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Thread: solar kits

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    solar kits

    Has anyone tried these type of plans?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Solar-Swimming-Pool ... 1|294%3A50

    The feedback seems to be good. What does he know that I didnt and spent about $3k on a pool heater? Thanks.
    25,000 gallon freeform inground gunite pool with 12" raised spa. 3.5'- 6.4' deep.
    2 skimmers, 6 returns and bubbler on sunshelf.
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump, Jandy valves, Jandy CL340 cart filter, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWG, Polaris 280 w booster, Jandy LXI 4000 heater.
    White plaster, flagstone coping, custom tan tiles with decos on raised spa.
    Pentair lights.
    650 sq ft concrete deck.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    Solar heat typically costs more to install than a gas pool heater, but once installed it is very inexpensive to operate. You need to have an appropriate space on your roof, or the ground, which is fairly close to the pool and gets lots of direct sunlight.

    There isn't anything magical about directions on how to do solar heating, such as the one you pointed to. They are usually just collections of publicly available information with a few additional comments added. One great place to get started for free is the Hot Sun Industries web site.

    Even if you do everything yourself, the costs will be somewhat higher than that eBay ad implies, but not too bad. A 4'x20' panel typically costs a little under $200 and you will usually want at least a couple of them. Pipe and valves are fairly inexpensive, but they do add up. Also, the pump generally costs more to operate when solar is active, variable speed pumps run on higher speeds and single speed pumps need to run for longer.

    By the by, the eBay ad mentions that the water coming out of the solar system was so hot he couldn't keep his hand in front of it. That is a bad sign, it means that not enough water is passing through the system. The higher the temperature gain on a single pass the less efficient the system is.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    By the by, the eBay ad mentions that the water coming out of the solar system was so hot he couldn't keep his hand in front of it. That is a bad sign, it means that not enough water is passing through the system
    This statement is somewhat misleading. He says when he first starts up the system the water coming from the return was super-hot. This is normal if the panels have been sitting in the sun without water running through them. After a min. or two, the panels will cool off and the temp. increase won't be nearly as high. Though, if the water come out continuously hot, Jason's statement is correct.

    HTH,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: solar kits

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    One great place to get started for free is the Hot Sun Industries web site.
    So I'm checking out this web site, and my wife wanders by. "Oooh, pool porn!" she says. (I'm just looking! Really!)
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

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    spishex's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulR
    So I'm checking out this web site, and my wife wanders by. "Oooh, pool porn!" she says. (I'm just looking! Really!)
    --paulr

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    Re: solar kits

    I guess the purpose of the original post was, can you build a solar pool heating kit from supplies at Home Depot for a couple hundred bucks and heat the pool for free? I heated my pool one day for a party and it cost $100 on my gas bill. When you go to these web sites the system still costs $1000's and you have 1/2 your roof covered with panels. Most HOA wont allow that.

    If someone could invent a solar type system to run the entire pool, pumps, that would save gazillions of dollars.
    25,000 gallon freeform inground gunite pool with 12" raised spa. 3.5'- 6.4' deep.
    2 skimmers, 6 returns and bubbler on sunshelf.
    Jandy 1.5 hp pump, Jandy valves, Jandy CL340 cart filter, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWG, Polaris 280 w booster, Jandy LXI 4000 heater.
    White plaster, flagstone coping, custom tan tiles with decos on raised spa.
    Pentair lights.
    650 sq ft concrete deck.

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    Re: solar kits

    Well, the eBay guy says 15-20 degrees, and the claims for solar covers are 10-15 degrees for similar money but fewer scout badges. I'm gonna stick with my cover, it's less pretty but it also reduces evaporation.
    --paulr
    BBB "Intermediate Swimmer"
    IG plaster pool 18.5K gal, Hayward Pro-Grid DE filter, 3/4 HP Hydramax II; Polaris 380, 3/4 HP booster
    AG spa 325 gal, probably Sundance of some kind
    Water testing instructions on one page

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Molson's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    I love my solar heater. Last summer was not as warm as normal, I was in the pool at the start of June. It kept it at an average of 85 degrees, with a peak of 93 twice. (Had to cool it) My uncle on the other hand without heat only saw 76 degrees all summer.

    The water coming out of the returns is noticeably warmer, but not hot. If the sun is not out, the auto valve will not turn the system on.
    40 x 16 IG Vinyl. Goldline SWG
    160 Sq Ft Roof mounted solar array
    2014 Hydropool Serenity 5000 Hot Tub
    The Pool School- A great place to start
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    Re: solar kits

    I too am in the process of researching solar heat. I have surfed many, many sites and have a good idea of what I need and how the system works. At this point, I'm looking at something such as this http://tiny.cc/wdV8V.

    After doing some research, I'm getting a bit scared off by some of the commentary I am reading regarding securing the panels to my garage roof. Obviously there is the potential for leaks in the roof. I am also concerned about the clamps used for the FAFCO system, as many have stated the clamp will damage the piping over time, as well as likelyhood for leaks.

