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Thread: Solar Panel Installation

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    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Harrisburg, PA
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    Solar Panel Installation

    Just researching solar panels. Don't know anything about them. Is it easy to install solar panels yourself or do you need a plumber, electrician etc? How do you attach pipes to current system? We would not mount panels on our roof. Can you mount them against a fence?

    We live in central Penna and would like a longer swim season. Thank you.
    Harrisburg, PA
    18 x 38 IG Gunite/plaster pool
    Oasis form 18,500 gal
    Jandy Aquapure SWG

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    SW Indiana
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Solar is very easy to install if you can do simple PVC joints. You route the water that comes out of the filter through the panels, then back into the return line. Very little modification to the existing plumbing is required.

    Mounting them vertically like on a fence is pretty inefficient. They will be least efficient during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest. IMO, the panels need to be close to horizontal in northern areas to be most useful. My experience last year was that my panels could keep the pool warm longer than the outside air temperature was suitable for swimming.

    To extend the season much, you need enough panel area to be efficient at heating the pool during the shorter days with the sun at a lower angle. That's quite a bit more panel area than is needed to take the chill off the water during the normal swimming season.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    I'm ready to order panels and have one last concern. My pump has about 40' of head and the elevation difference is maybe 22'. I'd previously mentioned this and folks here said go for it. I was afraid of the distance that the water has to travel. I measured yesterday, and the water will have to travel about 60' one way with maybe 9-10 elbows. Are the elbows a concern? Fluid mechanics class was a long time ago, but I sure do recall frictional losses and losses due to geometry changes chaning things. That was class and this is reality though. Any comments from anyone?
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    You can see the equivalent length of pipe in terms of the friction loss in elbows here. 10 90º elbows with 2" diameter pipe is equivalent to a straight length of 57 feet. So, in your case with a 60' run, it roughly doubles your effective pipe length one-way. The head loss (pressure rise you would see) for 2" pipe is 3.8 feet per 100 feet at 50 GPM; 9.0 feet per 100 feet at 80 GPM.

    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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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Installation

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    You can see the equivalent length of pipe in terms of the friction loss in elbows here. 10 90º elbows with 2" diameter pipe is equivalent to a straight length of 57 feet. So, in your case with a 60' run, it roughly doubles your effective pipe length one-way. The head loss (pressure rise you would see) for 2" pipe is 3.8 feet per 100 feet at 50 GPM; 9.0 feet per 100 feet at 80 GPM.

    Richard
    Thanks a bunch. I should be good to go. I have the equiv of about 120 feet which is going to be about 4' of loss.

    I placed the order. It won't be here by the weekend but I bet I can get most of the plumbing in. I'm out of town the following weekend but maybe I can get it finished in the evenings. I'm anxious to get it up and running.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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