How well does solar energy heat a pool?
In simple terms, how does a solar pool heater work?
Do the solar collectors have to face south?
Why would I want my pool heated?
What is the best type of collector to use to heat my pool?
What kind of maintenance is required?
How much will my solar pool heater cost to operate?
How does solar pool heating compare with heat pumps for pool heating?
Why is pool surface area used instead of the number of gallons in the pool?
How large a solar system do i need?
How much sunlight (solar window) in hours per day do i need?
What else will help extend my swimming season?

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?

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.

 How much sunlight (solar window) in hours per day do i need?

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.

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