How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Heat A Pool
There is no straight answer to this question. The number of solar panels needed to heat your pool depends on various factors.
First, calculate your pool size. Use the tips above to calculate the pool surface area. If you have an oblong pool, estimate the pools length and width to find the area. The more surface area your pool has, the more solar panels you will need. You cover anywhere from 50% to 100% of the pools surface area, but the exact number of panels depends on additional factors.
If your pool lies partially or entirely in the shad, you will need additional panels to compensate for the lack of natural heating directly from the sun to the water.
For inground pools, you will most likely need to put the solar panels on the roof if you dont have the yard space. However, if your roof faces the east, the panels will only receive direct sunlight during the morning, limiting how much solar energy the panels will be able to capture.
Another critical factor in determining the number of solar panels is your location. The further north you live, the fewer viable swimming months you have. In southern Florida, you can get up to 12 months of swimming with a solar heater, while in northern Washington, you may only get four months of swimming with the heater.
The final factor is how big your solar panels are. If you have extra-large panels, like the ones measuring 4 feet by 12 feet by Solar Pool Supply, you will need fewer panels.
Solar Pool Heater Is It Worth It And What Are Your Options
Heating swimming pools are expensive. According to recent research, it costs U.S. consumersbillions of dollars annually to heat the nations 5.7 million swimming pools. Homeowners spendbetween $1,200 and $5,000on standard pool maintenance annually.
Pool solar panels can help to heat your swimming pool and shave a good amount off energy bills as they have low annual operating costs. Furthermore, solar heaters are more cost competitive compared to gas and heat pump pool heaters.
As with any solar purchase, you should first take into account certain factors associated with your swimming pool. There are a few types of solar heaters for different kinds of swimming pools.
Solar Pool Heating Collectors On A Metal Roof
Solar pool heating collectors can be installed on a roof or mounted on a rack on the ground. These collectors are installed in series on a standing seam roof.
Solar Pool Supply, Inc.
Solar pool heating collectors can be installed on a roof or mounted on a rack on the ground. These collectors are installed in series on a standing seam roof.
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Comparing The Cost Of Solar Pool Heating Systems
You can estimate and compare the costs of using different solar collector models before you buy using the method below.
First, obtain the following information:
- Collectors thermal performance rating
- Total number of collector panels or piping for the area needed to heat your pool
- The total installed cost of the system
Then, calculate the collectors energy output per dollar invested using this formula:
÷ total installed cost of system = Btu per day per dollar spent
Btu ÷ $4,000 = 28 Btu/day per dollar spent
If you only know the prices and thermal performance ratings of the solar collectors, use this formula for the different collectors:
Btu/day ÷ collector price = Btu/day per dollar spent
21,000 Btu ÷ $400 = 52.5 Btu/day per dollar spent
When choosing a solar pool heater, it is important to consider all of the factors involved in the systems sizing and quality of the design and installation aside from just the installation cost.
Making The Most Of Your Solar Pool Heater Installation
Taking simple measures, such as utilizing a pool cover to help retain heat, effectively reduces the costs associated with operating a solar-powered pool heater even further. Solar pool covers are designed to absorb more thermal energy from the sun and transfer it to the pool surface.
Other possible ways to provide a little extra warmth in the pool include the use of Solar Sun Rings. They float on the surface of a pool and provide small amounts of heating.
Since a solar pool heater requires both electrical and plumbing work, it is recommended that you contact a professional contractor to install the heating systems – especially if you are looking to place the installation on your roof.
Both pool and solar contractors can install a solar-powered pool heater, however, solar installers will be aware of any local solar rebates and incentives that are available in your area.
How much can you save with solar?
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Solar Pool Supply Universal Pool Heater
- Quality and durable components
- Can withstand harsh weather conditions
- Sold as a panel only
One of the things I liked about the solar panel heater is its made of high-quality materials. They can deal with the harsh weather condition on the roof. They are made to withstand the heat. What makes the panels tough is that they are not just of durable materials, but they also underwent different quality control inspections.
