I came across this great article last week Greening Your Landscape with Solar Power and wanted to share it with you as it was full of great information. It provided information on all types of solar equipment you can use for your landscaping needs.
Solar Lawn Care Equipment
A gas-powered lawnmower emits the same amount of pollutants as 11 late model cars in just one hour. That is a lot of pollutants. And on top of that, it is estimated that American homeowners spill a total of 17 million gallons of fuel when filling the yard equipment according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Talk about a lot of waste.
Solar-powered electric lawn equipment can change the way a homeowner cuts grass, trim hedges and blow leaves. They can save on gas and are completely emissions-free. These tools are completely cordless and are also much quieter than standard gas-powered equipment.
They also provide less breakdowns since there are less moving parts. “The electric equipment is five times less noisy than gas-powered trimmers and blowers, breaks down less and requires less maintenance,” says Bob Blundon of Connecticut, who founded the eco-friendly landscape company Mother Earth Care. Blundon has also noticed the solar-powered design makes the yard equipment lighter and easier to maneuver.
Once your lawn and landscaping is manicured to perfection, solar lights can help showcase all your hard work. From pathways, decks and tiered lamp posts, you can create and inviting glow and utilize the space after dark without increasing your electric bill. Plus there is no need to trench all that beautiful landscaping.
Today, solar lights use LEDs which have a much longer life span (up to 100,000 hours) than former incandescent light bulbs and provide a much better light. “If you used solar lights a few years ago, you probably remember them as providing very little light, being unreliable and on top of that, not staying lit very long,” says home improvement expert Murray Anderson. “Solar lights have changed a lot over the years.”
Do you have a pond or other water structure in your yard? If so, utilizing solar power to run the pumps and fountains is a great option. Water structures create a warm, serene atmosphere and tranquil environment.
The systems include a battery backup so you can choose when your water fountain will operate, even on cloudy days or when you are entertaining guests. “A fountain with the solar panel built-in is useful for those water features with a spray.
Pumps with a separate solar panel are best for waterfalls, man-made creeks and other water features of this type,” advises the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.
Solar Gardening Innovations
Vineyard owners and farmers with small or mid-sized fields can benefit from a solar-powered gardening robot, controlled by a smartphone. Created in France, the Vitirover uses GPS coordinates to determine exactly where to cut grass and weeds, with sensors to keep the blades away from vines and crops. It can even roll up and down hills with a 15 percent grade or below.
For those tired of back-breaking gardening or tending crops, the Wunda Weeder allows users to lie face down on a four-wheeled frame to weed flowers or harvest vegetables. Designed by Australians, the self-propelled electric machine is powered by a solar panel that offers shade from the sun or rain. What other ways can you think of using solar power in your landscape?