafco Solar Bear Solar Pool Heater

Key Features:

  • Solar heater for above ground pools
  • Mounting racking tilted between 20-45°
  • 10-year warranty

Key Specifications:

  • 80,000 BTUs generated by day
  • Solar collector size: 4 ft. x 20 ft.
  • Additional 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit to the swimming pool

Where To Buy

Fafco is one of the first American companies related to the development of solar water heating systems. The developer of copolymer blend materials and collector panel designs that made it one of the largest distributors of solar pool heating systems in the US.

In this occasion, we are evaluating the solar bear pool heating system of the brand that has been specially designed for above-ground pools. The system consists of a 4 ft. x 20 ft. large solar collector with 1-1/2” barb connections that can be laid down on the ground next to your pool to reduce the size of the hose needed. However, the FAFCO solar system can also be installed on a mounting racking that can have a tilt angle between 20-45° while facing South to optimize heating and maximize efficiency.

This above-ground solar pool heater produces up to 80,000 BTUs of heat per day, which is enough to heat a 24 ft. round pool 7-10 degrees warmer than their ambient temperature value. Besides, the solar pool heater kit also includes an integral bypass valve, mounting base, cap straps, and rubber tube plugs.

This product is easy to install as it only requires about 30 minutes to complete the installation, and it has received a lot of positive solar pool heater reviews.

2. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

great-value-badge-long

Key Features:

  • Patented web design for maximum exposure to the sun’s rays
  • Uses existing pool pump
  • Simple DIY installation

Key Specifications:

  • Solar heating collector: 2 feet x 20 feet long
  • Increases temperature 6-10°F above
  • Dimensions: 120 x 27.5 x 16 inches

Where To Buy

SunHeater S120U provides an amazing alternative to heating your pool, especially during the spring and autumn seasons.

A solar heater for pools can be designed to fit inground or above ground purposes, however, the product from Xtremepower is suitable for both options. The system is designed with a 2 feet x 20 feet long solar heating collector that is made of a lightweight, flexible black polypropylene.

The collector has been also designed with a tube construction that creates a larger surface area to optimize heat transfer through the pipes to your swimming pool. The solar heating system is able to raise water temperature up to 6-10 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on solar irradiance values on the location) and works perfectly with most pool pumps.

The Xtremepower solar heater for pool has been designed with high-grade materials that can resist harsh weather conditions. Moreover, the heating system includes a round 1.5” header manifold and is attached with a rubber coupling.

The solar heating system is ideal for above-ground pools below 18 feet (round case) and for up to 350 sq. ft. (oval case), although by adding another solar heater mat, higher capacities can be obtained.

3. Smartpool S601P Solar Pool Heater

best-overall-badge-long

Key Features:

  • Fiberglass reinforced over-molded header
  • Heating tubes maximized with a wider area
  • Wind vents included maintaining heating panel integrity

Key Specifications:

  • Increases temperature 6-10°F above standard value
  • Heating panel measures 4 feet wide x 20 feet long
  • Panel area: 80 square feet

Where To Buy

Smartpool offers a remarkable option to the market: A solar heater for inground pool (also suitable for above-ground pools).

The Smartpool S601p SunHeater solar panel uses a direct flow system of water through your pre-installed water pump to make the water flow through the solar collectors to heat the water up to 6-10°F more than its regular temperature value.

The heating collector is 4 feet wide x 20 feet long and can be placed next to your pool or on top of your roof.

The design of the solar pool heater panels has been carefully measured including multiple features that make this product unique among others.

One of these features is related to its fiberglass reinforced over-molded header which provides durability for a long time. Also, the design of each tube has been measured to increase the surface that receives solar radiation and increase temperature values as much as possible.

Keep in mind that to install the Smartpool s601p SunHeater, you need to add an additional SK21 system kit to the purchase.

4. GoPlus Solar Dome

side facing game 4714 solarpro

Key Features:

  • No bypass valve required for pumps up to 1.5HP
  • Ball shape solar collectors
  • Adjustable legs included

Key Specifications:

  • Increases temperature up to 5°F for 10,000 gallons
  • Up to 19 gallons per minute direct flow rate
  • Dimensions: 27.6 x 5.9 x 44.9 inches

Where To Buy

The GoPlus Solar Dome SolarPro ball-shaped solar powered pool heater is a different and innovative solution to heating your swimming pool during the spring and fall seasons.

The SolarPro contour solar pool has been designed for both above-ground and inground pools where high-quality materials allow maximum sun exposure without causing any damages to the product in the long-term.  

There are several amazing features for this product. First, the SolarPro contour solar pool has a completely curved design that increases heat collection when compared with flat-type products. Moreover, the solar heating panel is integrated with adjustable and foldable legs that allow you to set the collector to the optimum tilt to maximize heat transfer to your ground swimming pool.

The Game 4714 SolarPro ground pool solar heater is able to gradually increase the water temperature by 5°F in 7 days for an estimated 10,000-gallon pool, which is enough to extend your swimming during the fall and spring seasons.  This product hasbeen specifically designed to be a solar heater for above ground pools from Intex or a solar heater for inground pools from Bestway.

5. PoolMaster 59026

Key Features:

  • Flat shape pool solar panel
  • Easy to install
  • Suitable for above-ground pools

Key Specifications:

  • Increased heat absorption up to 40% per cycle
  • 41.4-  x 28.8 x 20.5 in
  • Weight: 17.46 lbs

Where To Buy

The  PoolMaster 59026  is one of the available above ground solar pool heaters.

This model has been designed with a flat shape that maximizes heat absorption capacity by 40% per cycle. Using 51-ft. long and 1.2-inch solar coils that are comprised within the product, this small solar pool heater is able to increase water temperature by 5°F in only 5 days.

The product can also be coupled with more heaters to warm up pool water even faster. Keep in mind that using bigger capacity pool pumps without the use of a GAME bypass kit will void its 1-year warranty.

6. SunHeater S240U

Key Features:

  • Easy installation
  • Tube-web-tube design captures more solar heat
  • Made of durable polypropylene

Key Specifications:

  • 2 feet width x 20 feet long
  • Raise the temperature up to an additional 6-10°F
  •  Contains 4 end caps, 2 elbows for flex hose connection, 6 stainless steel hose clamps, 1 roll of Teflon tape, and rubber connector hoses

Where To Buy

The second option of SunHeater is the S240U solar heater for above ground pools. These models have been designed with a 2 ft. width x 20 feet long heater mat that covers a 40 square feet area to provide heat to round pools that go from 12-18 feet and for oval pools of 12-24 feet.

The pool receives warm water coming from the heating collector that is made out of a polypropylene material that will not rust, corrode, or scale — ensuring long-term performance.

These solar heaters for above ground pools will increase the water temperature 6-10°F when properly sized, and they can be installed up to 30 feet away from the swimming pools.

Moreover, the heating collector is easy to install: you will only need to connect the panel with the swimming pool through a hose that will pass through a pool pump and a filter to reach the collectors. If you are looking for a cheap solar pool heater that also has a good performance, then the SmartPool S220 might be for you.