Finally the mercury has started to rise and days are getting longer and brighter. Clocks are turning back an hour this weekend, heralding spring and summer and of course, the first thing that comes to mind after ice cream is swimming pools and beaches.
While it may be cool until June, keeping us from spending a day at the beach, we can definitely start an earlier swimming season availing our pool of solar pool heating technology that has been bestowed upon us.
Solar heating is a simple and maintenance-free way of heating your home and pool water using the energy from the sun. Stop paying the high utility cost of standard pool heaters, water heaters and home heating.
Home Solar Heater Systems:
Before we get into Solar heaters for pools, here’s a tutorial on using solar heating in the home. Home solar systems are defined based on their type of collector and circulation system.
Home solar heating systems have three different types of collectors. All three types serve the basic function of trapping the sun’s heat and transferring it to your home, the difference lies in their design and functionality.
Batch Collectors, also known as Integrated Collector-Storage (ICS) Systems, use insulated boxes that are fitted with dark tubes that help store warm water for long periods of time making them very practical. They can be used for heating homes, barns or garages, or for heating water for kitchen and bath.
Flat-Plate Collectors make use of flat absorber plates that are fitted with copper tubes and are contained within an insulated box. This type of connector is ideal for heating and storing up to 40 gallons of water, thus making them ideal for heating water in the home.
Evacuated Tube Collectors are the most efficient type of solar heater collector available on the market. Evacuated tube collectors consist of two glass tubes with a vacuum resulting in minimal heat loss and maximum efficiency. These types of collectors work well even on cloudy days, and can operate in temperatures as low as 40°F.
Home Solar Heater Circulation Systems:
A solar heater circulation system circulates the heated water through your home, to heat floors or walls, or to heat sink and shower water. There are four types of Solar Heater Circulation Systems.
Direct circulation systems works exactly as its name suggests – taking the sun’s energy directly and using it to warm water in the collector before bringing it back to the home.
Forced circulation systems make use of electric pumps, valves and controllers to move water from the collectors to a storage tank and then dispersing it to the home.
Indirect systems use a non-freezing liquid to trap heat from the sun and use it to warm water in the storage tank with the help of a heat exchanger.
Passive systems are the simplest to use; they move water from the collectors to the storage tank as it heats up and do not require any pumps to circulate.
Solar Pool Heaters
Solar pool heaters are thankfully, not so confusing. We use a closed-loop system, without a storage tank, diverting cool pool water through black rubber mats, and back to the pool return. A very simple design, which can be automated with temperature sensors and a motorized 3-way valve, and controlled by a thermostat.
Come with me to go over the various Solar Pool Heaters that we carry at In The Swim – take my word, you will find the one that meets your pool’s heating needs and your budget.
The more direct sun exposure you have, and the more solar panel area you have – the better. Depending on these two factors, you can raise the water temperature 5-25 degrees with a solar pool heating system.
Solar Pool Heater Showcase
Solar Heat Rings: Highly effective and economical, Solar Heat Squares use the principle of passive solar heating. Each Solar Heat Square offers 20 square feet of free pool heating and measure 54” x 54”. Easy to use and more durable than solar blankets. $30
AquaQuick SolarPRO EZ is designed for use with popular soft-sided pools and features the most inexpensive, cost-effective design available on the market. This affordable solar heating system has ten square feet of surface, and connects to portable pools. $50
Beluga Solar Pool Heater heats your pool with an ordinary garden hose! Threads into any 1.5 inch pool inlet, then attach a garden hose (black is best) to the Beluga, and lay the hose in the sun, with the other end flowing into the pool. Easy installation, lots of heat! For inground or aboveground pools. $75
AquaQuick SolarPRO XD1 is a compact heating system that easily attaches to any existing pump and filter system including Intex, with 20 foot length of heating coil. Link multiple units for larger pools. With the optional $40 bypass kit, you can operate it only when conditions are optimal. $120
Eco Saver Solar Dome is the perfect choice when you want a compact heating system that can be easily installed with twist-connect fittings. The Solar Dome has 20 ft. of black, hi-density polyethylene tubing, and an included bypass assembly. Multiple units can be linked together for greater coverage. $150
AquaQuick SolarPRO XD3 is a compact heating system that easily attaches to any existing pump and filter system including Intex, with 60 foot length of heating coil. Link multiple units for larger pools. Includes the diverter kit, to bypass the solar panel when conditions are not favorable. $200
Solar Arc is a compact solar pool heater that takes up less space than traditional panel systems. Water is warmed by the sun and circulated when your pump & filter system is running, and has an internal bypass included. Connect two or more Solar Arc units together for maximum heat. $200
Universal Solar Heater Systems feature state-of-the-art tube construction that creates a larger surface area to optimize heat transfer of the sun’s energy. Panels can be mounted horizontally or vertically, are available with 4×10 ft. or 4×20 ft. size. Includes everything you need for an easy DIY installation. $250
SolarPro XF solar pool heater has a unique contoured design and polycarbonate cover to maximize heat transfer. Use the optional bypass assembly for inground pools, or pumps 1hp or larger for best results. 10 sq ft of solar panel, connect multiple panels together for greater heat gain. $275
AquaQuick SolarPRO XD2 is a compact heating system that easily attaches to any existing pump and filter system including Intex, with 66 foot length of heating coil. Link multiple units for larger pools. With the optional $40 bypass kit, you can operate it only when conditions are optimal. $330
We covered a lot in today’s blog; hope you found it helpful and informative. I cannot wait to install a solar heating system on my pool this summer – I’ll update you later with details of my own solar pool heater installation.
Happy Warm Swimming!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger