Solar pool heaters use the sun’s energy to pump water through your filter and a series of solar collectors — devices where the water is warmed in tubular panels by the sun — and then back into the pool. The size of your solar pool heater will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your swimming pool, the desired temperature for your pool, and how much sunshine the collectors will receive (dependent on your geography, tilt of the collectors, possible shading factors, etc.) You can install as many solar collectors on your roof as can fit, but if your roof is covered in shade for most of the day, the solar collectors won’t meet your pool heating needs. As we have seen previously, solar flat plate collectors capture free energy from the sun which can then be used to heat the water in your swimming pool providing an economical alternative to expensive conventional gas or electrical pool heaters. You could of course install both a PV solar system as well as a solar pool heating system, but that’s a high cost and you’d likely not have enough roof space to house all the PV panels as well as the collectors you’d need to really make a dent in your energy use.
Solar thermal panels for use in swimming pool heating systems are available in standard panel sizes of 4´x 8´, 4´x 10´, 4´x 12´ which can be mounted next to the pool or on an adjacent roof making the installation of pump, filter and tubing much easier. Also, a solar pool heating system can be used to cool a swimming as well as heat it. During the hottest part of the summer months, pumping the pools water through the solar system at night can cool a swimming pool down several degrees in one night to a more refreshing swimming temperature if the conditions are right as the flat panel collector can act as heat dispenser (radiator) to the surrounding cooler night time temperatures. Swimming pool heating systems do not require a separate water storage tank, since the pool itself serves as the storage tank and in most cases, the pools filtration pump can be used to circulate the swimming pool water through the solar panels making it an active system with force circulation. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for Solar Pool Heaters on the market can found at the renewable resources website.
Solar pool heating systems cost less and generally last longer than gas pool heaters and heat pumps However, you can’t just go out and purchase any old solar panel, cross your fingers, and pray for good luck. The SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Heating Universal System features a traditional panel and tube design capable of raising the water temperature of small to medium in-ground and above ground pools by 10-15 degrees. Solar heating is essentially free (there are some small increases in electricity for the costs of pumping water through larger solar panels, but it is minimal as this links to the pool filtration system anyhow if planned and built right.) The downside of solar, especially in more northern areas, is that it rarely meets the needs for a full season of heating demand or it fails, due to poor design, to provide heat fast enough or when the sun isn’t shining due to time of day or cloud cover for successive days.
A solar pool heating system is your best alternative to heat your pool compared to a conventional heat pump, gas, propane or electric heater, in fact good quality solar pool collectors will typically last 15 to 20 years, which is two or three times longer than most pool heaters and the energy the produce clean and free. Part of the reason why solar pool heating systems are likely to last longer than electric or gas pool heaters is due to the fact that they’re more passive than the other options (learn more about the difference between passive and active solar heating systems here ). The solar pool heater uses only solar energy to pump water through the system, effectively using far less energy to heat the water, as compared to an electric or gas-powered system. One of the most cost-effective and simplest applications is the use of unglazed solar collectors (also called solar pool heaters) to heat residential swimming pools during the summer months.
The response you get from your pool solar heating system will depend on your geographical area, the weather, the location of the panels, whether the pool is covered and the most importantly, having enough solar panels, or surface area, to match your desired water temperature. Costs vary due to size of your swimming pool, desired water temperature, amount of exposure that the pool has to sun and shading, and, finally, the direction that the solar panels will face on your roof. In order to optimally satisfy the various parameters set forth above, a solar pool heater, hereinafter referred to as heater for the brevity, should incorporate the following features: a solar energy transmissive sheet or membrane should be located above the surface to be heated and the underlying air space should be enclosed; the perimeter of the membrane should be partially submerged or otherwise weighted to prevent the heater from tipping and being blown off by the wind; the heater should have an upright perimeter wall to restrain adjacent heaters from riding up on one another; the heaters should be locatable closely adjacent one another to maximize the area covered by a plurality of heaters; the heaters should resist deterioration due to climatological and environmental conditions; the heaters should be readily, physically handlable by an individual; the heaters should be stackable for storage; the heaters should be raisable from the water surface by a swimmer; and, they should be low in cost.
Open collector solar pool heaters are also very inefficient at higher water temperatures and/or low ambient temperatures such as cold or cloudy days as more energy can be lost through the panel on a cold day than is gained. The swimming pool water is circulated through a flat panel solar collector, usually mounted on a roof or next to the pool, is heated by the suns solar energy and absorbed by the water flowing over or through it before the heated water is returned back to the pool. Yes and no. Many solar pool heaters with traditional panel collectors are designed to work for both above ground and in-ground pools.
With the amount of sun you would get there, direct solar thermal collectors make a lot sense, though in your case there is also an argument that can be made for powering a standard water heater (or heat pump water heater for that matter) with your PV panels. With some of the more sophisticated solar pool heaters systems there are sensors and an automatic or manual valve that will divert water through the collectors when the collector temperature is sufficiently greater than the pool temperature and simply bypass the collectors when the collector temperature is similar to the pool temperature. Sizing unglazed pool heaters: For Guardian Solar Pool Heating collectors, the square area should be 70% of your pool’s surface area.
