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How To Heat Pool With Solar Panels

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How Does Solar Heating Work

Solar Pool Heating – How to Use Your System From Florida Solar Design Group in Fort Myers, FL

Solar heating, solar thermal, or solar power refers to using solar energy technologies to harness the heat energy of direct solar radiation. It is called photovoltaic solar panels when solar radiation is used to generate electricity in solar cells. Photovoltaic heating systems are either active or passive depending on whether use mechanical means to collect the solar energy, or whether no additional technology is used for collecting it. Solar heating can be used for both space heating and hot water systems

Why Build Your Own Solar Pool Heater

The better question is, why not? Solar water heaters tend to be inexpensive, even more so if you build your own. You can find the materials at a local hardware store for less than half the price of a high-quality solar pool heater. This guy made one for just $25 bucks.

It doesnt take much time either. Two to three people can build one in a matter of hours. Even if you make some blunders, which you will, youll have yours set up and running within a day. While it can be done alone, its recommended to have at least one other person there to lend a hand.

While its nice to order a premade solar pool heater from the internet, building your own gives you the freedom to create your own design. Theres also no warranties to worry about, so you can modify it as much as you want. If it breaks or malfunctions, you dont have to put the blame on the manufacturer, since you made it yourself. You know how it was built, so you know exactly how to fix it.

Paired with a solar pool cover, your own DIY pool heater will keep your pool warm enough for enjoyable swimming year-round.

Benefits Of Solar Pool Heating

The best thing about solar heating? It is the most economical way to heat your swimming pool because the heat from the sun is free!

Solar heating for your pool is something that more people are considering, especially in the South where sunshine is available year-round. The abundance of sunshine makes this region a perfect candidate for this sustainable and renewable energy source. Even after inclement weather, several sunny days in a row will bring your pool back up to a comfortable bathing temperature.

Why is this source better than a heat pump or gas heater? It is easy to maintain and has a low cost to run. Below we will lay out the specifics of why you should consider a solar heating system for your home.

How a Solar System works

A solar kit is an array of panels, usually on the roof, that absorbs the suns energy to heat the pool. These panels are made up of a series of small tubes. Water is pumped through these tubes and gets warmed by the heat of the sun before returning to the pool. The average heat output is ~1,000 BTUs. In hot environments, the system can also be used to cool water by running it through the collectors at night. Additionally, the collector tubes may be glazed or coated. This gives them greater efficiency because more of the heat is retained.

What are the advantages?

If you have any questions about the best heating solution for you, dont hesitate to call the experts at your local Pinch A Penny. Click below to find a store near you.

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Why Install Solar Heating For Your Swimming Pool

Did you know that the ideal water temperature for swimming pools lies between 26 and 29°C? To achieve this, you will need to rely on a swimming pool heating solution.

With this in mind, we cannot recommend solar swimming pool heating highly enough. For one, it makes sense. For another, it is economical. Last but not least, it is environmentally-friendly!

How Much Does It Cost To Heat Your Pool With Solar Panels

Solar energy installation, panel: Do it yourself solar ...

According to the EIA, a solar pool heating system can set you back between $2,500 to $4,000 while providing a payback of between 1 to 7 years. Keep in mind, this does depend on the availability of solar in your area as well as local fuel prices.

We know this does seem a tad pricey, but these systems typically last longer than their gas and heat pump counterparts, so the investment is worthwhile.

Also Check: How Much Does The Fire Department Charge To Fill A Pool

Glazed Vs Unglazed Solar Thermal Collectors

There are two primary types of solar thermal collectors – glazed and unglazed.

Glazed solar collectors

Also known as flat-plate solar collectors, glazed solar collectors are encased in glass and are often more complicated in design, as they are built from metals under an iron-tempered glass covering.

These systems can heat water more efficiently and require less space, which allows them to provide higher levels of heat. While glazed solar collectors are suitable for year-round use, they do cost more than unglazed solar collectors.

Unglazed solar collectors

These collectors are often made of black plastic or heavy-duty rubber and are ultraviolet treated to help extend their service life.

Unglazed solar collectors, while typically cheaper, are less effective and limited to warmer climates and pools whose temperatures dont reach below freezing.

Which size solar collector is right for your home?

Depending on how many months out of the year you plan to use your pool and how warm you prefer your water to be, the Department of Energy recommends the solar collector be between 50% and 100% of the square footage size of the pools surface.

For example, if a pool is 15-by-20 feet, it has 300 square feet of surface area. Therefore, the solar collector should be between 150 and 300 square feet in size.

Homeowners looking to keep their pool open throughout the year should consider a solar collector that is the full size of the pool or larger.

Heat Pumps Pros And Cons For Heating Pools

  • Heat pumps are an efficient source of energy to heat a pool pump.
  • Heat pumps are durable.
  • Heat pumps can work 24 hours a day, irrespective of the weather conditions.
  • Heat pumps are more effective than solar and heat the pool faster.
  • They are clean and safe to operate.
  • If the temperature becomes freezing, the heat pump may not work
  • Heat pumps powered by the electricity grid incur a monthly cost for electricity usage. It can be mitigated if a solar system is used to power the heat pump wholly or partly.
  • If heat pumps fail outside of the warranty period, the replacement parts are costly.

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Selecting A Solar Pool Heater

A solar pool heating system usually costs between $2,500 and $4,000 to buy and install. This provides a payback of between 1 and 7 years, depending on your local fuel costs and available solar resource. They also typically last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters. Your actual cost and payback depend on many factors. Therefore, before you purchase and install a solar pool heating system, you should do the following:

  • Evaluate your site’s solar resource
  • Determine the correct system size
  • Determine the correct orientation and tilt for the collector
  • Determine the system’s efficiency
  • Investigate local codes, covenants, and regulations.

What Are The Different Types Of Solar Pool Heating Systems

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There are a number of systems you can choose from:

DualSun a 2-in-one pool heating and solar PV solution that heats your pool water and cools your solar panels, improving the thermal performance of your panels by up to 50%, helping them work at their optimal efficiency. Ideal for people with limited roof space who want to heat their pool and offset their household usage at the same time. The Energy Experts is proud to be the DualSun NSW Distributor.

Rigid panels if you have plenty of suitable roof space, the rigid panels are the way to go, as they are very durable . If you buy a premium brand, youll find that they come with a 10 year warranty.

Rubber/strip matting generally best avoided, as these pool heating systems are not cockatoo-proof or hail-proof. Cockatoos love them!

Evacuated tubes the same concept as evacuated tube solar hot water systems quite an expensive way to heat a pool

Heat pumps are a very effective way to heat a pool. Many people who have solar panels on the roof choose a heat pump to heat their pool water, because heat pumps can be run on a timer so they run during the day when the solar panels are producing free electricity. Homes with limited suitable roof space will often install a pool heat pump, as they take up very little space on the ground .

Gas this used to be the go-to pool heating solution, but as the cost of gas has gone up exponentially over the last few years, many people are looking at alternate pool heating solutions.

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Ways How To Heat A Swimming Pool 2022

Have you installed your own pool recently and not know about how to heat a swimming pool water. And looking for easy method to heat swimming pool water. Heating your swimming pool water daily bases is very expensive task so you are looking for that method that cost effective to heat your own pool.

A warm swimming pool gives a wonderful feeling when you swimming is morning.

How Long Does It Take To Warm Up A Pool

It often takes several days to heat a pool using solar power. In truth, several factors could affect the pace of warming up your pool. Using a pool cover can significantly help minimize heat loss in the winter and at night. This approach enables an accelerated heating process when utilizing solar panels.

Its worth noting that heating your pool can also depend on the amount of heat absorbed per day. If theres no adequate heat coming from the sun on a particular day, it wont be easy to achieve the preferred temperature to heat the pool.

Not to mention, the size of your solar system will also impact how fast to warm your pool will be. Some firms recommend opting for at least 80 percent of the surface area of your pool. Generally, the bigger your solar system, the faster the heating will be.

Lastly, note that solar pool heating systems do not work identically. The amount of heat and the sequential upturn in pool temperature rely on the design of the system and the type of control system utilized.

Read Also: Saltwater Pool Maintenance Checklist

Types Of Solar Panels For Swimming Pools

  • Unglazed solar collectors: this is the cheapest, simplest option. Unglazed collectors are not covered by a glass layer and are made of plastic or rubber. They have the disadvantage of being less efficient in cold climates but are much more cost efficient than their competitors. They are the best choice if you are only going to use your pool in above-freezing temperatures.
  • Glazed solar collectors: these panels are more expensive, mainly due to the materials they are made of . They are more efficient in cold climates and can be used all year long, even to for domestic water heating. However, both glazed and unglazed collectors can benefit from a freeze protection if they are intended to be used in extra cold conditions.

