How to Build a Solar Pool Heater

A solar swimming pool heating system allows you and your household to enjoy your swimming pool or spa for a greater part of the year, into spring and autumn, into cooler evenings and early mornings, when others are shivering!

There are 4 ways to warm your swimming pool:

  1. An electric heating system
  2. Gas, normally a gas heating unit
  3. Utilizing a swimming pool cover
  4. Solar pool heating unit

The best solution out of the 4 options is solar. It’s cheap to run and you do not add to greenhouse gas emissions. You can spend time in your conveniently warm pool or outdoor health spa built for free! Why not?

An industrial swimming pool heating system can cost you up to $2000. You can develop your own at a small portion of that expense.

Simply look around on the web for guides that offer you clear directions of how to develop your system. There are a number of things to keep in mind during your research:

Make sure you find these essential elements in any guide you buy:

  • A clear list of products with detailed instructions.

  • Materials need to be simple to source in your area and be low-cost.

  • No requirements for complicated engineering, electrical abilities or welding.

  • Clear diagrams.

  • Some troubleshooting recommendations.

How do solar pool heating systems work?

They run on a passive solar principle.

The water for the swimming pool goes through long lengths of flexible tubing. Light reflectors are suspended in front of the flexible tubing using the sun’s heat to raise the temperature of the water in the tubing. The tubing must be protected from wind with polythene sheeting,

The reflectors can be constructed out of halved storm water piping, sprayed with chrome paint to maximise their reflective powers. You will require a small pond pump or solar electrical pump to circulate this warmed water through your pool or day spa. The latter is more costly, but obviously you will help the environment and your wallet by spending a bit more to start with.

One guide recommends that minimum pump specifications to provide 10 litres per minute (120 gals/hour) and can raise water to 1.6 m (5’2″).

All components containing tubing, reflectors and cover, are put together into a photovoltaic panel. Its ideal size depends upon maximum dimensions for ease of handling, structural stability and heating effectiveness. Obviously, more than one panel can be used.

In general, a panel determining 3.4 m (11′ 4″) by 1.4 m (4′ 8″) is effective on swimming pools up to 30,000 litres (6000 gal).

Panels need to be placed to maximise receipt of the sun’s rays. It’s fine to have them deal with the sun’s midday position. Place them vertically on a fence or horizontally on your roofing.

It makes sense to use a solar blanket to support your solar swimming pool heating system. However, this is not generally needed to take advantage of your now upgraded asset – your solar heated swimming pool or spa.

 

Investing in your home

Going solar is like renting vs owning a home. When you rent a home you are not buiding any equity. It’s the same with your power. You could take the same money you are already spending on power and invest that in a home improvement that will save you money over time.

The whole process with SP&B was business like and professional. I never felt pressured. I got 3 estimates on the job. I got the best equipment for the least cost. When the engineer from the power company came to inspect the installation, he said I never have to worry about their work, they always do it right, not like some of the other installers from out of the area. 
David J.

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