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Posted:  4/5/2009 7:50 PM #23884
Rikki Tikki
Member
Total Posts:7
Last Post:7/2/2012
Member Since:5/25/2006
Subject: Solar Pool Heater
It's a toss-up between a skylight in the kitchen and a solar pool heater this year.

I have a 28'round AG with full sun. Has anyone had any luck or problems with the solar pool heater systems available. One brand name is Sungrabber. It seems logical and should work in theory. I figure 3-4 2x20 panels on half inch exterior ply to set it at the best angle. A diverter valve will keep it from pumping through when the sun's not out

Has anyone any luck, or recognize any pitfalls, with these systems?





Posted:  4/6/2009 6:27 AM #23885
JohnT
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Total Posts:1533
Last Post:11/2/2009
Member Since:7/11/2005
Your results will depend a lot on where you live. Don't expect to extend your swimming season much unless you live someplace warm. Unless you use a solar blanket, you'll miss much of the benefit. I have 192sq-ft of panels on my 20X36 IG, and I'm really happy with the warmer water during the swimming season. I live in Indiana, and even though the water is plenty warm, the air temperature is too low to extend the swim season very much over my unheated pool.



Posted:  4/6/2009 9:54 AM #23886
Rikki Tikki
Member
Total Posts:7
Last Post:7/2/2012
Member Since:5/25/2006
We're in SW PA so my results should be much the same as yours except for the AG losses you wouldn't see. Four panels would give me 156 sq.ft.
Does anyone make a system other than SunGrabber?
The blue cover that came with the house/pool began to decompose so I picked up a clear cover 2 seasons ago. It works well to help keep the heat in overnight, but I find the pool still sems to warm up quicker with the cover off when the sun is out. It's a good excuse as any to hit the pool at 7-8am.
I've thought about placing the solar panels on the roof, creating a closed loop system to run through the panels, and then transfer the heat through a coil in a tank of the pool water, but I don't know if it's worth the effort. Besides that, it's a ways from my pump to the roof and I'm not ready to put a shed in for all the equipment yet.









Posted:  4/6/2009 9:55 AM #23887
chem geek
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Total Posts:921
Last Post:6/10/2015
Member Since:12/12/2006
As John says, it depends a lot on where you live. It also depends on the area of your solar panels as a percentage of pool area. I have 376 square feet of solar panels for my 16'x32' pool so that's around 75% coverage though a couple of the panels are partially shaded most of the time, so perhaps 60% full-sun coverage. I have an opaque electric solar cover which is only about half as efficient as a bubble-type cover for insulation (especially at night) and because it's opaque, I don't get any benefit during the day from the sun directly heating the pool. This link gives some more detail of expected potential heating and this link describes the actual 20-25F increase in water temperature over average day/night air temperature. With a better solar cover, one could have up to 50% more of a difference in temperature (i.e. 30-35F) though that is best-case. Also note, that a good clear bubble-type cover alone will result in a large heat increase of perhaps the somewhat less as my solar panels when used by themselves (perhaps 15-20F) -- in that case, the additional heating from the solar panels won't be as noticeable (perhaps 10-15F higher than the bubble cover).

The best situation is to have a clear bubble-type cover so that you get a maximum greenhouse effect since water absorbs a lot of the sun as described here.

Richard




Posted:  6/30/2012 9:36 PM #25793
UNCLE MARK
Member
CONCORD CA..
Total Posts:1
Last Post:6/30/2012
Member Since:6/30/2012
I have found that 20 foot long solar panels can be hard to work with .I wish that I had 8 or ten foot panels in stead . For me it was dificult to find a good spot that would allow me to put 7 or 8 20 footers side by side!


[Edited on 6/30/2012]


Posted:  7/2/2012 11:18 AM #25794
Rikki Tikki
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3 attachments
Total Posts:7
Last Post:7/2/2012
Member Since:5/25/2006
I ended up building a 10' x 21' "rack", leveled, and angled at 30 deg. facing south, with diverter valve using 4-20' panels. It keeps the pool between 86F and 92F all summer, and we've even had to turn it off sometimes at 96F. It's worth the effort and cost. Lumber was about $300. Just make sure you roll the panels and bring them in for the winter. You'll never get all water out and it will freeze and burst some tubes. I've epoxied a few holes in mine after the first year out. Here's a few pics:
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