How To Choose The Right Solar Panels
The type of solar panel heating system purchased should reflect a few different factors.
The size of pool the homeowner has, the space they have available for solar panels, the amount of sunlight available in their region, and the level of efficiency they need all need to be taken into account.
Properly researching the various systems available on the market will ensure the right solar pool heating system is purchased.
Solar panels are mostly effective if they have unobstructed sunlight during the sunniest time of the day. This is between 10am and 5pm.
Even on cloudy days the solar panel collects the heat from the sun. This allows the system to effectively warm pool water when the pump is turned on during the peak hours of sunlight.
Most quality solar heating systems will also diffuse solar energy as well, so a homeowner does not need to live in a constantly sunny region to effectively heat their pool with solar thermal.
The general rule of thumb is to choose solar panels that are 50% less than the surface area of the pool. If the homeowners climate is typically cooler and overcast, the solar panels will likely need to cover more surface area in order to effectively warm the pool.
Installing solar panels also have to abide by the homeowners local codes and regulations. Always check with local municipality about installing solar panels to ensure no violations take place. Remembering the few factors to look into will lead to a warmer pool in no time.
Sunburst Solar Above Ground Pool Heating Panels 2 X 12 Ft
Sunburst Solar Pool Heating Panels heat your swimming pool with free energy from the sun. Their lightweight modular design makes it easy to connect to your existing pool circulating system. Water is circulated through the panels with your existing circulation pump, so there is no additional operational cost. Each box shipped contains two 2ft x 12ft solar panels.
This product includes two 2 ft x 12ft x 1.5in panels only.
Siting A Solar Swimming Pool Heater’s Collector
Collectors can be mounted on roofs or anywhere near the swimming pool that provides the proper exposure, orientation, and tilt toward the sun. Both the orientation and tilt of the collector will affect your solar pool heating system’s performance. Your contractor should consider them while evaluating your site’s solar resource and sizing your system.
Install A Solar Pool Heater This Weekend
If you are looking to add a solar heating system to your swimming pool and have questions about how to install solar panels, read on.
From simple, single on-ground panels for Intex pools to multi-panel roof mounted systems for in ground pools, Ill explain the differences and how to get them up and heating your pool in a weekend!
To quickly qualify myself, I have four 2 x 20 panels on my garage roof and have installed dozens of solar pool systems on local residential pools. Plus, I work at InTheSwim enough said.
Using Solar Electric Panels To Heat A Pool
We are asked frequently, why cant one type of solar panel do everything? Specifically, people want to know if you can heat a pool with solar electric panels. With the price of solar electricity now much lower than it was just a few years ago, it stands to reason that heating a pool with electricity might now be cost effective. Can you heat your pool with solar electricity? The answer is yes, it can be done but not directly and it is typically not the best solution.
Solar pool heating panels use solar thermal technology to heat pools. Solar radiation is absorbed and heat is transferred from the panels to the pool water within. This is a very simple and efficient process. Solar pool heating panels can convert as much as 85% of the suns energy hitting them into heat energy that is transferred to your pool.
Solar electric panels convert solar radiation into electricity. Using electricity to heat water is very inefficient. In fact, heating or cooling anything requires a lot of electricity, and the conversion process is inefficient. Furthermore, solar electric panels commercially available today range in efficiency from 14% 21% efficiency, far lower than the 80%+ achieved by solar pool heating panels.
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What Are Solar Heaters And How Do They Work
Pool solar panels are constructed of rows of small, hollow tubes made of black polypropylene or rubber that are seamed together to create a large surface area called a panel.
The sunshine heats the black mat and as water passes through, the heat is transferred to the water and returned to the pool.
Solar panels are an eco-friendly way to heat your pool 10-20 degrees warmer, with do-it-yourself installation, zero emissions and with zero operational costs. With no gas or electrical lines to run, they are favored by pool owners everywhere!
