Solar Powered Pool Cleaners
Enjoying the sun, barbecue, drinks, and family at the swimming pool is the perfect Sunday experience. However, to have the most pleasant experience, the pool needs to be clean. The problem is that it’s a tedious process to manually remove debris from the water. No one wants to do that.
There is a simpler, eco-friendly, and effective solution that will save you time and money. We are talking about the best solar-powered pool cleaners of 2021. These pool cleaners are designed to operate automatically. They detect the presence of debris and remove it from your pool, leaving clean and clear water behind.
There are two main types of solar pool cleaners: solar pool skimmers and ionizers. Both of them are designed to clean your pool but they are intended for two different purposes. We will examine them in this short review. Let’s take a look.
Solar Robot Pool Skimmers
1. Instapark Betta Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Instapark Betta Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner is a valuable option to remove up to 90-95% of leaves, dust, pollen, plastic, dirt, and even bacteria from your pool. By simply activating the Breeze NX2 and placing it on the water, the robot will automatically detect the presence of debris and use its integrated paddles to store undesired elements in your pool inside an onboard chlorine tray.
Once all debris has been removed from the water, the robot will detect when the pool is clean through its integrated sensors. It will then turn itself off. Afterward, all you’ll need to do is to remove the collection chamber from the Breeze NX2 and dispose of waste.
Using the integrated solar panels in the upper side of its case, the robot can convert sunlight into electricity to power the electronic circuitry needed to keep the Breeze NX2 running. Once completely charged, the robot will be able to keep running for 23.5 hours.
Moreover, this solar-powered robotic pool cleaner filters water as well through an ultra-fine nylon mesh that also cleans your water.
- Ultra-fine nylon mesh that filters water
- Reduces pool pump run time up to 2/3 times
- Automatic function detects the absence of debris
Running time up to 23.5 hours
Removes up to 90-95% of debris
Weight: 12.35 pounds (5.6kg)
2. Instapark Betta Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
This product features four infrared sensors that allow the robot to detect the presence of obstacles and debris. This avoids any chance of the SolaSkimmer from getting stuck on any corner or wall of the pool, essential for its automatic functionality. Moreover, this robot also features a wire guard that blocks cords and hoses from passing through the paddles of the SolaSkimmer. As the robot filters the water, the collected debris, leaves, or algae is stored inside a removable tray. By doing this, the pool cleaner can reduce pump circulation times. This reduces electricity consumption and energy costs.
The SolaSkimmer works with water jets in its backside that are powered by a set of solar cells located on the top side of the case and can run continuously over 8 hours cleaning the pool using a single full charge.
- Four integrated infrared sensors
- Two charging options: 110V outlet/solar energy
- Requires at least 4 hours
Dimensions: 23.8 x 23.8 x 11 inches
Weight: 22.2 pounds (10 kg)
Operation time: 8 hours
Solar Pool Ionizers
1. Remington Solar Powered Pool Cleaner
The Remington Solar Powered Pool Cleaner are electronic devices designed to automatically clean your pool or pond water from algae by using natural minerals. This is done by energizing a specially alloyed mineral electrode that is powered by a small solar cell that is located on the top side of the cleaner which allows for solar ionization. The device is battery-based, but it does not require battery replacement during its lifetime.
The electrode releases mineral ions that convert your pool water into ionized-water that regulates the presence of microorganisms inside your pool. It is important to know that the electrode will require replacement after 1-3 seasons.
Solar ionization is a process that takes about a week to be completed and that transforms your water into a biologically healthy and also algae resistant mineral water. Due to this fact, it is recommended to maintain a normal sanitizer level during this initialization period.
This pool sanitizer is an economical alternative to the chemical chlorine option that will avoid red eyes and the side-effects that come with chlorine pools. The Floatron pool cleaner works perfectly in pools up to 40,000 gallons.
- Electrode requires replacement after 1-3 seasons
- Highly portable
- Includes 24-month warranty
Works in pools up to 40,000 gallons
Reduces chemical expenses up to 80%
Weight: 1 pound (0.4 kg)
2. Remington Solar Swimming Pool Ionizer
The Remington Solar Swimming Pool Ionizer Sun Shock ionizer has received multiple positive solar pool cleaner reviews thanks to its 20-year proven technology that easily removes microbes and algae from the water of your swimming pool. By using a set of solar cells, the Remington device generates a low-wattage electrical current that is linked to a copper tube which creates copper and silver ions in the water that eliminate bacteria and algae from your swimming pool.
All you need to do is drop the device in the water and it will start working automatically. A small amount of chlorine will still be needed for sanitizing purposes (2 to 3 parts per million) but the amount of chemicals needed will be reduced up to 80%, reducing costs for pool maintenance as well. Suitable for both above ground and in-ground pools.
