The Guide To Solar Heating For Swimming Pools
But what if there was a way to heat your pool for free?
A solar energy-powered heater can help you do just that. Delve into this guide to discover the many different solar swimming pool heating options at your disposal.
Turn On Your Pool Pump
The liquid needs a bit of help to make its way around your entire pool. Turning your pool pump on to help circulate water will ensure that theres a nice layer over every part of the pools surface.
Remember, this stuff is lighter than water, so even if it gets mixed up with your pool water, it will always float back up to hang out on top.
How Effective Are Solar Covers
To a poolman, solar blankets are the biggest pain in the neck imaginable. You show up to clean the pool but have to first clean the solar cover, and carefully roll it up or fold it on deck, before even getting to the pool water.
I understand that for many homeowners, this hassle factor is also at play but the fact remains that nearly 20 million bucks are spent each year on solar covers, solar rings and liquid solar blanket products.
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How Fast Does A Solar Pool Cover Heat A Pool
This obviously depends on many factors such as the weather , the air temperature, the wind, the cover thickness and color and even the depth of the pool. See the sections below.
Its ability to heat the pool up is as much a factor of retaining the heat overnight as it is heating the pool up during the day.
In good sunny weather you can see daily gains of as much as 1-2ºF.
Solar Pool Heaters Overview
The mechanics of a solar pool heater are surprisingly simple. Chilly pool water travels through your existing pump, then a new set of pipes, and finally through the solar collectors installed on your roof, garage, or pool housewhichever is nearest to your pool with a southern roofline. The water is warmed in the hot collectors and drains back to your pool, slightly increasing the temperature. This process continues until your pool is warm enough to swim comfortably.
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With Thermal Solar Panels
To set up your installation, you can look into the option of a solar swimming pool heating kit. You must choose the right kit for the size of your swimming pool. It costs between 600 and 3,500.
In any event, this type of installation is simple if you are a DIY enthusiast. We recommend for anything relating to warranties or proper operation.
Some have even chosen to build their own solar installation. With that being said, this kind of project is not for everyone. It requires mounting a structure, creating a hydraulic network or even putting together the front side of the panel itself.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Solar Pool Heater
The average solar heating system falls between $2000 and $4000 and this cost greatly depends on the type of panels you choose to install. Keep reading for a better idea of factors that influence your costs.
- The national average cost of installing a solar pool heater averages between $3,000 and $7,000, with most people paying $5,000 for a glazed solar panel pool heater for a 12-foot x 24-foot in-ground pool.
- On the lower end of the spectrum, unglazed solar panels can cost as much as $2,000 for a 10 foot x 20 foot in-ground pool mounted on a platform near the pool.
- On the high end, you might pay $10,000 or more for a high temperature home-mounted collector for a large 18-foot by 36-foot pool.
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How Fast Does A Solar Cover Heat A Pool
January 9, 2021 By Denise Martin
A solar pool cover saves energy and water. It heats your pool water naturally and effectively.
Traditional swimming pool heaters will run up a high utility bill. The best solar swimming pool covers save you from all that hassle of having to frequently clean and filter your pool.
All these benefits are great, but you might ask How fast does a solar cover heat a pool?
In this article, well answer this question along with a few others.
Lets dive in!
How Effective Is Solar Pool Heating
Backyard swimming pools are a mysterious item around homes. Thats because there is usually no middle ground as far as their use. Families either use them very seldom or cant seem to get enough of them. Those families that cant get enough of their swimming pools are the ones that like to use them as long as possible. In many cases that means extending the pool season by heating those pools. The only problem with that is electric heat pumps and gas heaters can be expensive to run. Since that is the case, more and more people are now looking to add low-cost solar pool heaters to their homes. So one may wonder how effective is solar pool heating?
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In Simple Terms How Does A Solar Pool Heater Work
Swimming Pool Solar Heater works by using the existing pump that circulates water through your filter, pool water is diverted so that it flows through the many small passages of the solar collector . While passing through the solar collector, water is warmed by the sun, before returning directly back into the pool. When your pool has reached your desired comfort level, the solar collectors are bypassed and pool water is circulated as usual.
