Solar Powered Pool Heater

A solar powered pool heater is the most economical and environmentally friendly option when it comes to keeping your pool warm and inviting.  The process can be slow especially in cooler months with less intense sunshine but it can keep your pool heated for most of the year in mild climates.

solar powered pool heater

There are numerous options available for residential swimming pools.  Technology is advancing rapidly in this area of pool heating and it can be overwhelming when looking at all different types of solar heaters.  The method or process of collecting the suns energy and transferring it to your pool is relatively simple.

This information pertains to a solar heating system used mostly with inground swimming pool applications.  Solar water heaters for above ground pools usually consist of a small solar collection unit that is portable and lightweight.

A solar powered pool heater is ideal for inground pools and are one of the best investments you can make in the long run.  It will cost a bit more to have the kit installed initially but the result is years of free heat for your pool.  The technology has improved dramatically in recent years and most solar systems have warranties that are in excess of 10 - 15 years.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when considering a solar heating system. You need to make sure that you will receive at least 6 - 8 hours of unobstructed sunlight for your panels to work effectively.  Most often the ideal location is on a roof of a house or shed but not always the case.  If you won’t like the look of having panels on your roof then it might not be for you.  Panels are usually black in color and if properly installed they are often not very noticeable.

The heat generated by solar panels varies depending on time of year and the amount of sunlight you receive in your area.  The heating can be slow and in some climates the effectiveness is limited.

How a Solar Powered Pool Heater Works

The water is pumped from your pool using your existing water pump. It is important to note that if you plan on using a solar heating method you will need to factor this in when assessing your current pump or choosing the size of pump for your new pool. 

The pool water is pumped as it usually would but its diverted instead to solar collection tubes.  These tubes draw heat from the attached solar panels or solar coils that are constantly absorbing heat energy from the sun.

After a few hours the water in the tubes is heated quite substantially.  This warm, and often hot, water is then pumped back into your pool, raising the overall temperature of your pool water.  As the warm water is pumped back into your pool, water from your pool is pumped into your solar collectors and the process repeats itself.  This process can occur roughly 4 - 6 times per day.

Installing the Solar Panels

Solar panels are made in a variety of sizes but a common size is 4ft x 8ft which provides 32 sq ft of solar collection surface area. A panel that is 4ft x 8ft weighs about 30 lbs empty and 60 lbs when filled with water.

The panels should be set up in an area that receives the most sunlight. The more hours of direct sun the panels receive, the more heat that can be harnessed and transferred to your pool. A good location is either attached to a nearby fence, on top of a shed or on the roof of your house. 

Solar powered pool heater panels are a bit more time intensive to set up but in the long run you will be utilizing the sun for free energy with the added benefit of helping the environment.

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