    Anybody have any experience with this setup? I'm wondering if this is as daunting a task as some make it out to be? I'm also having a hard time finding any options with regards to hardware to secure to the roof. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    ebay plans=rip off !

    All you're gonna get are some instructions on how to put together coils of 1/2 black pipes from home depot. Why do I know ? I bought the plans 2 years ago.

    A commercial 4x12 solar panel costs around 200-250$ and provides you with 48 square feets of very efficient heat transfer. To get that same 48 square feets of surface area with 1/2" pipe, you'll need 1152 feet of pipe !!!. And that bunch of pipe coils is not going to be nearly as effecient with heat transfer as the commercial panel.

    Now, with a 25000gal pool, you must have a surface area of at least 600 square feets. Rule of thumb is you need at least half of your pool's surface in solar panels, that means 300 square feets or 6 4 x 12 commercial panels. To get the same coverage with pipes, you'll need almost 7000 feets of pipe !!! (70 rolls of 100'). It won't work very well, will be ugly and will probably leak all over your roof.

    I'd strongly suggest you look at good quality panels with a good automation system instead.

    You can have a look at my installation of 4 panels here (my pool is small):

    solar-panel-installation-pic-t5823.html





    "panel"
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

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    Re: solar kits

    Quote Originally Posted by hoopsreferee2001
    After doing some research, I'm getting a bit scared off by some of the commentary I am reading regarding securing the panels to my garage roof. Obviously there is the potential for leaks in the roof. I am also concerned about the clamps used for the FAFCO system, as many have stated the clamp will damage the piping over time, as well as likelyhood for leaks.
    Welcome to TFP!

    I have 12 FAFCO solar panels on the roof and after 6 years they are still working fine with no leaks or problems. They get unhooked/drained and rehooked every year (to prevent freeze damage) with no leaks at those pipe clamp areas. Of course, that's just one data point.

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    The physical mounting of the panels on the roof must be done carefully with attention to keeping the roof water tight. This isn't usually all that difficult, but you need to have some idea of the correct approach for your particular kind of roof. For an asphalt shingle roof, you need brackets or straps that slide up under a shingle so the connection to the roof is completely covered by the shingle.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: solar kits

    Thanks for the responses. I guess these things are no different than cars. Some people will swear by Ford, others will only buy Chevy.

    I'll admit I am a typical cheapskate. I hate wasting money. But, after doing much research, I can't help but come back to the familiar saying - you get what you pay for... Sometimes cheaper isn't always better. And with these things, I want something that's going to last. I found some panels made by a company called Enersol. Sam's Club is selling them http://tinyurl.com/csksoa. This one seems to have most everything I would need, minus the pvc and diverter. It's also 3x as expensive, but maybe worth it. Anybody have any experience with this company?

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    The 4' x 20' panels, sold in many places, are the best deal. The price varies somewhat, but is generally around $200 for a 4x20. The best prices are usually found on eBay. If buying on eBay bothers you, you can get them from Leslie's for a bit more money.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    If you want to compare efficiency of panels, have a look at the data from the Florida Solar Energy Center (University of Central Florida).

    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/industry/tes ... poolap.htm

    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/industry/tes ... poolqz.htm

    Most panels are made with some sort of plastic and score around 1000btu per square feet. The Enersols are a bit different, they are made with some sort of rubber tubes (EPDM ?). That makes them more flexible and I guess easier to package in a box. OTOH, with a score of 814btu per square feet, they are a lot less efficient (so you'd need more).

    The Enersol will do the job, but for the same price, you can get larger and more efficient panels from other manufacturers (FAFCO, Technosolis, Vortex, etc.)
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

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    Molson's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    FWIW, these panels have been mounted for close to 20 years. No problems that I know of. I have to shingle the roof again this year, and replace a couple straps.

    40 x 16 IG Vinyl. Goldline SWG
    160 Sq Ft Roof mounted solar array
    2014 Hydropool Serenity 5000 Hot Tub
    The Pool School- A great place to start
    Jason's Pool calculator

  17. Back To Top    #17
    el_steak's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    wow, 20 years !

    Do you know what brand they are ?
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: solar kits

    I'm also interested in the manufacturer of those panels. Fafco was founded in 1969 and was the first to make the black flat mat panels economically (with connected tubes using a special extrusion process) while Heliocol was making solar panels since 1977. I believe those are the two oldest manufacturers that still make panels.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Molson's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    I believe they were Fafco. I think I have the original paperwork stuffed away somewhere. I'll look this weekend and post it up here. They work great!!
    40 x 16 IG Vinyl. Goldline SWG
    160 Sq Ft Roof mounted solar array
    2014 Hydropool Serenity 5000 Hot Tub
    The Pool School- A great place to start
    Jason's Pool calculator

  20. Back To Top    #20
    el_steak's Avatar
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    Re: solar kits

    Technosolis (http://www.techno-solis.com/) is also pretty old. 1976 is stated on their site.

    If the panels last as long as the roofing, I'll be happy
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

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