Reduce The Thermostat Setting A Few Degrees & Save Money:
Few people realize what a big percentage saving each degree of reduction in temperature makes. One important point to remember when looking to run a swimming pool in a more eco-friendly way and economize on pool heating is the pool temperature thermostat setting. Obvious really yet often overlooked, the warmer you heat your pool the more it costs to keep it to a higher operating temperature.
Each degree rise in temperature equates to an approximate 15-18% increase in energy use and operation cost. So, while an 88°F pool is lovely & warm, it will cost a lot more to heat than a pool set to warm to 85°F. Everybody has their own thermostat and comfort level when it comes to pool temperatures – just look at home temperatures! Likewise with a pools water temperature warmer is nice but costs more – simple thermodynamics and economic math.
How Does Solar Pool Heating Work
Surprisingly, heating your pool with solar panels is easier and more affordable than you think. The installation can be done in as little as a week or two, so you can have your panels up and running in no time. Once the system is set up, its also completely automated, so you dont have to think about it much in the future.
Most solar pool heating systems have a few different components. The components usually include a solar collector, filter, flow control valve, and pump. These components work together as one large integrated system that heats your pool water to the desired temperature.
Heres how it works: First, the water pumps through the filter. Then the water enters the solar collector, where it is heated and pumped back into the pool. While there are many kinds of collectors, in-ground and above-ground pools in California use unglazed collectors. Theyre called unglazed because they dont have a glass covering to catch heat. Instead, they are made from industrial-grade rubber or plastic. Glazed panels are only used in colder climates, since they work to heat water in temperatures that fall below freezing. Alternatives to unglazed solar collectors include evacuated tube solar thermal systems, flat plate solar thermal systems, and thermodynamic panels. Each of these options is used throughout the U.S. and the U.K., and a qualified solar installer can help you decide which is right for you. .
Heating The Swimming Pool With Wood
You can also use a wood stove to heat your pool. In this system, the water needs to run along the stove, where it picks up the heat that is caused by the fire.
This type of heating is mainly used on smaller pools for occasional use. Heating a pool with wood is quite labour-intensive and wood is also expensive .
We do not recommend this system. If you want to heat a large pool with such a system, you will constantly have to supply it with wood.
You May Like: What Is The Payback On Solar Panels
Making The Most Of Your Solar Pool Heater Installation
Taking simple measures, such as utilizing a pool cover to help retain heat, effectively reduces the costs associated with operating a solar powered pool heater even further. Solar pool covers are designed to absorb more thermal energy from the sun and transfer it to the pool surface.
Other possible ways to provide a little extra warmth in the pool include the use of Solar Sun Rings. They float on the surface of a pool and provide small amounts of heating.
Since a solar pool heater requires both electrical and plumbing work, it is recommended that you contact a professional contractor to install the heating systems – especially if you are looking to place the installation on your roof.
Both pool and solar contractors can install a solar powered pool heater, however solar installers will be aware of any local solar rebates and incentives that are available in your area.
How much can you save with solar?
Best Solar Pool Heaters Of 2021
There are a variety of solar pool heaters on the market but finding the best heater will always depend on the specifics of your home and pool. A few top models we recommend considering include:
|SOLAR POOL HEATERS
|Aboveground and in
ground swimming pools
If youre already considering going solar, adding a rooftop solar photovoltaic system in addition to solar pool heaters can be a great way to consolidate projects. In fact, many installers will install both PV panels and solar collectors.
Don’t Miss: Is It Possible To Make Your Own Solar Panels
Wrapping Up Solar Pool Heaters And Covers
At this point, it should be clear that making a DIY pool heater is an excellent way to save some serious money when it comes to keeping your pool warm outside of peak season. Also, youll be helping to save the earth by using the natural power of the sun to replace the fossil fuels of the more traditional commercially-available pool heaters. Try out some options and see what works for you!
Also, have a look at our piece about running your swimming pool pumps with solar, and while on the topic of water, take a look at solar water heaters for the house and Hawaiis take on solar water heaters.
