A pool solar water heater collects energy from the sun in order to heat up your swimming pool. In order for you to choose the right model for your pool and use it properly, you have to understand the basics of how it works and how to maximize its capability.
We’ll cover both topics here.
A simple pool solar water heater includes a pump, controller, filter and PVC pipes to route the water flow. To increase the heating, you have to increase the water flowing into the solar collector.
You can do this by turning a valve that channels more water through the solar heater. When the valve is closed, water runs entirely through the solar heater.
When it is open, little water flows through the solar water heater due to its high water resistance. (Water, like electricity, prefers the easier path to flow through.)
By adjusting the valve, you can control how much heat you will introduce into your swimming pool.
Pool solar water heaters are much cheaper than PV panels. While the latter requires thousands of dollars to install, solar heaters only require a few hundred dollars for a good system.
People commonly ask what type (and size) of solar collectors they should get. This can be determined by going through a few questions:
1. How long is your pump’s running time?
If your pool filter is turned on for a long time, you have more opportunity to introduce heat into your pool. The converse is also true. Thus if you intend to run your pump for many hours a day, you can get a smaller-sized solar collector.
2. How is your pool installed?
Some pools are installed above the ground. These pools lose heat at a much faster rate. Thus you’ll need large solar heaters to compensate for the heat loss.
3. How will you install your solar collectors?
There are different ways of installing your solar collectors. Often, aesthetics and efficiency do not coexist. Solar collectors mounted flushed to the ground do not get as much sunlight as those tilted towards the sun.
4. How much sunlight do you get?
This depends on your location. Shading also affects how much sunshine you receive at your pool and at your solar collector. You may want to clear some branches or find a sunny spot to place your solar collectors.
5. How much wind do you experience?
Wind removes heat from your swimming pool. For open ICS solar collectors, even heat collected at the solar heater is taken away. So if you experience strong wind at your area, these are what you can do:
- Increase the solar collector size
- Use a glazed solar collector
- Plant bushes around your pool and solar collector to break up the wind flow
- Increase the daily pump time through the pool solar heater
While installing your pool solar water heaters, you will want as much value out of it as possible. This can be achieved by improving its efficiency.
Here are some tips that you may find helpful:
Run the Pool Solar Heater During the Sunniest Time of the Day
Running water through solar collectors drain energy. You may not need to heat up your pool throughout the day. Conserve energy by heating your pool during the sunniest time of the day. You can continue running it till the evening if you want to.
Keep experimenting… After a while, you’ll find the optimum period to run your solar heater.
Use a Pool Cover
Your solar heater can be 50% more effective when you use a pool cover to retain its heat. If you use a solar pool cover, it will also help introduce more heat into the pool.
Connect Solar Collectors in Parallel
Connecting solar collectors in series increase the water resistance and makes your pool pump work harder. Connecting them in parallel cuts the resistance in half. This helps to save electricity.