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Thread: DIY Solar Panels Help

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    awtrizzle's Avatar
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    DIY Solar Panels Help

    I am looking for anyone that has done a DIY setup. I searched and found a few posts but I am looking for more info. PLEASE SPOONFEED ME!!!

    I have a shed with decent roof space and decent sun exposure. It is right next to my equipment pad so it wouldn't be difficult at all to plumb. Looking at about a 12 x 6 foot area.


    I see tons of solar mats on Ebay but they all say above ground. I am sure it doesn't matter either way. I'm still doing research but would like any information...

    I also don't have a solar cover, which I will be getting if I go this route. I read some people use bubble wrap. I want something easy and storeable without too much hassle.

    I know my pool is around 14,500 gallons (figured it out with my chemical additions and testing). How can I find the sq feet? ANY information and links and other peoples DIY solar heaters would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    14.5k gallon IG, Vinyl Liner, Hayward SuperPump (1HP 220v motor), Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris Booster Pump, 2 skimmers and one bottom drain, 5 returns.
    ~My Tremendous SLAM thread~

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Panels Help

    Ok, first off welcome

    Now down to your questions, effective solar heat for a pool requires solar panels sized at over 75% of the surface area of the pool (multiple length times width to get surface in SQ FT), therefore chances are looking at your photo you don't have enough roof area to meet this 75% guideline, Having said that any solar heat, beats no heat at all. Now as to the solar panels you have found on ebay, most of the cheap "above ground" panels are not built as solidly as those designed for roof top installation, however there is no reason you could not mount them on a roof top, just don't expect to get along life out of them, also most of these above ground kits include panels that are long and narrow (typically 2 x20 ft). By contrast panels designed for roof top installation typically run the water top to bottom and measure 4 ft wide by 8, 10 or 12 ft lengths standard (longer tends to be custom order product). There are many brands out there, some are easier to buy for the DIY'er such as the Vortex panels sold by solar direct (these are private label versions of the Techno-Solis panels I have), There are also companies like Elm Distribution that does private label version of the Aquatherm panel. I would also suggest you go to the H2ot Sun solar web page, they have a lot of good generic information, although with some bias towards the product they make. This should get you started

    Ike
    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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    awtrizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Panels Help

    If I were to use my current pump do you think I would have an issue? Where exactly in the line would I want to put lines for the solar panels? I would put a valve on it also to shut off the solar portion if I wanted...
    I also have a booster pump for my auto cleaner. Could this be used or would it be better to just use a totally separate pump?

    I do understand that that roof top doesn't meet the 75%. Doing poor math (I suck at it) my pool sq ft is about 150. So with a 6x12 area, or even smaller depending on manufacturer, I would be looking at more like 50% of coverage. The water temp isn't anything crazy low right now...with the few hot days we have had it is at 74. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Nice sunny days. If it raised the water up to 80, or even a little closer to 80...that would be AWESOME for me.

    Thank you for the links... I will check them out.
    14.5k gallon IG, Vinyl Liner, Hayward SuperPump (1HP 220v motor), Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris Booster Pump, 2 skimmers and one bottom drain, 5 returns.
    ~My Tremendous SLAM thread~

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Panels Help

    That is not the surface area of the pool. What is the width? What is the length? Multiple them together.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    awtrizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Panels Help

    I am only worried about surface area? I would have thought I would be concerned with the water below the surface as well...shows how much I know.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Will I also have a problem with that bend in the roof line?
    14.5k gallon IG, Vinyl Liner, Hayward SuperPump (1HP 220v motor), Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris Booster Pump, 2 skimmers and one bottom drain, 5 returns.
    ~My Tremendous SLAM thread~

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Panels Help

    The bend will depend on how flexible of panels you use
    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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    awtrizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Panels Help

    Well it doesn't look like that roof is a good area at all. Other than the location benefit, it is only about 80 sq ft. My surface area of my pool is 740 sq ft. I just went and measured it.
    Barely 10 %. Seems like it would be a waste of time and money. My house is fairly large with plenty of roof space but I am not looking into putting anything holding gallons of water up there. I know many people do it but I will not be one of them.
    14.5k gallon IG, Vinyl Liner, Hayward SuperPump (1HP 220v motor), Hayward DE Filter
    Polaris Booster Pump, 2 skimmers and one bottom drain, 5 returns.
    ~My Tremendous SLAM thread~

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