How Exactly Do Solar Swimming Pool Covers Work
To understand how a solar pool cover works, you should know what happens to the water in your pool if you leave it completely uncovered or with a regular pool cover.
During the day, if you leave the pool uncovered, itll absorb a lot of the sunlight throughout the day. Ideally, pool water will absorb more than 60 to 70% of the solar energy directed at it. This energy will end up heating up the pool by about 0.7 to 1 °F every hour.
However, with an uncovered pool, the water will start to counteract the warming process by evaporation.
One property that always follows water evaporation is a quick reduction in temperature. In fact, this can cause the water to cool up at a much higher rate than it heats up, rendering the water icy cold on a hot summer day.
A solar pool cover is simply a huge blanket that looks like a thick sheet of bubble wrap. How solar pool covers work is by capturing the heat energy that comes from the sun and use it to keep the water warm. This resembles the greenhouse effect used to keep the plants in warmer conditions.
The great difference here is that although it heated up much faster, the blanket doesnt allow the evaporation process to escalate. So, the pool remains warm without using external means of heating.
It goes without saying that the solar pool cover also works as a physical barrier that blocks all the external factors of the environment from tampering with the chemical composition of your water.
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What Is A Pool Ionizer
A pool ionizer, which may also be referred to as a pool mineral sanitizer, typically uses copper and silver ions to eliminate bacteria and algae in the water. Silver ions are more instrumental in removing bacteria, while copper ions play a bigger role in preventing algae.
Fun fact: Copper is also known for its powerful antimicrobial properties and has been used in medicine for centuries all over the world. Most pool ionizer electrodes contain 90% or more copper and around 10% or less silver.
Your pool ionizer most likely will be an electric in-line device, which means its connected directly to the pump and filter system, but solar pool ionizers may also float in the pool like a chlorine dispenser. Electric ionizers may either have a cell to produce the ions within the device via electrolysis, or it might require mineral cartridges that release the ions into the water.
Note: A swimming pool cannot rely on an ionizer alone for sanitation. Ionizers work too slowly to be effective on their own and require another sanitizer such as chlorine to make the pool safe for swimmers, as well as an oxidizer to eliminate organic contaminants.
How Long Do Pool Ionizers Last
Pool ionizers can last many years provided they are cared for properly and the cells are replaced regularly. Most pool ionizer cells can last between several months to several years but will need to be replaced when the electrodes wear out.
Pro tip: To ensure your ionizer lasts as long as possible, make sure to check the parts regularly and clean out any scale deposits on the electrodes if you have hard water.
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Glazed Vs Unglazed Solar Thermal Collectors
There are two primary types of solar thermal collectors – glazed and unglazed.
Glazed solar collectors
Also known as flat-plate solar collectors, glazed solar collectors are encased in glass and are often more complicated in design, as they are built from metals under an iron-tempered glass covering.
These systems can heat water more efficiently and require less space, which allows them to provide higher levels of heat. While glazed solar collectors are suitable for year-round use, they do cost more than unglazed solar collectors.
Unglazed solar collectors
These collectors are often made of black plastic or heavy-duty rubber and are ultraviolet treated to help extend their service life.
Unglazed solar collectors, while typically cheaper, are less effective and limited to warmer climates and pools whose temperatures dont reach below freezing.
Which size solar collector is right for your home?
Depending on how many months out of the year you plan to use your pool and how warm you prefer your water to be, the Department of Energy recommends the solar collector be between 50% and 100% of the square footage size of the pools surface.
For example, if a pool is 15-by-20 feet, it has 300 square feet of surface area. Therefore, the solar collector should be between 150 and 300 square feet in size.
Homeowners looking to keep their pool open throughout the year should consider a solar collector that is the full size of the pool or larger.
What Is A Solar Heater
The most common type of solar pool heater is an array of polypropylene veined mats that are spanned between two feed pipes. The mats, also called collectors, are laid out in direct sunlight to absorb its heat. As water is pumped through the mats veins, heat is transferred from the PP mat to the water. The water travels back to your pool to provide that cozy chill-free feeling in your pool.
A less common, but more expensive, type of solar heater is the glazed panel heater. These are aluminum-backed panels with copper piping sandwiched between tempered glass shields. Glazed solar panels are more efficient in transferring heat, but can be twice the price.
