Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: DIY solar heat

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Teutpolis, IL
    Posts
    44

    DIY solar heat

    Trying to come up with ways to warm my 18x33x4 above ground IL pool -cheaply. Just invested in a clear solar cover to help and hubby thinking of making his own solar heater. Has anyone had much luck with a DIY solar heater? Current plan is to put it on garage roof (west facing) would use a sump pump or other pump to pump the water as connecting it to our pool pump would be difficult based on location. Basically just want something to warm it up for May,June and then Sept. Wouldn't need to run it during hottest part of summer. Pool is complete sun so hottest part of summer feels like bath water without anything. Any suggestions on DIY designs or don'ts? He was looking at this site ____ WhereIsHolden?: Solar Thermal + Cheap = Inexpensive Pool Heater! and was going to do something similar with about 1000 ft of black tubing. Will 1000 ft of tubing make a difference? The garage has a light colored metal roof if that matters and is in mostly sun.
    He is currently planning on spending about $300 including the pump though know from experience additional parts/items will be needed and should always add 25% or so to his estimates.
    18x33x4 oval Above ground pool- 15300 gallons, sand filter, full sun no shade
    tft-100 test kit
    Central Illinois

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: DIY solar heat

    Solar heating is all about square foot of exposure to the Sun. It is generally not possible to do a DIY solar heating set up cheaper than you can buy commercially made mats.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: DIY solar heat

    The simple fact is you can buy commercial pool solar heating panels for far less money than you can build your own, and they will greatly out perform anything you can likely built when it comes to heat per sq ft of surface area.

    Ike

    p.s. the only way those black tubing heaters make sense is if you can get the tubing for free, even then all the added back pressure on your pool pump will greatly lower the amount of water it can move causing you to spend more on electricity as you will have to run the pump for more hours to do the same amount of filtering. (this is coming from a been there done that with home built solar pool heat 20+ years ago)

    Also note that the comment on that link about the water coming out nice and hot in the fall is proof the designer does not understand thermal heat transfer, as optimal thermal transfer takes place with minimal temperature difference, in other words it is much better to raise the temperature of a lot of water a small amount than raising the temperature of a small amount of water a lot.
    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~

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Teutpolis, IL
    Posts
    44

    Re: DIY solar heat

    Is it possible to use some of the commercial mats with a different pump as do not want to connect it to the pool pump if installing on roof. Location not logical as far as distance and plumbing would be in walk ways. Hoping to pump from another location that is not in way and is closer to the west side of the roof. Is there brands of premade mats that you recommend? How much coverage would be needed for my pool?
    Thanks so much!
    18x33x4 oval Above ground pool- 15300 gallons, sand filter, full sun no shade
    tft-100 test kit
    Central Illinois

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: DIY solar heat

    As a rule of thumb you want to size your solar panels between 75-100% of the surface area size of your pool, depending on how warm you like your water and how much you want to extend the pool season when mounting on a south facing roof. As to using a second pump, it is better if you can use your main pool pump since you only want to run filtered water through the panels otherwise you might plug up the small water passages (the smaller the water passages the more surface area of the water is exposed for heat transfer from the panels). As to brand names there are a number of quality brands out there, but none that would be anywhere near a $300 budget. If it is just heating bang for the buck you are seeking look at the Eco Solar panels sold on Amazon, they are designed for seasonal use, and likely do not hold up nearly as well as some of the better panels on the market, but are closer to your budget numbers.

    Ike

    p.s. Don't buy the hype about one panel heating a 15x30 pool, sure it will heat is, but not up to what most people consider comfortable swim temperatures

    If you want to do it right, take a look at solardirect.com to start with, there are plenty of other options, but they have fair prices and turn key packages
    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~

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •