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Thread: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try!

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    Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try!

    I have a very large amount of water (55,000 gallons) that needs to be heated. Is it remotely possible to use solar panels to heat it? It does have a cover, so it shouldn't lose too much heat. We used to have a gas furnace, but it broke last year and the water is not likely to get to swimming temperature any time soon. It's around 45 degrees Fahrenheit right now. I wanted to try to build my own solar panels, but I don't have the knowledge or time to do it. Does anyone know a pre-made system that is affordable that would be able to support such a large volume of water? I know I'd need a lot of panels, but is there a limit as to how much water can actually be heated that way? Thank you!
    40' x 20' rectangle in-ground pool with 8' deep end, 3' shallow end and holds 55,000 gal. of water. Diving board and slide. Logan, UT

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try

    Welcome to the forum!

    I'd say no, not if you have the room to put them all in. Pretty quickly it will be what is reasonable and affordable though.
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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try

    If you have an unobstructed south facing roof that has the width/length size of your pool then solar might work well.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try

    Can it be done, yes, can it be done practically, that is another question. Common plastic unglazed pool solar panels are only good fo about a 20-25 degree F practical temperature difference, more than that and you need glazed panels, or evacuated tube panels. And while I know it is against common sense for a given number of BTU transferred the most efficient designs are the common unglazed panels if your temperature range is appropriate. Remember the temperature we are talking about is average daytime temperature. So if you want the water to be 90 degrees with unglazed panels, you really need to have a daytime temperature when the sun is shining over about 65 degrees, along with a large enough set of panels, typically I would say around 100% of your pool surface area for your climate. If you have daytime temperatures lower than 65 degrees, then you would likely a glazed panel or evacuated tube system, which would likely need to be at least 150-200% of the size of your pool's surface area. These could be good down to about freezing, for below freezing temperatures things get complicated with antifreeze circulation systems, heat exchangers, etc.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try



    Just wanted to add that you absolutely can NOT make solar panels for less money that are as efficient as the commercial mats.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try

    I'm not a solar guy, but I seem to remember that the panels should be twice your pool size (800x2= 1600 sq ft of panels). Do you have room for that?

    If so, and you use the cover (that'll be a PITA in that big pool) then I think the answer is yes
    Dave S.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is it possible to heat 55,000 gallons of water with solar? I'd really like to try

    Generally the solar sizing is between 50% and 100% of your pool service area.
    Although more certainly would not hurt.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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