For above ground pool owners, there are less expensive lightweight options, like the Game Solar Pro, for heating your pool. These coiled packs of solar can be chained to heat rectangular pools that are up to 16X32 in size.
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What Is A Pool Ionizer Cost Problems Pros And Cons
Would you like smoother, silkier pool water? Want to use fewer pool chemicals? How about stopping algae in its tracks?
Enter swimming pool ionizers.
Pool ionizers are supplemental disinfecting systems that fight off bacteria and algae using copper and silver ions. Before you decide to get one, you might have questions like:
How do pool ionizers work?
How much do pool ionizers cost?
What are the pros and cons of pool ionizers?
As fiberglass pool manufacturers who also educate our readers on inground pool maintenance and sanitation, well answer these questions to help you decide if a pool ionizer system is right for you.
Animation: Thermal Solar Pool Heating System
How Does Solar Pool Heating Work?
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How The Collectors Work
There are a few different types of solar collectors, but they all pretty much work on the same principlesthe same kind that a greenhouse uses. The collectors all have a glass portion that allows sunlight to permeate. Beneath the glass is the heat absorbera black pad that absorbs heat from the sun, increasing until that internal temperature is very high. Copper pipes or coils further heat and return the warm water to the pool.
While every solar collector relies on a similar concept to heat up water, the collectors rely on very different methods of achieving those concepts depending on the type of collector thats used. Flat plate collectors and evacuated tube collectors are the two most used types, and here are the differences between them:
How Do Solar Panels For Swimming Pool Pumps Work
Pool owners in cool climates can use their swimming pool longer by heating water in their pool. You can heat pool water with gas, oil or electricity however, the most energy-efficient method is to use solar panels. Aside from the initial installation costs, solar energy is free, and the technology is long lasting.
You can easily install solar panels onto your existing swimming pool pump. When you use a regular swimming pool pump, water is pulled out of the pool, pumped through a filter for cleaning and returned to the pool. However, when you heat pool water with solar panels, before the cleaned water returns to the pool, it passes through pipes leading to a solar collector. The solar collector transfers the heat from the sun to the water in the pump, and the heated water is eventually pumped back to the pool via pipes and valves. The water in the swimming pool can be a natural solar collector as well on warm days, the sun heats the pool water directly.
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Q: Are Solar Sun Rings Better Than Bubble Pack Covers
A: By using the high quality polished vinyl for the top layer and a 50% density lightly frosted lower layer, we achieved a solar efficiency that greatly surpasses bubble pack covers. The milky translucent inferior plastic used in bubble pack covers reflects much of the sun’s energy and fails to allow adequate deep water heating. Solar Sun Rings® design and materials allow greater solar efficiency with greater nighttime insulation due to greater captive air thickness. Solar Sun Rings® were designed to safely heat swimming pools, not cushion packages. The effect is that Solar Sun Rings® with 70% to 80% coverage outperform bubble pack covers with 100% coverage.
How Does A Solar Pool Cover Work
A pool cover works in three ways:
Obviously using the sun to heat a pool is very eco-friendly and can save you money if you use a pool heater.
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How Many Hybrid Solar Panels Does It Take To Heat A Pool
The number of panels needed to heat your pool depends on its surface area and volume. The geographical location should also be taken into account. For instance, the panels will have a higher efficiency in the south of France because the region boasts more regular sunshine.
To determine the number of panels to be installed, one must know the swimming pools heat loss surface, meaning the surface exposed to the air. In the case of an underground pool, this means the surface of the pool only.
With this in mind, the next step requires accounting for the regional climate. In the south of France, for instance, it is recommended that the surface occupied by the solar panels represent at least 50% of the swimming pools heat loss surface. In the north, this number is something like 75%. In both of these cases, the panels will increase the temperature by 2 to 4°C depending on the amount of sunshine available.
Consequently, in the south, one should install 5m² of DualSun panels per every 10m² of swimming pool surface area. In the north, 7.5m² of panels per every 10m² of swimming pool surface area.
As an example, an 8 x 4m underground swimming pool in the south of France will require: 8 x 4 x 50% = 16m² of panels, or 3kWc.