Let us know in the comments what you have done to help heat your pool and keep it warm!
What About Heating My Pool
As mentioned earlier, the costs associated with heating a pool can be exorbitant, hence why heating is generally considered a luxury feature. There a three main options for heating your pool gas heaters, electric heat pumps and solar pool heaters.
While they each have their pros and cons, solar pool heaters are the most popular type of pool heating system in Australia, and for an obvious reason: they heat the water by harnessing free energy from the sun.
Solar water heating can take a variety of forms. Firstly, some systems use a solar heat exchanger component, using the heat generated from your solar pool pump to warm up your pool, ensuring no energy is wasted. These hybrid systems usually require a grid connection however and do have an associated, albeit low, running cost.
There are also tubular pool heaters that operate similarly to solar hot water systems. Water is pumped from the pool and flows through a solar collector either a series of flexible tubes or solar panels most commonly mounted on the house roof. The water is heated by the sun before flowing back into the pool. This can be a rather costly option, costing more than $1,000.
The most inexpensive, although somewhat less efficient, way to heat your pool with solar is to use solar mats or pool covers, which are designed to absorb and distribute heat. These typically cost anywhere from $100 to $300.
Read Also: What Are Solar Panels Used For
Homemade Solar Pool Heater Existing Pump
This website takes advantage of an existing pool pump and shows you how to build a solar pool heater using items from your local hardware store. If you do not want to invest in a new pool pump, this detailed guide will help you with the products and steps needed to make a working solar pool heater at home.
This process also advises adding a timer to the pool pump. This gives the water enough time to heat up before it is pumped back into the pool and avoids cold water being circulated.
How Much Does Solar Pool Heating Cost
For a standard-sized swimming pool, a gas heat pump can cost above $1,500 per year. An electric heat pump averages at half this cost. The heating bill exists every time you use the heater.
However, a solar pool heater costs almost nothing to use and maintain. You do not need any electricity to keep the solar heating system running. It can therefore pay for its initial installation cost within a few years.
The savings will add up where subsidies or tax breaks are given for solar in some states. Furthermore, a study showed that80% of solar panels will last longer than their warrantyand they require little to no recurring maintenance.
Recommended Reading: Where Is The Best Place To Install Solar Panels
Heat Pumps Compared With Other Pool Heating Systems
An electric pool heating system is expensive to use. It uses so much electricity that it can only be considered for whirlpools up to 1,500 L. An electric system is unsuitable for a standard pool of approx. 50,000 L.
The main drawback of gas or fuel oil heating systems is their low efficiency. These heating systems require 5 kW of energy to generate 1 kW of heat, whereas for a heat pump it is just the other way around. As a result, a great deal of energy is needed to heat a large swimming pool.
Solar systems are also quite popular pool heaters, but then you have to rely solely on the sun.
Heating Your Pool With A Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters are mainly used for residential heating or for sanitary facilities. The exact application depends in part on the number of panels installed on the roof. You can also use a solar water heater to heat not only your home but your pool as well.
This is far more environmentally friendly than gas or fuel heating, but you do need energy to power the solar water heater.
A good-quality solar water heater will set you back around 5,000. However, solar water heaters are not our first recommendation for a pool heating system. They have the disadvantage of working at reduced efficiency on overcast days. It is precisely on days like these that the solar water heater has to work hard to heat up the pool or keep it warm. For a warm pool, you will therefore have to continue to rely on sunlight.
Also Check: How To File As Sole Proprietor
Solar Swimming Pool Heater Sizing
According to Swim Universitys Three Quarters Rule, youll need enough solar collectors to cover about three quarters of the surface of your pool. For example, a standard pool size is 15 X 30 feet, or 450 square feet. Your solar collectors surface area would thus need to be around 338 square feet. However, if you plan to use your pool all year, youll probably want to plan on bumping up from three quarters to 100% coverage. For this example, you would need 450 square feet of available surface area to install your solar pool heaters on.
How Does The System Work
The solar collector is composed of polypropylene tubes, plus an additive to prevent wear by solar radiation. The collector attracts solar radiation by heating the water that circulates through it.
