What else will help extend my swimming season?
How well does solar energy heat a pool?
Solar energy is just another fuel with which to heat your pool. A properly designed solar pool system can achieve the same results as other fuels. On days when you can relax comfortably in a bathing suit at poolside, but the water is too cold for swimming, solar energy can heat your pool to a temperature comfortable for swimming.
In simple terms, how does a solar pool heater work?
Using the pump that circulates pool water through the filter, the water is automatically diverted so that it flows through the many small passages of the solar collector. While passing through the collector, it is warmed by the sun. This warm water then flows directly back into the pool. When the pool has reached your desired comfort level, the water then bypasses the solar collector and returns directly to the pool
Do the solar collectors have to face south?
Not necessarily. The solar collectors should just be installed where they can be in the sun a good portion of the day. Depending on the angle of the mounting surface east and west facing systems can function equally as well.
Why would I want my pool heated?
You probably bought your pool for many reasons like family fun, entertaining friends, exercise, those quiet relaxing moments or perhaps even for therapeutic reasons. You spent alot of time making the decision to invest in a quality pool, furniture, fencing and accompanying items that go along with a pool. You are therefore expecting to get the most use out of your pool. But if your pool is frequently too cold to swim in comfortably, you are not realizing the full benefit of your significant investment. Solar pool heating can effectively double the length of your pool season.
What is the best type of collector to use to heat my pool?
You shouldn't spend money on expensive equipment that is not expressly designed for pool heating, such as the glass covered and insulated housings that are used on high temperature household water heaters. Actually the lower cost unglazed collectors can deliver heat more effectively to your pool than the more expensive covered collectors.
What kind of maintenance is required?
Your solar pool heater will require no maintenance beyond your usual pool winterizing procedures.
How much will my solar pool heater cost to operate?
Since the sun's energy is free, there are no operating costs.
How does solar pool heating compare with heat pumps for pool heating?
The cost of installing an electric heat pump is generally comparable to the cost of a solar heating system. The annual cost of electricity to run a heat pump may be two thirds of the cost of natural gas or one third the cost of electricity for a conventional resistance electric heater; but the sun's energy is FREE
Why is pool surface area used instead of the number of gallons in the pool?
Because 90% of all heat lost from a pool is from surface evaporation.
A solar pool cover used with solar system can give you an extra 6°F rise when used overnight and an extra 11°F rise when used 20 hours a day. Solar heating and covering a pool is like putting a lid on a pot of water that is heating on a stove - the same heat makes the water hotter and holds the heat longer. Pool covers are a big help in extending the season in the early spring and late fall and for winter swimming. A cover will not benefit a pool as much without heating the pool. . Pool covers are important when nighttime air temperatures fall below 51°F in the winter
How large a solar system do i need?
How much sunlight (solar window) in hours per day do i need?
Generally speaking, you will get a 4°F rise from each 20% of the pool surface area that you put up on equal area of solar pool collectors. For example, if you put 512 sq. ft of solar collectors for 512 sq. ft of pool (16 x 32 ft), you will get 17°F rise in the pool temperature. If you install 256 sq. ft (50% of your surface area) of solar pool collectors you will get a 9°F rise in your pool temperature. The 4°F rise per 20% of pool area is based on the state of Florida's collector rating at 1,000 BTU's per sq. ft of collector area. A collector rated at 900 BTU sq ft would need 11% more collector area. Do not accept any rating except those by the Florida Solar Energy Center. You can easily add more collectors over time.
You only need the middle six hours of the day for solar pool heating. In fact, 90% of your solar radiation will fall in a four hour period. For example, if your collectors are facing South on a flat surface or north roof, 90% of your solar radiation will fall from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM; East, 90% from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm; and West, 90% between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.