- 1. Definition
- 2. Introduction
- 3. How does it work
- 4. Advantages of Solar Heaters
- 5. Disadvantages of Solar Heaters
- 6. Solar Pool Heater System Types
- 7. Selecting a Solar Pool Heater
- 8. Installation
- 9. Solar Pool Heaters Benefits
- 10. Other Solar Heating Products
- 11. Quick Facts
- 12. Quick Facts
- 13. References
- 14. Similar topics
When considering the installation of a solar heater, the all-important factors are the collector area proposed, collector design and quality of material. There is only a fixed rate at which the sun will provide energy, so the larger the collector the more heat will be gained. As a general rule the collector should be equal to at least 80% of the area of the pool, although 100% coverage would be more typical. Results improve as the collector size is increased. Other points that are important when considering solar are the pitch and directional aspect of the roof, that is, which way it faces. A roof facing north is most favorable because it will receive the maximum amount of sunlight. Any shading of the roof by large trees will also be considered. The location of the pool and how much it is affected by shade and wind is also important.
Most solar pool heating systems include the following:
- Solar collector — the device through which pool water is circulated to be heated by the sun
- Filter — removes debris before water is pumped through the collector
- Pump — circulates water through the filter and collector and back to the pool
- Flow control valve — automatic or manual device that diverts pool water through the solar collector.
Some systems include sensors and an automatic or manual valve to divert water through the collector(s) when the collector temperature is sufficiently greater than the pool temperature. When the collector temperature is similar to the pool temperature, filtered water simply bypasses the collector(s) and is returned to the pool.
Both glazed and unglazed collector systems should include freeze protection if they'll be used in colder conditions.
- Evaluate your site's solar resource
- Determine the correct system size
- Determine the system's efficiency
- Compare system costs
- Investigate local codes, covenants, and regulations
After installation, properly maintaining your system will keep it running smoothly for 10–20 years. Consult your contractor and read your owner's manual for maintenance requirements. Your collector should require little maintenance if the pool's chemical balance and filtering system are checked regularly. Glazed collectors may need to be cleaned in dry climates where rainwater doesn't provide a natural rinse.
- A properly sized solar system will effectively raise temperatures well into the 80°F range. In addition to raising the water temperature
- Swimming season can be extended in cooler climates by as much as 100 percent, and performs year round in warmer climates
- There may be short periods during inclement weather when the pool water becomes cooler; however, a little sunny weather will return the pool back to a comfortable temperature.
- Solar pool heating systems are best suited for recreational pools, but can be easily designed for commercial and industrial applications.