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Thread: Thinking about a solar heater

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    Thinking about a solar heater

    I was thinking of getting a solar heater - something like the blue wave solar curve - to hook up to my existing pump/in ground pool. Does anyone

    1) have experience with this heater? Are other solar options preferable?
    2) know a reputable installer in the north Dallas area

    thanks!
    Fiberglass pool 5300 gallons (trilogy eclipse)
    inground
    Cartridge filter
    2HP hayward ecostar sp3400vsp

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    I am not familiar with blue wave. I have Vortex panels purchased from Solar Direct. They work great for heating and cooling the pool.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    I am not familiar with blue wave. I have Vortex panels purchased from Solar Direct. They work great for heating and cooling the pool.
    Thanks. I'll check them out. I see your in DFW; who installed them for you?
    Fiberglass pool 5300 gallons (trilogy eclipse)
    inground
    Cartridge filter
    2HP hayward ecostar sp3400vsp

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    domct203's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Meaty View Post
    I was thinking of getting a solar heater - something like the blue wave solar curve - to hook up to my existing pump/in ground pool. Does anyone

    1) have experience with this heater? Are other solar options preferable?
    2) know a reputable installer in the north Dallas area

    thanks!
    The Blue Wave is only about 8 square feet of surface area, you will need 8-10 of them to really gain any heat.

    Solar panels are all about surface area. I have 72 square feet of Sungrabber panels, (and plan to add another 24-48 square feet) and only gain a few degrees on a bright sunny day.

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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    I have fafco solar bear panels. It's my first year with them and I've been happy. I bought two from Amazon for my above ground pool since putting the solar cover on was a pain with my setup.

    Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools Amazon.com : Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System for Above-Ground Pools : Swimming Pool Solar Heaters : Patio, Lawn Garden

    When I was starting out my research I found this site a good intro to the options out there.

    Best Solar Pool Heater Reviews Ratings For 2016

    Good luck.

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    txnole's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    The University of Central Florida collects solar pool data, tests nearly every panel manufacturer and publishes the solar heater data online. It's a great resource here: For Pools

    We chose to use iSwim panels and they have been great. To your point, installer experience is very important, as is their familiarity with your pool system and automation.
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Meaty View Post
    Thanks. I'll check them out. I see your in DFW; who installed them for you?
    I installed them. They have a nice DIY kits that you can order with the panels.
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    As the others have said pool solar heating panels is all about surface area, all of the small panels that claim they will heat a pool are lying. For climates like ours basic unglazed black "plastic" panels work best, in fact under ideal conditions if the daytime air temperature is within about 20 degrees of the pool temperature they can approach 90% efficiency. Meaning 90% of possible heat from the sun is transferred into the water in the panel. As to the UF test results, you will find most panels are within about a 10% performance margin of each other, and that these tests are under set conditions. In the real world there are factors like wind that may allow a poorly rated flat panel under lab conditions to out perform a higher rated rippled panel, as the ripped designs do better at absorbing sunlight throughout the day if they are installed at the correct angle, vs flat panels which loose less heat to the wind.

    Ike

    p.s. I have a DIY install of the Techno-Solis panels (the Vortex panels mentioned above are a private label version of the Techno-Solis panels, so identical except for warranty issues, mounting brackets, and also the genuine Techno-Solis are offered in more sizes and both 1.5 and 2 inch headers, vs only 1.5 inch headers for the Vortex)
    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
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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    You can find used panels pretty cheap on craigslist as many are removing them to make room for solar electric panels. I bought 6 fafco 4x12 panels for $50 each which is way cheaper than you can purchase a single new panel.
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    This may be true on the west coast where there is a high adoption rate of photovoltaic solar electric panels, but may not be true in much of the rest of the country.
    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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    Re: Thinking about a solar heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac-1 View Post
    This may be true on the west coast where there is a high adoption rate of photovoltaic solar electric panels, but may not be true in much of the rest of the country.
    Doesnt hurt to look
    18,000 gunite pool/spa combo. Pebble tec, iaqualink rs8, cl580 filter, aquapure 1400, 400k btu lx heater, 10 solar panels, jandy 1hp, 1 1/2hp, and 2hp stealth pumps for circ, spa, waterfall

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