Shade balls are small plastic spheres floated on top of a reservoir for environmental reasons, including to slow evaporation and prevent sunlight from causing reactions among chemical compounds present in the water. Also known as bird balls, they were developed initially to prevent birds from landing on bodies of water.
Shade ball offers a simple and maintenance free solution to reduce heat loss, evaporation, algae growth and odors. High surface area coverage is achieved by placing a sufficient amount of balls on the surface of the liquid. The balls arrange themselves to provide coverage of up to 91%. The result is a thermal insulation barrier which combines the insulation factor of the air held in each ball with the poor heat conductivity of plastic. While the air pockets between the balls are not sealed, they also contribute to this insulation system, which dramatically reduces heat loss and light transfer.
Shade ball is constructed of polyethylene and is 100mm (4 inches) in diameter, with a weight ranging from 120g to 275g (depending on the application). The sturdy construction combined with the ballasting element inside the ball allow each element to float with about 30% to 50% of the ball submerge, making the shade ball wind resistant and preventing the balls from being blown out of the pond. Its sturdy construction ensure it is very durable, totally maintenance free, with airtight seals to contain the ballasting material (proprietary manufacturing techniques are used). Special HDPE formulation and ultraviolet stabilizers protect from the degrading effect of sunlight.
Shade ball covers, does not represent an obstacle to static, moving or dipping equipment. The balls can be easily pushed aside and the cover reforms itself as the basin and obstacles change configuration, as in a clarifier. In fact, the balls will keep up with liquid level, rising, lowering and restacking themselves as needed.
Shade ball cover is also an effective wildlife deterrent. When entirely covered, the body of water becomes unattractive to waterfowl and other wildlife such as deer. They simply don’t recognize it as water. Compared to netting, Shade ball covers are not sensitive to ice or snow damage and do not require any kind of support.