Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Can I Use Solar Panels To Heat My Pool

How Hot Will A Pool Get With A Solar Heater

DIY solar power with Pappa off grid solar to heat pool with 120v heat pump (heats & cools water)

Unheated pools never stay at the same temperature year-round. Depending on the ambient temperature, an temperature of an unheated pool can range wildly as it looses heat overnight and on on cold days. In the spring and fall, an unheated pool will stay around the upper 70s.

A heated pool will stay in the upper 80s during the same time of year. On average, solar heated pools will be 8-12 degrees warmer than an unheated pool in the same area. Solar heated pools still loose heat at night and on cloudy days, when no electricity is being produced by the system. If you cover your pool at night and on days when its too cold to swim, your pool will retain heat better and stay warmer.

Why Use Solar Panels To Heat Swimming Pools

First of all, pools need to be heated even in warm weather, because they lose heat via surface evaporation. There are different ways to heat pools, such as electric or gas heaters, heat pumps, and thermodynamic panels. So why would you choose solar panels? Solar thermal systems have a short payback period and will help you save money on your bills. While electricity and gas prices are constantly increasing and make your expenses fluctuate depending on the season, solar panels produce completely free and clean energy all year long, for as long as 20 years. Solar heating systems often have automatic control systems, so you wont need to monitor them or spend any money on maintenance.

The Many Benefits Of Solar Energy For Heating Your Pool

Solar pool heating systems significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce your homes carbon footprint. They will reduce your water usage, reduce your reliance on the power grid, and provide an efficient, sustainable source of clean, free energy for your comfort. Solar panels add value to your home and require less maintenance than other heating options. They are efficient, environmentally safe solutions that help ensure the forests and your wallet are full and green.

Read Also: How Much Does One Solar Panel Cost

Why Cant Solar Power Be Used To Heat A Pool

Why cant one sort of solar panel accomplish everything, were constantly asked. People want to know if solar electric panels may be used to heat a pool. With the cost of solar electricity now significantly cheaper than it was just a few years ago, it stands to reason that heating a pool with electricity could potentially be a viable option. Is it possible to heat your pool using solar energy? Yes, it can be done but, it cannot be done directly, and it is usually not the ideal solution.

Sun pool heating panels heat pools using solar thermal technology. Heat is transferred from the panels to the pool water within by absorbing solar light. This is a really straightforward and efficient procedure. Solar pool heating panels may convert up to 85% of the suns energy into heat energy, which is then transported to your pool.

Solar panels turn the suns energy into electricity. Heating water using electricity is inefficient. In truth, heating or cooling anything necessitates a significant amount of electricity, and the conversion process is inefficient. Furthermore, commercially available solar electric panels have an efficiency range of 14 percent to 21 percent, which is far lower than the 80 percent or more achieved by solar pool heating panels.

Pool Solar Panel Installation

Cape Coral Solar Pool Heater

Our team members are experts at identifying the best solar panel systems for your Southern California pool. We adhere to strict quality control procedures that ensure our installations are reliable and comply with all area building codes and applicable environmental regulations. It typically takes our teams a few days to a week to install most pool solar panel systems in the region. We make sure that all measurements, positions, angles, and permits are perfectly secured and aligned so that you can enjoy maximum comfort every time you take a dip in the pool.

Recommended Reading: How To Save Solar Energy

Disadvantages Of A Solar Pool Heater

  • High initial cost when compared to the other pool heating systems, solar pool heating systems are expensive.
  • Need extra space to fix solar collectors you need extra ground or roof to fix solar collectors.
  • The systems efficiency depends on the availability of the sun like from other heating systems we cannot expect constant efficiency from the solar pool heaters. The reason is the systems efficiency depends on the sun and the sun varies all the time. We cannot expect sunlight/ radiation to be constant all the time.

Why Build Your Own Solar Pool Heater

The better question is, why not? Solar water heaters tend to be inexpensive, even more so if you build your own. You can find the materials at a local hardware store for less than half the price of a high-quality solar pool heater. This guy made one for just $25 bucks.

It doesnt take much time either. Two to three people can build one in a matter of hours. Even if you make some blunders, which you will, youll have yours set up and running within a day. While it can be done alone, its recommended to have at least one other person there to lend a hand.

While its nice to order a premade solar pool heater from the internet, building your own gives you the freedom to create your own design. Theres also no warranties to worry about, so you can modify it as much as you want. If it breaks or malfunctions, you dont have to put the blame on the manufacturer, since you made it yourself. You know how it was built, so you know exactly how to fix it.

Paired with a solar pool cover, your own DIY pool heater will keep your pool warm enough for enjoyable swimming year-round.

Also Check: How Many Solar Panels To Power A House Off Grid

So Exactly How Fast Does A Solar Cover Actually Heat A Swimming Pool

How fast a solar pool cover hears a pool mainly depends on how many hours of direct sunlight your pool is getting each day.

