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Thread: Opinion on solar panels

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    Opinion on solar panels

    I've been considering some solar panels. I don't want to spend a ton. I think I've got a good set up. As you can see from the pic, I've got a small building next to the pool that houses the pumps, etc. The roof of the building faces north on one side, south, on the other. I've got a total of 24' x 13' roof area (12'x6.5') on each side.

    What do you think? I'm thinking a 4' x 20' set up. Could I buy one of these type kits and span up and over the roof line? Could these type kits make a bend at the peak?

    Amazon.com : Bear 4`x 20` Solar Pool Panel Kit : Solar Panel Heat : Patio, Lawn Garden


    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on solar panels

    Nice looking pool! I'm about a half hour SW of you (less now that I69 is open) and love my solar panels. They make a big difference in water temps.

    Spanning the ridge would be an issue. Your panels need to be able to self-drain to avoid overheating when you aren't using them, and that may require some really creative plumbing to manage like that.

    Enersol sells 1'X6' panels, and other companies sell panels in custom lengths. You could put a bank of 6' panels on each side. Though conventional wisdom says the north side won't work, several years of observation tells me the north roof of my pool house gets just as much sun in the middle of the day as the south roof during the middle of the summer.

    Another option is to build a flat top shade structure like a pergola on the deck of the pool and use that as a panel rack. My pool house is very popular during the hottest part of the summer because if you aren't in the pool you will roast out in the sun. I designed my pool house so the roof would hold 6 8' panels.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on solar panels

    It is hard to tell from your photos and your signature, but in general to get an effective level of heating solar panels typically need to be sized at 50-75% of the surface area of your pool (surface area of the pool matters a lot more than gallons when it comes to heat gain and loss). This is a rule of thumb, and is not o say that smaller panels would not work, just that you may not get enough heat from them to be happy. As to mounting on the north facing roof, expect to get at least a 50% performance hit doing so, maybe more given its steep slope.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Opinion on solar panels

    Thanks for the help. I was thinking this would maybe be an easy project where I could just throw some panels up there. I guess not.

    My pool is roughly 15' x 30' (450 sq. ft). So even if I was able to use both sides of the roof, I'd only be getting about 35% solar panel to pool surface.

    My safety cover does do a nice job of holding in heat.

    Thanks.
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by billfred View Post
    Thanks for the help. I was thinking this would maybe be an easy project where I could just throw some panels up there. I guess not.

    My pool is roughly 15' x 30' (450 sq. ft). So even if I was able to use both sides of the roof, I'd only be getting about 35% solar panel to pool surface.

    My safety cover does do a nice job of holding in heat.

    Thanks.
    You don't need full coverage like the manufacturers recommend. That's mostly for keeping the panels working when the sun gets lower in the sky. I have 192sq-ft of panels for my pool that is about 50% bigger than yours. I generally run most of July and August without the solar cover because the panels provide enough heat to make up for the loss at night. I generally hold my pool between 85 and 87.
    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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    Re: Opinion on solar panels

    I did find where I could get custom sizes. However, if the north side of that roof won't help much, I'm only at 80 sq ft. Hmmm.

    I could always try in the grass next to the pool, or is that a bad idea?
    Bill

    14000 Gal, Vinyl Lined Pool, No salt

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Opinion on solar panels

    Solar panel sizing has a lot to do with what your goals are and where you live, some solar heat beats no solar heat, but if it is only going to add a degree or two to the peak summer water temperature, you have to ask if it is worth it.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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