How does solar pool heating work
As the name implies, a solar pool heater is powered by energy from the sun. Though some heaters work differently, most cycle the cool water from your pool through solar panels. These panels use solar collectors to capture energy from the sun. The panels then use this free energy to warm the water before cycling it back into your pool. As a result, your pool is kept warm and comfortable for those who wish to use it. A solar pool heater system can economically lengthen the time of year that you use your pool.
Benefits of using solar pool heating
There are several reasons to use a solar pool heater over other types of heaters. First, as mentioned, you can save significant on your monthly gas and energy bills. Second, you and your family can enjoy using your pool for a longer time during the year, knowing that your energy costs are lower. Third, solar pool heaters usually require less maintenance than other heaters. Both electric and gas heaters need to be serviced occasionally. Last, a solar pool heating system will likely last longer than other types of heaters. While many gas heaters carry a 2-year warranty, you can expect your solar heater to last 7 to 10 years.
You can purchase solar pool heaters for an above-ground pool as well as an in-ground pool. A large above-ground pool can either have a “roof top” cover that collects the sun’s energy and warms your pool or a heating system that sits on the ground. Many owners of smaller above-ground pools prefer a solar pool heating system that sits on the ground. An in-ground pool should use a “roof top” cover. This type of cover typically sits on the roof of your home while collecting energy. Unobtrusive, a “roof top” cover will likely not even be seen by your guests.
Consider the decision to buy a solar water heating system to warm your pool an investment. Not only will it allow your family and friends to enjoy a warm pool in which to swim, but you can extend the swimming season and do so while saving money on fuel costs. Further, because solar pool heaters require less maintenance and are generally more durable than other heaters, you can expect your heater to warm your pool for many years. You can find additional info here
Should you build your own solar pool heater
Building your own solar pool heater is a great do-it-yourself project if you want to add solar to your home. You will not need to buy a lot of expensive equipment or tools. And you will not need highly specialized skills. Here is a basic explanation of the process and benefits so you can decide if you want to tackle it.
You will need to purchase only a few simple components: solar collectors, piping, a controller and a diverter valve. You will not need to build or buy a storage tank, since your pool already stores the water. And you won’t need to buy, build or install a circulating pump, since your solar pool heater will use your pool’s circulating pump.
Here’s a simple explanation of how the system works. The water from the pool gets pumped into the solar collector, gets heated by the sun and gets pumped back into the pool. This is called an open loop design. The controller allows you to select the warmest temperature you want the pool to reach. And the diverter valve either sends water back to the pool if it is already warm enough, or over to the collector to be heated as needed.
The solar collector is a simple system of black polypropylene UV-resistant tubing. The choice of materials is important so that the tubing doesn’t break down from exposure to the sun or from exposure from the chlorine in the pool. The proper materials will last up to 20 years.
Although it is tempting to think of doing it all yourself, including making the solar collector, it is really easier and more cost effective to buy ready made collectors for your project. The reason is that adhesives will not stick to polypropylene, and the equipment you would need to thermal weld it would cost more than buying the ready-made collectors. Also, experts advise against using a less expensive rubber or plastic tubing that will break down too quickly because of exposure to the sun and chlorine.
If you decide that you really want to install your solar pool heating system yourself, the easiest method is to buy a kit. You will still need to design measure and install your system. And you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your efforts for years afterwards.