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Thread: Solar - first results

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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Solar - first results

    First off, thanks to everyone here, especially JohnT, that helped me through the process.

    My one weekend project took a month. I learned alot and am dang, dang glad that phase is over. When my whole pool area project is done later this summer I'll post photos of the process, but I thought I'd go ahead and do an early report. The sun doesn't hit the panels until maybe 9ish due to trees and by 3 they go into the shadow of a dormer that is above them. All this shade is why I put them in to begin with even though I had less than ideal circumstances. I have 648 sf of pool and put in (3) 4x12 Aquatherm panels on a east facing deck roof that is probably around a 2:12 pitch that slopes towards the east. This amounts to 22% coverage which is much less than the vendors recommend.

    The panels have been in for about a week. It's been too cloudy to really do much with them. Lots of rain, and unusually cool here in central AL. Wed was supposed to be more of the same. Tues night the water temp was 75°. I guess Wed morning it would have been 73° or 74°. My wife turned the panels on around 10am and by 12 the water was 79°. The day heated up to upper 80's and it was partly sunny from about 10am until dark. We had maybe 30% clouds. By the end of the day the water was 84°. We had a 10° temp gain on a day with some clouds!!!! These things work.
    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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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Glad you are seeing good results. I'm afraid a lot of people are scared off from a solar system by the recommendations for large panel arrays. The smaller systems aren't the equivalent of a gas heater or heat pump, but they will give you many more days of comfortable swimming per season, and they do it at a very reasonable cost. I'm currently running about 10 degrees warmer than my neighbor's unheated pool, and I've shut my panels off for some of the time to keep from getting the water too warm.
    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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    Re: Solar - first results

    Your post last fall that prompted our PM's really got my attention. If someone in central Indiana can have a 90° pool in Sept then there's a good chance they'll work pretty good down here. Turns out, that was a good assumption.

    I took my solar blanket off on Sunday afternoon and am done with it until mid Sept. I think the panels will also let me take the blanket off sooner and wait longer to put it back on.
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Excellent!
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    Your post last fall that prompted our PM's really got my attention. If someone in central Indiana can have a 90° pool in Sept then there's a good chance they'll work pretty good down here. Turns out, that was a good assumption.

    I took my solar blanket off on Sunday afternoon and am done with it until mid Sept. I think the panels will also let me take the blanket off sooner and wait longer to put it back on.
    You'd be surprised how hot Indiana is in the summer, especially in the southern part of the state. Like Alabama, Indiana is a long state running N/S, so the climate varies quite a bit. Chicago winter weather in the north, to more like summer in the the mid-South in Southern Indiana. We are probably about the same distance from Nashville as you are.

    Not having to use the blanket as much is a nice perk of the panels. You don't have to feel guilty about wasting the heat like you would with a fueled heater.
    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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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    Your post last fall that prompted our PM's really got my attention. If someone in central Indiana can have a 90° pool in Sept then there's a good chance they'll work pretty good down here. Turns out, that was a good assumption.

    I took my solar blanket off on Sunday afternoon and am done with it until mid Sept. I think the panels will also let me take the blanket off sooner and wait longer to put it back on.
    You'd be surprised how hot Indiana is in the summer, especially in the southern part of the state. Like Alabama, Indiana is a long state running N/S, so the climate varies quite a bit. Chicago winter weather in the north, to more like summer in the the mid-South in Southern Indiana. We are probably about the same distance from Nashville as you are.

    Not having to use the blanket as much is a nice perk of the panels. You don't have to feel guilty about wasting the heat like you would with a fueled heater.

    I'm about 4 hrs from Nashville.

    The Sept part of it is what got my attention. Sept is still summer here. Summer runs from tax day to Columbus Day
    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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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Chicago winter weather in the north, to more like summer in the the mid-South in Southern Indiana.
    Must be nice.

    We're looking to move to Indiana, hopefully next year, but still commuting distance to Chicago for hubby's job. We're looking at Valpo. Unfortunately it's still in the snow belt. Hoping we find a house with an existing IG pool. It would be nice to have the best of both worlds, perhaps a little more of So Indiana weather.....
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Chicago winter weather in the north, to more like summer in the the mid-South in Southern Indiana.
    Must be nice.