Solar heaters come in a variety of shapes and sizes but the mechanics are basically the same. You can use your existing pump to circulate water through black tubing which naturally absorbs heat from the sun and sends that heated water back to your pool.
The more surface area the solar heater has, the more BTUs of heat are generated. And the more BTUs you generate, the greater the volume of water you can heat. Since a pool is open to the air, heat can be lost quickly. To combat the heat loss, it is recommended to over-size a solar pool heater.
One or more panels can be joined to create more surface area. Panels can be installed for above ground and in ground pools, positioned in a variety of ways, and controlled manually by turning a valve or automatically, with a solar controller.
Solar Swimming Pool Heater Sizing
According to Swim Universitys Three Quarters Rule, youll need enough solar collectors to cover about three quarters of the surface of your pool. For example, a standard pool size is 15 X 30 feet, or 450 square feet. Your solar collectors surface area would thus need to be around 338 square feet. However, if you plan to use your pool all year, youll probably want to plan on bumping up from three quarters to 100% coverage. For this example, you would need 450 square feet of available surface area to install your solar pool heaters on.
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What Are The Different Types Of Solar Pool Heating Systems
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.
Xtremepowerus 90100 Pool Solar Panel Heating System
We are back with yet another solar option. This solar heating system is sold in panels, so you will have to figure out how many you need to fit the pool you are trying to heat. This option is exceptionally cost-effective and made with high-quality materials that are designed to hold up in severe weather conditions. Make sure that if you install these on your roof, you check them often. The roof can be a tough place for a solar panel as it will take a little bit of a beating from the sun. If you are looking to increase the temperature in your pool by a few degrees, this is an excellent inexpensive way to do it.
- Can be time-consuming to get panels to fit together properly
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Getting Started With Vortex Solar Pool Heating
Operating a solar pool heater is quite simple and once installed it will hardly change the way you currently operate your existing pool equipment. A solar pool heater itself has no mechanical parts and utilizes your existing pool water pump to push the pool water through the solar pool panels and the Feed and Return PVC Plumbing lines. Our Vortex solar pool heaters have a patented design that traps heat more efficiently to better heat your pool.
How a solar pool heater works:
1. Cold water pumped from your pool through your filtration equipment.
2. Cold water transferred to solar pool heater panel array.
3. Cold water flows upwards through the panels riser tubes to the top header pipes. The stored heat in the solar pool panels is transferred to the cold water, heating it.
4. Heated water is retuned back into the swimming pool, gently raising the temperature until the desired pool water temperature is reached.
Are You Ready To Heat Your Pool For Free?
Solar Direct is here to provide you with excellent support online, or with help from our qualified Product Solution Specialist team. We offer DIY Solar Pool Heater Kits designed for ease of installation that almost anyone can perform themselves, as well as high quality, certified and licensed professional Florida solar pool heater installations for your residential or commercial applications.
Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater
- Size: 23.23 x 23.23 x 11.3 in
- Includes a protective cover for storage purposes
- Integrated rack included for maximum sun exposure
- Easy to install
We only have two dome types of solar pool heaters on the list, and the Kokido Keops Solar Dome Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater is one of them. It may not be at the top of the list, but it is at the same solid standard as the other pool heaters on the list.
People using this product are expressing their praise for its functionality and reliability, as promised. The Kokido Keops Solar Dome will extend the summer fun for the whole family.
Some of its features include a protective cover, 4-foot hoses, fittings, and stainless steel clamps. It can be easily installed with an integrated rack that maximizes heat capture.
Recommended Reading: How To Warm Your Above Ground Pool
Smartpool Wws421p Solar Pool Heater Best Overall
The Smartpool WWS421P is our top pick for the best above ground pool heater. This product has tons of positives and very few negatives. For starters, it is a solar pool heater. Why not use those amazing rays to get your pool some free heat? With 80 square feet of solar panel to layout in your yard, this pool heater can quickly raise the temperature of your above ground pool, and fast. On very sunny days, you can see a significant spike in temperatures, but even on cloudy days the pool temperature increase or at least maintain. Some pool owners will install these panels right next to the pool, and others have placed them on the roof.