The Remington solar pool ionizer can handle pools up to 25,000 gallons representing a valuable alternative to the typical chlorine option. If your pool has a bigger capacity, all you need to do is to add another Sun Shock to perform a thorough cleaning process.
- Reduces filter wear and tear
- Easy to clean with the included brush
- 90-day warranty
Works in pools up to 25,000 gallons
Reduces chemical expenses up to 80%
Weight: 3.75 pounds (1.67 kg)
3. CopperFlo Solar Pool Ionizer
Finally, the last option on our list is the CopperFlo Solar Pool Ionizer. This is designed with the highest quality solar panel intended to last for years.
Solar-powered pool cleaners like this one can prevent the presence of algae while reducing the need for chlorine and chemicals up to 85%. The ionizer only needs a small amount of chlorine to work properly. Tests performed with this device show that the pH is stable across the operation of this ionizer. Just like other pool ionizers, this model works by releasing copper and silver ions into the water that drastically reduce the growth of algae.
The device can clean pools with a water capacity of up to 45,000 gallons without damaging the finish of the swimming pool. It is important to notice that the copper bar will probably need replacement after two years of operation.
- Lifetime warranty
- Copper anode requires replacement after two years
- Includes a Buddy Band for protection against scratches
Works for pools up to 45,000 gallons
Reduces chemical expenses up to 85%
Weight: 3.62 pounds
3 Things to Think About When Buying a Solar Powered Pool Skimmer
Solar pool skimmers work by using photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity to charge an integrated DC battery that powers a small dynamo which in turn makes the paddles spin to filter the water.
The integrated battery will have a maximum capacity that can be reached. On sunny days, the skimmer should be able to get recharged as it spends electricity. During the cloudy days, the skimmer might have to run using its battery.
This is why, having a longer running time (on a full charge) is always preferable, as no matter the meteorological conditions, your pool skimmer would always be able to clean your pool, no matter how big it is.
Another running time that you should look at is the reduction in the pump running time. Solar pool cleaners are intended to reduce the operation of the pump which translates into less electricity consumption. Each manufacturer establishes an estimate of the reduction in the pump operation that is worth considering.
Solar pool skimmers are intended to remove all debris sizes. This means leaves, dust, plastic items, dirt, pollen, bugs, and even algae. Each manufacturer can guarantee through testing the amount of debris that can be removed by using its device on a percentage scale. Using this percentage as a reference can give you an idea of the performance of such a cleaner. Moreover, keep in mind that the amount of debris that falls into your pool can be reduced by installing solar pool covers. Pool covers will not only prevent dirt from falling into the pool – they will also will keep your pool water warm.
Among other factors that you can put into the balance, you might want to consider the weight and the type of pool. Not all solar pool cleaners are designed to work for every type of pool (above-ground and in-ground pools). Therefore, you need to verify with the manufacturer if the device will be suitable for your type of pool. Finally, the weight is another factor, a lighter pool cleaner will always be easier to carry and to store than a heavy one.
Moreover, do not forget that the solar cells need to be clean every once in a while. A lighter device will allow you to use the cleaning equipment for solar panels more easily and comfortably.
3 Things to Think About When Buying a Solar Pool Ionizer
Size of the Pool
Solar pool skimmers can remove the algae as well, however, they only remove what can be seen at simple sight. Moreover, if the algae are visible, then just removing the bacteria from the top of the pool is not enough.
Under this scenario, there are two options: chemicals or ionization. It is well-known that algae do not flourish on copper ionized water. Therefore, if you use a copper electrode through which an electrical current flows, then the electrode will be able to release copper and silver ions that will inhibit algae from growing in your swimming pool.
However, to become effective, the number of ions must be proportional to the size of the pool. Thus, the amount of gallons that the ionizer can handle is a crucial factor to consider.
Copper Bar Replacement
Another element that is worth evaluating is the copper bar replacement period. As the copper bar is lightly to deteriorate over time, then it will require replacement after some time. Each manufacturer will provide the replacement period that will be needed. The longer it is, the better.
Reduction of Chemicals
Manufacturers of solar pool ionizers must develop multiple field tests on pools to be approved and to be released into the market. While performing these tests the ionizers should show a drastic reduction in the use of chlorine chemicals to keep algae from growing inside the pool.
A good reference is the Floatron device, which test was carried out in a 17,000-gallon pool that required nearly 6 parts per million of chlorine (about 10 gallons of chemicals per week during summer). After introducing the ionizer and waiting a range of 10 days, no algae or bacteria growth was observed and no other presence of such microorganisms was detected during the test period. As days went by, chlorine levels in the water started to drop sharply. Copper ions began to increase and remained steady at 0.2 parts per million (as can be seen in the figure below). This represented a reduction between 75-85% of chlorine levels.
Just like this, other manufacturers also perform their corresponding tests and provide a chemical reduction percentage that can be a reference for the user.
Fig.1 Floatron Device Test. Source: Floatron.