Solar Pool Heater Installation And Operating Costs

Naples Flat Tile Roof Gets Solar Pool Heater

According to the Department of Energy, solar pool heaters typically cost between $3,000 to $4,000 install on your roof. Your payback period for this investment depends on how much you would otherwise spend on fuel to heat your pool and how expensive this energy resource is in your area. Most homeowners investing in solar pool heaters will break even on their investment in less than seven years.

The upfront investment of the system is the largest cost associated with this technology operating and maintenance costs are relatively low. Properly installed, high-quality solar pool heaters should operate efficiently for 10 to 20 years.

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Invest In Solar Panels

You can also try solar panels, either by themselves or in combination with a supplementary, traditional heat source.

‘The panels are operated by a separate controller that measures the temperature of the pool and the temperature of the air,’ explains SPATA. ‘This controller will normally ensure that pool water only flows through the panels when solar heat gains are available.

‘Standard pool solar collectors require a bank of panels that are normally over 50% of the surface area of the pool, depending on the location,’ the team continues. ‘Ideally, the bank should be optimized according to manufacturer’s instructions and are angled towards the sun.

‘It is possible that the distance between the filter pump and the panels may require a booster pump,’ they add. This may have to be taken into consideration when planning and siting such a system as part of your pool design ideas.

Solar panels can be arranged near your pool to help heat it

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Do You Need A Heater To Keep Your Pool Warm

Although these methods on how to heat a pool without a heater can be useful and indeed effective, the final results do depend on other factors, such as where you are in the world. For colder regions, you will probably want to stick to a more reliable heating source .

There are a few options if you’re wondering how to heat a pool via more traditional methods. Heat pumps are an increasingly popular choice. As SPATA explains, they ‘extract most of the heat they provide from outside air .’ They are straightforward to install and economical. Gas or oil boilers are another option and are usually installed within a plant room. Or, you can use electric resistance heaters, which are cheap to install but expensive to run.

Don’t forget, once the swimming season has come to a close, you’ll need to prepare it properly for the colder months. Our guide on how to winterize a pool will come in handy if you need some advice.

Solar Pool Heater Prices By Collector Size

Pool solar heating panel hookup to pool pump.

Pool heater costs range from $2,800 to $8,000, depending on the size and horsepower. Solar panels vary in size, but many are 4 x 10 or 4 x 20. The number of panels needed in a system depends on many factors, including the size of the pool, your climate, whether it is an in-ground pool or above-ground pool, and whether you use a pool cover. Here is a general example of the number of 4 x 10 glazed panels needed for an in-ground pool in a warm climate and their cost.

The solar pool heaters collection area should always be positioned where it will receive maximum sunlight. Typical locations are a roof or nearby platform. In areas of the Northern Hemisphere, you will position the collector facing south to receive the most sunlight exposure. Depending on where you live, the collector might require tilting by as much as 45 degrees east or west. Usually, the degree is determined by your regions latitude minus 10 to 15 degrees. When you have the heater professionally installed, the installer will make the necessary adjustments based on your location. They will determine the area that receives the most sunlight.

Number of 4 x 10 Solar Panels Pool Surface Area
$6,100 – $8,000

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Traditional Thermal Solar Panels

This is the most cost-effective solution.

A thermal solar panel uses solar energy to increase the temperature of swimming pool water. The thermal panel absorbs solar radiation and converts it into heat, then transfers that heat into the water in the pool. In this system, the thermal panel acts as a solar swimming pool heater.

These panels use renewable, unlimited, and free energy. Apart from the filter pump, which does consume energy, the thermal panels require little electrical energy to operate. There is almost no additional operating cost associated with them. All in all, this solar swimming pool heater will cost you nothing more but the price of its initial purchase.

What is the electricity consumption cost of a thermal solar installation?

Here we are referring to a simple swimming pool heating panel.

As you may have guessed, a thermal solar panel is only used for water heating purposes. This means that it will not cover the swimming pools electrical consumption, which can be very high when taking the filter pump into account. In fact, the filter pump consumes an estimated average of 1260 kWh per year.

Take for instance a 0.5 kW solar swimming pool filter pump that runs 12 hours a day for 7 months. Therefore, 0.5 kW x 12 x 30 x 7 = 1260 kWh per year.

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