I also liked the excellent design of this product. It is with a tube and web design, allowing for normal expansion and contraction as the panels are heating and cooling. With this said, the panels have an extended lifespan. It also has a metered manifold that can deliver a balanced flow throughout the solar collector. This element in the design also prevents any hotspots.
Also, the solar panel pool heater is with universal compatibility. The panel can replace a panel that has a round two-inch inner diameter header manifold. It can also be attached using a rubber coupling.
This product is also with excellent manufacturing. It is made from a pre-compounded polypropylene. It is made using a process that will increase the resistance of the materials against the UV light. The method of manufacturing can also get rid of quality issues, which can be common among cheap products with only up to two years of lifespan.
Diy Solar Pool Heater 3 Steps To Increase The Temperature
This vlogger explains how adding copper wire to his prefabricated pool heaters on the top of his deck helped in increasing his pool temperature by 30 degrees. Prefabricated sheets, solar blankets and copper wire are a more expensive DIY option but if youre looking to get your pool to a warmer temperature quickly, this is a great video to watch.
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Seven: Connect The Panels To The Pool Plumbing
In this next step, connect the return hose from the inlet header on the solar panel to the pool pump in order to bring cold water from the pool to the solar panels. This is easy to do as above ground pools have pumps outside the pool in an easy-to-reach place. To send the warm water back into the pool, plug the return hose from the outlet header on the solar panel into the pool wall outlet.
You can either use PVC pipes or even a garden hose to connect the solar heater to the pool.
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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Measure Your Inground Pools Dimensions
Whether youre shopping for a solar panel kit or the best solar pool cover to heat your pool, you need to have your dimensions handy.
According to the North Carolina Solar Center, if you opt for solar panels, you need them to cover the equivalent of at least half the pools surface area. Measure the length and width of your rectangular pool or the diameter of your circular pool.
Find the area of your rectangular pool by multiplying the length times the width. For a circular swimming pool, you can use a tool like this online area calculator.
Once you have your pools surface area, make sure you get enough solar panels to equal at least half of your pools size.
Diy Solar Pool Heating With Corrugated Metal Roofing
This is a unique idea for a homemade pool heater. The heat absorbers in this process are a few sheets of fluted metal roofing. A pump is used to direct the water from the pool to the header at the top of what is known as the collector. The water runs through the heated tubes and at the base of the collector, it is then channeled back into the pool.
For a total collection area of 4.33ft x 16 ft, the project comes is just under $300 quite inexpensive compared to some projects and prefabricated options that are over $1000.
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What Is A Solar Pool Heater And Who This Is For
The top-rated solar pool heaters are always worth it. This item is for anyone who owns a pool and wants to make the most out of this outside source of leisure and activity. Solar pool heaters are highly recommended for homeowners who would like to enjoy their pool and not be disturbed by the noise, additional expenses, and rigorous maintenance. Instead, they want a cost-efficient and environment-friendly process that is simple and reliable. The best ones are the low-key heaters that would just heat the pool when you need it to.
There are so many available choices on the market, and the best solar pool is one that is easy to install and has a quick turnaround in changing the water temperature. It should also be able to help keep the heat longer. You would also want a solar pool heater that requires very minimal to zero maintenance at all and is tailored fit for your pool.
The best solar pool heater should ultimately serve its function and deliver what it is meant to do, which is to warm and heat your pool to your desired temperature in the most efficient way, and that is using the suns solar energy without the need for any intervention from you.
Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heaters
Next on our list of the best solar heaters is the Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heater in color black. This product in our list is a complete definition of a complete packaged solar water heater for a pool usually installed on the homes roof to have maximum exposure to the sunlight. In contrast, the output water from the solar pool heater comes at a high temperature.
These solar pool heaters consist of a high surface area, and with technologically advanced construction materials, this heater performs at maximum capacity. The one setback of choosing this model is that you will separately need to buy the installation kit apart from the Smart Pool S601 package. The solar pool heater works through the installed solar panel that can operate on all swimming pools and needs a pump.
However, you must keep in mind that you will still require the aid of electric power because the water needs to be pumped against gravity. These solar water heaters are avouched to be using the power of convection currents and vacuum to pump water against gravity However, this is not entirely true because the water itself is too heavy to be pumped against gravity without the assistance of an electric current.