A solar cover can increase the temperature of the pool by 5 degrees every 12 hours.

Remember that your pool should be covered as much as possible. Plus, it should be getting no less than 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Solar Mats Or Edpm Mats For Heating The Pool

How to install and heat up your pool using solar panels part 1

These solar mats are commonly used to heat small swimming pools that are taken down in the winter. In a pool heating system based on EDPM or solar mats, the water is pumped through the mats. There it is heated by the sun. The sun causes the solar mats to become warm. The mats then transfer the heat to the pool water.

As indicated earlier, this solution is intended mainly for smaller pools. First of all, because a large-volume pool requires more time to pump the entire volume of water through the solar mats. As a result, it takes a very long time to completely heat up a large pool with these mats.

In addition, you need a large area to install the mats. The area of solar mats should preferably be as large as the area of the swimming pool. These heating mats are usually installed on a flat roof. This means, however, that the pump must have sufficient capacity to pump the water all the way up to the roof. If the pump is not powerful enough, the water will heat more slowly.

A serious disadvantage of these EPDM or solar mats is their weather dependence. Without sunlight, the mats will not transfer enough heat to the pool water.

The price of such mats amounts to around 50 per square metre . For an 8 m by 4 m pool, this yields a purchase cost of approximately 1,600.

Also Check: How To Be A Solar Technician

Can I Heat My Pool With Solar Panels

On an average day, solar panels can raise the temperature of your pool by 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. Cloud cover, sun intensity, shading, and heat buildup all influence the quantity of energy generated. Solar pool heating systems in Southern California can often raise the temperature of your pool to between 78 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few days.

Siting A Solar Swimming Pool Heater’s Collector

Collectors can be mounted on roofs or anywhere near the swimming pool that provides the proper exposure, orientation, and tilt toward the sun. Both the orientation and tilt of the collector will affect your solar pool heating system’s performance. Your contractor should consider them while evaluating your site’s solar resource and sizing your system.

Read Also: How Many Solar Panels To Generate 1 Megawatt

Solar Heating Makes Sense

A solar heating system provides inexhaustible energy for free! How can anyone say no to that?Let us add that solar energy is an efficient source of energy no matter where you live. After all, it is no secret that Germany is well ahead of the curve as far as renewable energy is concerned. And this is true despite the fact that Bavaria is no French Riviera!

How Do Solar Pool Heaters Work

Do It Yourself Pool Solar Heating / Vortex Solar Pool Heater www ...

First, pool water is pumped out from the pool through a filter, then to a solar thermal collector where solar energy heats the water before returning it to the pool. The system also requires a check valve, flow control valve, and a sensor in order to keep the pool temperature in check.

Solar pool heaters utilize a solar thermal collector, check valve, flow control valve, and a sensor in order to produce hot water.

Most systems can automatically detect the temperature of the water and transfer it to the solar collector where it will heat the water before returning it to the pool. When the water reaches the desired temperature, the flow control valve then diverts the flow from the solar collector directly back to the pool.

In the colder parts of the US and in areas where the pool is used year-round, the solar collector is usually oversized – allowing it to keep heating the pool, even when there are significant drops in temperature.

A solar water heater can also be used in tandem with gas or electric heaters if needed.

Also Check: How To Get Free Solar Panels In Texas

Bottom Line: Many Options At Different Price Points

The great thing is that you can have a lovely swim in your backyard pool at a comfortable temperature using the power of the sun, and you can do it with several product choices that range from very affordable to quite expensive and sophisticated.

If you decide that you want to kill two birds with one stone and supply both your home electricity and pool heating needs with solar panels, use The Solar Nerd to get competing bids from high quality, local contractors who can help you out.


How Do You Make A Solar Heater For An Above Ground Pool

The simplest way to make a solar heater would be to use a black tubing hose and flat spiral coil on plywood or a polycarbonate sheet. Make sure your mounting surface is black, or you can paint it black so it can absorb more heat. If you want to put the glaze on it, you can use recycled windows or a plastic sheet to cover the solar heater.

Your hose length will depend on how big your mounting surface is. After that, attach your pump to it and attach another hose leading to your pool.

Also Check: Why Go Solar In California

Game Solarpro Curve Solar Pool Heater

I have also taken a liking to GAME products like its SolarPrO curve Solar Pool Heater. I decided to use two again since I think one would not be enough for my 16000 above-ground pool.

The set-up managed to raise the temperature of my pool to 5 °F more. So an 8000-gallon pool would only need one based on that observation. We can install this heater for inground or above-ground pools due to its compatible design.

I noticed that it was made of high-quality materials too, which is a must if I put it outside. The curve shape design is also great since it allows the solar above ground pool heater to absorb sunlight much more efficiently.

