Jul 032014


Summer in Florida has inspired me to explore passive cooling techniques for our city homestead. Passive cooling uses design and natural features to keep a space cool. Water features like fountains and ponds are an effective and beautiful way to cool a space. This is the first fountain I’ve ever built, and it was super easy!

Our fountain sits in front of an open window that receives lots of breeze. The air from the window is cooled as it blows over the water and into the house. This idea is based upon the same principles as a swamp cooler.

The basin I used is made of terra cotta, a twenty dollar thrift store find. I bought the water pump at Harbor Freight for $17, and it has a small solar panel attached so It generates its own power. I like the pump a lot, but I need to find a way to keep it upright in the basin, because the suction cup feet don’t stick well to terra cotta. The pump also only works under very direct sunlight, so it’s a little spotty.

Since terra cotta is porous, I have a tray underneath the fountain to collect water. My future plan is to place the fountain in a small indoor garden so that the water released from the basin will water the garden.

The fountain and plants are sitting on a table that I salvaged from the side of a road. It needs a few repairs and a coat of paint, but it works.

tag: harbor freight solar fountain pump

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