Solar Pool Heating – Swimming in March with No Heating Bill

by Lauren Dansey

We couldn’t be more pleased with our solar pool heating system.  We have been swimming since late March, and the pool has been 85 to 90 degrees without turning on the gas heater.  But there are some good reasons why we’ve been able to maintain that temperature.

The solar pool heating system heats up the pool during the day, but that heat will be lost at night if you don’t use a pool cover.  As you can see from the picture, we cut the bubble cover we got when we built the pool to fit the pool almost exactly.  We also bought a pool cover reel to make it easy to put the cover on and off.  Without the reel, I think the cover would be too difficult to deal with.  Now, it’s one man (or woman) job to put the cover on or off.

We usually end up swimming on the weekends, and just leave the cover on during the week.  The pool will usually maintain its temperature over the weekend without the cover.  We’ve actually wanted to cool the pool down a little on some of our warmer weekends, and that happens at night without the cover.

For more information about solar pool heating, call us at 805-497-9808, or fill out the contact form on our website.

Solar Heating for the Pool – Working Great

by Lauren Dansey

The final installation for our two solar pool heating systems was completed last week, and we couldn’t be happier with the performance.  We installed two systems, a rooftop system (the dark panels below the solar electrical panels on our roof), and an in-deck solar heating system (underneath the concrete around the pool.)  The system begins to pump warm water into the pool as early as 8am, and continues until late in the afternoon. (We do have an ideal south-facing roof.)  We set the desired temperature, and a separate pump operates whenever the water in the solar panels is hotter than the pool temperature.  It shuts off when the desired temperature is reached.  The system pumps out an amazing amount of hot water — the kids are getting exercise by positioning themselves where the water comes into the pool and swimming against the current.

The in-deck pool heating system has an added advantage, also.  The concrete around the pool used to be too hot to walk on during hot afternoons, but now with the cooler water circulating underneath it, the concrete is much cooler.  The heat is carried to the pool.

The goal is to not use the pool heater at all.  We’re going to be careful to use a pool cover at night when the weather gets colder, and between that and the solar heating systems, we’ll see how warm we can keep the pool.

For more information about solar pool heating, call us at 805-497-9808, or fill out the contact sheet on our website.

Solar Heating for the Pool – Concrete is poured and pool is finished.

 

by Lauren Dansey

As the next step in our in-deck solar pool heating adventure, concrete was poured over the solar heating tubes.  When the concrete was poured, workers made sure that the tubes were approximately 2″ below the concrete surface.  This maximizes the heat that is transferred to the tubes, without the possibility of the tubes showing in the concrete.

To the right is the finished pool and deck.  The concrete gets very hot in the direct sun, so we’re looking forward to turning on the solar.  We can’t turn the heat or solar heating on until a  month has passed so the pool surface can cure, but the temperature without heating is a very comfortable 85 degrees.  The rooftop pool solar and in-deck solar heating will allow us to extend our swim season year-round, without increasing our utility bill.  I’ll bring you an update when the solar is turned on and let you know how it affects our heating bill.

To the left you can see the rooftop solar pool heating panels on the roof, below the solar electrical (PV) panels.  We used ten 4 ft. by 8 ft. Heliocol panels.  They are shorter than the normal Heliocol panels, designed for roofs that don’t have room for the larger panels.  Solar pool heating is the most cost-effective use of solar in your home, with a return on investment of just 2-4 years.  We’re looking forward to swimming into the fall.