You can even install or set the solar panels on the ground where you are sure that sunlight would be sufficient. The Smart Pool S601p Sunheater Solar Heating System is a smart selection for any place with an inground swimming pool and can warm the temperature by 10 degrees!
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Customer Reviews From The Other Users
Reviews have the ability to impact customer decisions while also bolstering a companys trustworthiness. The majority of savvy buyers would look up reviews from old users experiences with the intex solar mat above ground pool heater, which helps them figure out whether it is reliable.
So, this is a good way of having a good idea about anything before buying.
Pvc Coiled Tube Collector Diy Solar Pool Heater
The coiled PVC tube collector model is surely the most common type of DIY solar pool heater. They are easy to build using hardware store supplies and are flexible and very efficient.
The heart of a coiled tube DIY solar pool heater is a large round or race-track pattern of PVC tubing typically enclosed in an insulated box frame. Water is pumped out of the pool and through the coil of tubing, where it heats courtesy of solar radiation. The heated water returns to the swimming pool, slowly raising its overall temperature. An example of this type of system is illustrated in the basic solar pool heating principles illustration above.
We will examine this type of DIY solar pool heater in detail later in this article.
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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.
Painting And Insulating The Box
At this point, you can run silicon sealer around all the joints in the bottom and sides of the box. When the sealer has cured, paint the box inside and out with the high heat black paint.
Why do we do this: All solar water heaters rely on absorbing the maximum amount of solar energy for their efficiency. Black doesnt reflect sunlight, so painting the box in that color ensures anything in the box will absorb as much heat as possible. Sealing the box also prevents heat loss from the interior space.
When the paint is dry, you can cut the insulating foam to size and use wood glue to stick it down firmly in the bottom of the box. This ensures no heat is lost from the tubing through direct contact with the back of the box. This is what youll end up with.
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Flat Plate Solar Collectors For Pools
Many homeowners choose flat plate collectors because they are thin and therefore aesthetically pleasing, design-wise. They are also relatively simple to install and can be attached directly to your swimming pool line without worrying about heat exchangers. They provide plenty of heating power as long as there is direct sunlight, which is, of course, common throughout the normal swimming season. Flat plate solar collectors typically cost between $500 $2,000, which is about half the price of an evacuated tube collector.
How Do You Fit A Solar Powered Pool Heater
As with any home heating system, we dont recommend trying to fit a swimming pool solar heater system by yourself.
Due to the technical nature of the system, fitting it incorrectly can result in damages to your system and also pose a risk to your life.
We highly recommend having an experienced and qualified swimming pool engineer fit your system. This way your heater can be fitted to the manufacturers specifications as well as ensuring your system is up to date with current regulations.
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Five: Connect The Solar Panels To The Pool Plumbing
This is where things can get a little tricky, so make sure to follow the manufacturers directions exactly for specific information. Here is a basic guideline:
1. Connect the bottom inlet header of the solar panels, using PVC pipes, to the 3-way valve. As a side note, this valve controls water flow to and from the solar heater, it can either be automatic or manual.
2. From the valve, connect the pipe to the pools existing pool filter.
3. From the other end of the pool filter, connect a pipe to the pool pump. Depending on the distance between your pool pump and solar heater, you may need adapters to lengthen the pipes.
Solar Pool Heater A Weekend Project
If youre looking for a weekend project and also want to find a way to heat your pool, heres a great DIY idea for you. This process is also perfect for someone on a budget. Normal heating pumps and gas heaters can cost upwards of $3000 but this one is just a fraction of that price.
This DIYer explains how he made a large enough heater to accommodate his inground pool that holds 22000 gallons of water.
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Is Solar Pool Heating Worth It
In our books, yes. Solar pool heating is definitely worth it because it allows homeowners to enjoy their pool more, cut energy costs, and save money in the long run. Even though the initial cost to heat a pool may be on the high end, solar heaters reduce your annual energy expenditures significantly.
Plus, with warranties that last for years, the amount of money you save significantly outweighs the equipments price.
For our full list of both top-rated inground and above-ground models, you can check out our guide by .