One thing to keep in mind that this solar pool heater does not come with a mounting rack, so you will have to build your own or use another solution. Overall this is the best solar pool heater for an above ground pool that we have found.
- Does not come with mounting rack
- Solar panels will be visible
The Ultimate Diy Solar Pool Heater Guide
Everything you need to know about building your own solar pool heater
George Duval is a writer and expert in sustainability and environmental studies. After graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability from Florida International University, George began dedicating his life to researching new ways to make the world a greener place. His expertise ranges from organic gardening, to renewable energy, to eating plant-based diets. He is currently writing and editing for a number of publications, most of which focus on the environment.
Theres nothing better than going for a swim in a nice, heated swimming pool on a breezy day, but electric pool heaters use quite a bit of electricity. A solar pool heater uses the free, renewable, alternative energy of sunlight to sustainably warm up your swimming pool. While solar pool heaters are relatively cheap, building your own is even cheaper, and more fun. If youre the type who likes to build, you can design your very own. The materials are cheap and readily available, and it can be done in a day if you have some help. Keep reading to learn how to build your own DIY solar pool heater!
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How To Install Solar Panels To Heat Your Swimming Pool
If youve decided to purchase pool solar panels and you want to install them yourself, youre in luck: solar panels are pretty simple to install, so this makes for a perfect weekend project.
However we completely understand if DIY isnt for you. So you could also find a solar contractor through Ygrene to install your solar system for you. This will save you a great deal of work and decision-making, and may even make the project go faster.
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Sizing A Solar Swimming Pool Heater
Sizing a solar swimming pool heating system involves many factors:
- Use of a pool cover.
Solar system contractors use worksheets and computer programs to help determine system requirements and collector sizing.
Basically, the surface area of your solar collector should equal 50%100% of the surface area of your pool. In cooler and cloudier areas, you may need to increase the ratio between the collector area and the pool surface area. Adding collector square footage also lengthens the swimming season.
For example, a 15-by-30-foot outdoor swimming pool in Florida typically requires a collector that equals 100% of the pool’s square footage to accommodate year-round use. This equals 450 square feet of collectors. In northern California, most people use outdoor pools 68 months per year, so they typically size their systems at 60%70% of the pool’s surface area.
In any climate, you can usually decrease the required collector area by using a pool cover.
You’ll also want a properly sized pool pump for a solar system. If you’re replacing a conventional pool heating system with a solar system, you may need a pump larger than your current one or a separate, smaller pump to move the pool’s water to and through the collectors.
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How To Estimate & Compare Costs:
Before you go about purchasing your very own solar pool heating system, you can estimate and compare the costs of using different solar collectors.
To estimate and compare costs, you need to know the following:
- The collectors thermal performance rating.
- The total number of collector panels or piping needed to heat your pool.
- Total installation cost of the system.
Once this is done, you can calculate a collectors energy output per USD spent or invested using these formulas, courtesy of the EIA:
÷ total installed cost of system = Btu/$ per dollar spent
Btu ÷ $3,000 = 37.20 Btu/day per dollar spent
If you only know the prices and thermal performance ratings of collectors, you can use the following formula to calculate the energy output for each USD spent or invested for different collectors:
Btu/day ÷ collector price = Btu/day per dollar spent
21,000 Btu ÷ $387 = 54.26 Btu/day per dollar spent
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Is It Important To Have A Pool Cover
All pools will vary in temperatures throughout the year, mainly at night as the ambient temperature also falls. Ideally, all pools should be covered, not only to hold heat within the water, but also to stop evaporation and waste of water and they help keep debris out of the pool when youre not using it.
Another pro to a pool cover is that by utilising a cover when the pool is not in use it will drastically reduce the size of the heat pump required, and further reduce operating costs due to the heat retained in the water from the use of a blanket.
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