Coldwater enters through the bottom of the system and branches into the tubes, causing it to warm up. As soon as the water heats up, it loses density, rising to the top of the system and returning to the pool, driven by the pressure of the recirculation pump.
This is basically how the pool water heats up and allows you to extend the bathing season well into the winter.
Solar kit to heat the pool water
In general, the solar heaters used for this purpose must incorporate at least the following elements along with your pools existing pump and check valve:
- 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.
- Filters: With them, the water that returns to the pool will be free of debris.
- Diverter Valve: When the water needs to be heated, the diverter valve will direct the water flow through the solar collector. If the water is hot, the valve will remain closed, and the water will circulate back to the pool.
- Differential controller: The controller will determine when the diverter valve should be opened and closed by sensing the water temperature.
You May Like: How Much Electricity Does A 10kw Solar System Produce
Variations On A Black Hose
Instead of running tubing through a solar panel, many people opt to use the simple power of a black hose in various configurations to create as much surface area as possible to run their water through. The hose, or polyethylene pipe, is coiled to make solar discs that can be laid out on the ground, mounted to an array, or placed on a roof to maximize sun exposure. Some people even incorporate these into landscaping around the pool!
These discs often include hundreds of feet of piping and are only limited by the amount of space that you have. Here are some excellent examples of how to use these discs:
As you can see, both systems above use long lengths of black tube that absorb heat from the sun. Pretty simple, right? How much money you can save by implementing one of these simple systems depends on too many factors to outline them all here: weather, temperature, hose length, hose diameter and material, and original water temperature are just a few. That being said, with materials costing less than $40 and just a little of your time, its hard to see how you wouldnt benefit from this system if you used it regularly!
How Solar Swimming Pool Heating Works
As its name suggests, a solar-heated swimming pool is heated through solar energy. This kind of heating can raise the temperature of the water by up to 5°. A considerable increase! By harnessing solar radiation, you can enjoy your pool for longer.
Rest assured that a solar swimming pool heating system works in a fairly simple way:
- The water that flows through the filter circuit is diverted to the solar heating system.
- The water is filtered and then heated with the help of swimming pool solar collectors.
- Lastly, the water is transferred back into the swimming pool itself.
The water can also be heated by various other means, such as solar domes or solar heating mats placed in front of the pool. The water then flows through a pipe system, is heated, and retransferred into the pool. This is a good way to heat an above-ground pool.
The solar water heater for swimming pools is convenient and user-friendly.
It is usually placed in proximity to the swimming pool to avoid heat loss. The layout of this renewable energy system therefore depends on the layout of the garden itself. At any rate, the heating system is connected to the water circuit, then to the water pump and the filter.
Read our article describing : how solar panels work
You May Like: How Many Solar Panels To Power A House Off Grid
Making Your Diy Solar Pool Heater
Building a DIY solar heater is more simple than it seems. The materials are easily found at a hardware store. Youre going to need wood to build a frame, an irrigation hose, a transparent hard plastic cover, and a pool pump. You should also keep a thermometer handy to check the temperature of the water.
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:
You May Like: How Much Is The Cheapest Solar Panel
Why Solar Thermal Panels
So why would heating a pool require solar thermal panels as opposed to photovoltaic ones?
The answer is simple the primary function of a PV system is to produce electricity, while the primary function of a solar thermal system is to produce heat.
In addition to the above, solar thermal panels are on average, more efficient than their PV cousins. To be more specific, a solar thermal systems efficiency level can get up to 70%. This is in contrast to a PV system, which tends to have an efficiency level of 15% 20%.
Diy Solar Pool Heaters With Copper Wire
This hack uses aluminum backed copper coil as the mean heat absorber. This is a lightweight system and the way it is constructed allows for someone to connect multiple smaller units together if your pool is large. This YouTuber emphasizes the speed at which the temperature gets hot in his experience, it got to 125F in just 5 minutes.
You May Like: Do You Have To Wash Solar Panels