    We're looking to move to Indiana, hopefully next year, but still commuting distance to Chicago for hubby's job. We're looking at Valpo. Unfortunately it's still in the snow belt. Hoping we find a house with an existing IG pool. It would be nice to have the best of both worlds, perhaps a little more of So Indiana weather.....
    Snowbelt...How about Lake Effect Snow...My sister in Valpo got twice as much snow as we did...and probably three times as much as you guys did where you are...And it gets worse the further east you go...like from the west side of Valpo the the East Side. Have fun!!! Can't wait for you guys to make the move!
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    It snowed here the last two winters in a row. We got about 2" each year. The last winter before that with snow was 2000.
    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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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    We're looking to move to Indiana, hopefully next year, but still commuting distance to Chicago for hubby's job. We're looking at Valpo.
    Valpo, Valparaiso for those of you trying to figure out where the heck it is, is still well in the lake effect area. Even Lafayette gets lake effect weather. The real dividing line in Indiana is around I-70 for real winter. Rare to have a real winter south of it, common north of it.

    No place like Northern Indiana/Chicago: The winters are heck, the summers are hot and muggy, and the danged lake is too cold to swim!
    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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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    We're looking to move to Indiana, hopefully next year, but still commuting distance to Chicago for hubby's job. We're looking at Valpo.
    Valpo, Valparaiso for those of you trying to figure out where the heck it is, is still well in the lake effect area. Even Lafayette gets lake effect weather. The real dividing line in Indiana is around I-70 for real winter. Rare to have a real winter south of it, common north of it.

    No place like Northern Indiana/Chicago: The winters are heck, the summers are hot and muggy, and the danged lake is too cold to swim!
    Our former secretary used to have a place at the beach. They shared ownership with a couple from IN. She was from Pell City, AL and they were from Tell City, IN. That always seemed funny to me.
    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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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    We're looking to move to Indiana, hopefully next year, but still commuting distance to Chicago for hubby's job. We're looking at Valpo.
    Valpo, Valparaiso for those of you trying to figure out where the heck it is, is still well in the lake effect area. Even Lafayette gets lake effect weather. The real dividing line in Indiana is around I-70 for real winter. Rare to have a real winter south of it, common north of it.

    No place like Northern Indiana/Chicago: The winters are heck, the summers are hot and muggy, and the danged lake is too cold to swim!
    Grew up hear and love lake michigan in the summer...I grew up swimming in 65 to 70 degree lake water...This is why I would love my pool to be no warmer than 74...but my wife and the neighbors hate that...So that is why I went with the solar bear heater system. I had it on for the week before Memorial day weekend and it went from 62 to 76 in 5 days...and the weather was cool but sunny. We swam the Thursday before Memorial day...Then the dog put a leak in it and I have to start all over again...but it is already warming.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    cubbybeave08's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    We're looking to move to Indiana, hopefully next year, but still commuting distance to Chicago for hubby's job. We're looking at Valpo.
    Valpo, Valparaiso for those of you trying to figure out where the heck it is, is still well in the lake effect area. Even Lafayette gets lake effect weather. The real dividing line in Indiana is around I-70 for real winter. Rare to have a real winter south of it, common north of it.

    No place like Northern Indiana/Chicago: The winters are heck, the summers are hot and muggy, and the danged lake is too cold to swim!
    Our former secretary used to have a place at the beach. They shared ownership with a couple from IN. She was from Pell City, AL and they were from Tell City, IN. That always seemed funny to me.
    Man there was a great bluegill lake that my dad my granpa and I used to fish in Tell City...I wish I could remember the name of it...Summer or Winter we killed the bluegill there.
    Beave
    Aqua Leader 24ft Round AG Wil-Bar Influence w/54 inch walls 13,500 gallons
    Swimline J-Blue Opal Liner, 1 4X20 Fafco Solar Bear Solar Heater
    Hayward 2 HP Swim Pro Voyager Pump Micro 150 with 4 way timer
    Swim Pro Voyager Filtration System with Hayward ABS Pearl wide mouth skimmer

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Solar - first results

    Grew up swimmin in the lake too, lived 4 blocks from the very south shore, we'd walk there in the summer. I remember swimming one may and the water was around 50 degrees. We weren't in there very long.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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