Pool Solar Heaters
This website contains resources for swimming pool solar heaters including how to install, how they work, performance comparisons to electric heat pumps and gas heaters as well as alternative pool solar heating methods
What Is Pool Solar Heating?
Pool solar heating is an active solar heating method as it involves the use of a water pump to cycle water through a solar thermal collector. The solar collector, which can be constructed of many different materials, is designed to collect and capture thermal heat from the sun.
The water from the swimming pool is then cycled through the solar collectors creating a heat exchanger system where two dissimilar temperatures are put in close proximity separated by a thermal conductor such as the wall of a copper pipe. This allows the cool temperature of the water to freely exchange with the heated solar collector.
Advantages Of Solar Pool Heaters
The most obvious advantage of pool solar heaters is that they can be used to heat the water in your swimming pool for free. Traditional forms of pool heating such as electricity and gas heating are extremely expensive costing sometimes upwards of a few hundred to a thousand dollars or more per month! Any heat that can be provided by the sun for free or for an affordable upfront cost is a huge cost savings!
Another advantage of pool solar heaters is that the technology that they operate on is relatively simple. Solar thermal collection is one of the easiest forms of solar energy to harvest with basic equipment. Using any one of a few different methods the average person can build their own pool solar heater with noticeable results.
Disadvantages Of Solar Pool Heaters
The primary disadvantage of pool solar heaters is that while they increase mid-season water temperatures they do not necessarily prolong the swimming season. This is a significant distinction that the average pool owner may not realize.
In all but the most robust pool solar heater installations the heat collected will be insufficient to raise the water temperature to a tolerable level at the beginning and at the end of the season. A natural gas or propane pool heater can raise the water temperature in May or even sooner and prolong the season into September and even October in some areas. A pool solar heater is mostly effective between June and August when the heat from the sun is strongest.
The next section looks at types of pool solar heaters