Solar heaters and panels are simple to install and extremely versatile – they can usually be installed almost anywhere outside, including your home or shed roof, off your deck, beside your pool or even on the ground. Their low annual operating costs (in other words, their free clean energy!) can mean solar pool heaters can be very cost-effective when compared to traditional gas heaters or electric heat pumps in the long run. The SolarPRO Pool Heater line of heaters for above ground pools uses the latest solar technology to harness the SOLAR ENERGY from the sun’s rays to…
Inground pool solar heaters may require advance planning for placement of the 10′ or 20′ long solar panels, and some PVC plumbing to route the water into and out of the solar panels. A solar pool heating systems ties into the pool plumbing after the pump and filter with valves to divert flow to the solar collectors where the water picks up heat, returning to warm the pool. Solar pool heaters work by collecting a fraction of this sunlight and using it to pump the water from your swimming pool through your filter and back.
Solar-powered pool heating involves pumping water from a series of tubes from the solar collector mounted on the roof or placed on the ground. Solar heaters used for above-ground pools provide an easy and a cost-effective way to heat up your swimming pool for free since there are no ongoing costs involved. It uses the existing pool pump to run your pool water through collector panels on your roof, which end up heating the water as it circulates through.
Swimming pool heating is a popular application of the solar thermal energy provided free by the sun and installing a solar pool heating system can save you a lot of money over a more conventional electrical or gas powered Swimming Pool Heater. Additionally, as well as heating just the pools water, glazed solar collectors can also be used within a swimming pool environment if there is a need for hot water in the changing rooms. Unglazed solar collectors are specially designed for low-temperature applications making them ideal for the heating of swimming pools and spas and are therefore made from ultraviolet (UV) stabilised polypropylene plastic.
• Unglazed Solar Collector – These types of solar pool heating collectors are simple and inexpensive with many different types of unglazed” solar thermal collectors available specially designed for use as swimming pool heaters. Sandwich solar collectors are therefore active collectors as they require a pump to circulate the swimming pool water through this type of solar pool heating system. • Open Collector Heating – Open collector solar pool heating panels, also known as trickle collectors, are basically sheets of metal with water flowing or trickling” down over the top of them.
Usually during the summer months when the suns solar energy is at its strongest, no pool heating is required and swimming in the pool should therefore be refreshing and comfortable when the ambient temperature and the suns strength are at their highest, so heating the pool water to as high a temperature as possible may not be desirable. Flat panel solar collectors are most efficient at low temperatures and are therefore well suited for pool heating were a large volume of water has to be heated to just a few degrees above the ambient temperature rather than to heat a smaller quantity to a much higher temperature. Solar Collectors: In addition to capturing the sun’s energy, the water will circulate through them using the pump to be heated and return to the pool.
Most solar pool-heating systems use unglazed collectors, however, because the water temperature does not need to be raised a significant amount. Although they’re not free to run (your pool pump needs to be on in order for water to pass through the heater) the costs to operate a solar pool heater are much lower than both gas heaters and heat pumps. With the solar collector panel now connected to the pool pump, the next step is installing the water diverter valve, which comes included with most quality solar pool heaters.
Like other panel-based solar pool heaters mentioned in these solar pool heater reviews, the SUNHEATER connects to your existing pump, which circulates water through a series of tubes, where it is warmed prior to being circulated back into your pool. The SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Heating Universal System is a traditional solar panel collector pool heating system and utilizes a long panel full of tubes where water is circulated, warmed, and sent back into your pool up to 15 degrees warmer. Although they’re not free to run (your pool pump needs to be on in order for water to pass through the heater) the costs to operate a solar pool heater are far lower than both gas heaters and heat pumps.
For example, on days where the ambient temperature is colder than the desired pool temperature some solar panels will cool the pool instead of heating it by spreading the pool water over a large surface area. SmartPool’s SunHeater Solar Heating Systems can raise the temperature of your pool water by up to 10 degrees F by simply absorbing the UV rays of the sun. Multi-use municipal pools often present a challenge for the integration of solar water heating because warm water temperatures are typically required at the very beginning of the day prior to there being any sunlight.
The solar collectors heat up in the sun and a circulator pump engages to circulate pool water through the warm collector. The Fafco Solar Pool Heating collectors recommend one to two of their 4′ x 20′ collectors for most above ground pools. According to the Department of Energy, they typically last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters.” In fact, most properly installed, high quality solar heaters will last up to 20 years.
Most pool heaters are powered by natural gas, so installing PV solar panels isn’t going to decrease your gas use. If you’ve ever seen big, blocky solar water heaters on a neighbor’s roof, you were probably looking at glazed collectors! When we talk about solar pool heaters, most are simply referring to the solar collectors – the equipment that actually heats your water.
Solar pool heating systems require little or no maintenance since there are no burners and only one moving part (the actuator on the diverter valve.) It is worthwhile to note that gas heater or heat pumps require more maintenance and normally last 1/3 as long as solar pool heating systems. In Metro Vancouver, the total area of the collectors is usually sized to represent 75-100% of your swimming pool area, depending on the site’s environmental conditions (if a pool cover used, how much wind exposure, etc.). VREC determines the ideal location of the panels to maximize the system’s energy production. A valve is installed on the swimming pool lines to divert the pool water through solar pool panels, absorbing the heat from the sun and then re-entering the swimming pool. The renewable resources website is a great place to the find the top Solar Pool Heaters on market to buy.
Solar heating for your pool is going to make the most sense for situations where there are long sunny days in summer, not a lot of shade blocking the solar panels from getting hit with that glorious sunlight, and in climates where you need the pool water to only heat up between 10 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The primary variables on this answer are the wattage of the solar panels you’re using to heat your pool combined with the heat of the air temperature/direct sunlight that’s naturally warming the water, and the size of your pool. Offering 80 square feet of solar panels, the Smartpool S601P SunHeater is a fantastic option for average-sized and larger pools.