But when we think that is not enough to maximize sunlight absorption, we can adjust the legs too. Now we can set the curved solar heater to a good angle so it can be hit with direct sunlight, heating our pool water more quickly.

  • Curve design lets it absorb more sunlight
  • Adjustable legs to set it up to for maximum exposure to sun rays
  • Ports and hose adaptors can leak without a gasket

How To Calculate Pool Pump Solar Panel Requirements

Does Solar Panel Heating System really work to heat-up an Above Ground Swimming Pool?

1 HP is equal to 746 watts.

HP x W x runtime = number of solar panels

Why did we say you need five 250W solar panels to use a 1-2HP pool pump?

746W X 8 hours = 5968WRequirement: five 250W solar panels

One 250W solar panel can produce 1250W a day with 5 hours of sunlight.Five 250W solar panels generate 6250W with five hours of sun. Even if the solar panels do not reach peak levels, they will at least produce 6000W, enough for the 1HP pool pump.

Of course you are not limited to 250W solar panel. You can buy 7 or 8 Rich Solar 200W Panels and get the same results. The larger the individual panel, the fewer you have to buy.

Like every other solar appliance, you should always get a slightly larger solar panel than what you need. It is a given that solar panels will not always produce peak performance, so having reserve power is ideal. While 6000W is technically enough for a 1HP motor, its safer to go with 6250W.

Most pool pumps are in the 1-2HP range, but if you need a bigger pool pump you just replace the numbers in the conversion. The calculation also assumes the pump runs for 8 hours a day. If it runs fewer hours you need less solar power.

Some pool pumps run for 24 hours, which is impractical for PV modules. Even if you have a solar generator big enough for a house, it just takes too much power and youre better running that motor on electrical power.

Also Check: How Much Solar Energy Needed To Power A Home

Comparing Solar Swimming Pool Heating System Costs

Before purchasing a solar pool heating system, you can estimate and compare the costs of using different solar collector models. This will help you determine the potential cost savings of investing in a more efficient type of collector, which may require fewer panels for the collector area needed to heat your pool.

To estimate and compare costs, you need to know the following:

  • A collector’s thermal performance rating
  • Total number of collector panels or piping for the area needed to heat your pool
  • Total installed cost of system.

You can then calculate a collector’s energy output per dollar spent or invested using this formula:

÷ total installed cost of system = Btu/$ per dollar spent


Btu ÷ $3,000 = 37.20 Btu/day per dollar spent

If you just know the prices and thermal performance ratings of collectors, you can use the following formula to calculate the energy output for each dollar spent or invested for different collectors:

Btu/day ÷ collector price = Btu/day per dollar spent


21,000 Btu ÷ $387 = 54.26 Btu/day per dollar spent

Don’t choose a solar pool heating system or collector based solely on its estimated costs. When selecting a solar pool heater, it’s also important to consider all of the factors involved in the system’s sizing and quality of the design and installation.

Use The Cheapest Source Of Heat:

Solar should always be the primary heat source for a pool which will be a combination of good location in the yard to maximize sun exposure on the pool itself, combined with the pool color and by installing some hydronic solar panels. Solar heating is essentially free 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 isnt shining due to time of day or cloud cover for successive days. But when solar is a possibility and you have the initial budget to purchase a decent solar system with a Heat Pump Pool Heater backup, the combination of the two systems will be the best, most economical system available.

Read Also: Is Solar Really Worth It

Speaking Of Cop Choose A High Efficiency Hpph & Size It Correctly:

The COP is the efficiency rating of the HPPH. Heat pump pool heaters are really energy efficient and the energy efficiency of a heat pump pool heater is measured by the coefficient of performance . The higher the COP for the pool heater, the more energy efficient it is. Typically, COP is measured by testing a heat pump pool heater with an outdoor temperature of 80 degrees. COPs usually range from 3.0 to 7.0, which equates to a multiplying factor of around 500%. This means that for every unit of electricity it takes to run a compressor, you get 3-7 units of heat from it. This is why fitting the right size of heat pump for your pool is of primary importance for optimum efficiency and to minimize energy costs. Sizing a heat pump pool heater involves many different factors so whenever youre sizing a heat pump, the surface area of the pool is taken into consideration. Basically, a heater is sized based on the surface area of the pool and the difference between the pool and the average air temperatures.The variables for pool heating:

  • Wind exposure factors
  • Humidity levels for the area
  • The Cooling factor in areas of lower night-time temperatures

Heat pump pool heaters are rated by Btu output and horsepower . Standard sizes include 3.5 hp/75,000 Btu, 5 hp/100,000 Btu, and 6 hp/125,000 Btu. To calculate heater size for an outdoor swimming pool, follow these steps to give an approximate required rating:

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