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Thread: Solar panels

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    Solar panels

    I have been looking at solar panels on eBay, wanting to stretch out my swim season a bit. Is eBay the best place to buy them? Is there a better time of year to shop for them or does the price remain pretty constant throughout the year? If I get it now, I would have to just lay it on the ground for the rest of this season, and then next year we would build a rack for it.

    Most of the ones I have seen on eBay say they come with a diverter valve... what exactly does that do? Is there an easy way to bypass them if you need to run the pump without having the water go through the panels, for instance, if I want to filter at night?

    Any general tips or advice on solar panels?
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    eBay has great prices on solar panels but there is a little more risk of getting cheated than through an established vendor. Always check the vendors feedback score before buying through eBay.

    Putting the panels directly on the ground works well.

    The diverter value allows you to control the flow through the panels, sending the water through the panels or directly back to the pool as needed.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3
    I bought a kit from this seller: http://tinyurl.com/2q4gty

    I had been watching several auctions for the same thing (different seller) and they kept going for higher than the Buy it Now price on this one so I went for it. Had some bonus money burning a hole in my pocket.

    So I guess diverter valve and bypass valve mean the same thing? I just want sure because some sites call it one and other call it the other.

    Now I need to sweet talk my "poolboy" into hooking it up for me.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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    Solar Panels

    Hi, MeSue.

    Once you get everything installed and working, can you post your findings out on the forum?
    I would love to hear them since I am also considering solar. And the cost doesn't look too
    bad, either. Thanks in advance.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
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    I bought two 2'x20' panels with diverter kit on eBay at the start of the season. The total price including the 90' of 2" pvc pipe and fittings and clamps ran me less than $300. It works great and did just what I wanted.

    I have an inground 20' x 40' vinyl pool in Northern NJ and have a heatpump. After I brougt the pool up to temperature with the heatpump in the spring that was the last time it ran. I used to keep my solar cover on all the time when the pool was not in use. This year I ran the pump during the day for about 7 hours/day and with the two panels the pool maintained 84 degrees =/-3 degrees all summer without using the solar cover at all.

    $300 was a great investment to not use a solar cover.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    Hi Sue,

    You'll get a boost in water temperature for sure, but certainly not as much as the seller is advertising. Claiming that a single 80 sq feet panel can heat a 24' diameter pool up to 10 degrees is an exageration to say the least. Although technically speaking, "up to 10 degrees" means anything between 0 and 10 degrees.

    When heating with solar, the rule of thumb is that you generally need a minimum of 50% of your pool surface area in panel surface area. And that is with ideal conditions: you use a solar blanket at night, the pool is in full sun all day and the panels are in full sun all day, facing south at the right angle (angle varies depending on your location).

    In your case, you have 255 square feet of surface area and your panel has 80 square feet of surface area, not enough, even in ideal conditions. A second 4x20 panel would definately help (ideally installed in parallel with the first one).

    Here's a couple of links to good info on solar system sizing / performance:

    http://www.solarontario.com/Res_solar_pool.htm

    http://www.powermat.com/

    http://www.heatwithsolar.com/poolheatinginfo.do
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

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    el_steak's Avatar
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    I just realized you are in Florida!

    Forget my suggestion on getting additional panels, If you do you'll probably be able to boil eggs in your pool in July

    Actually, I've read that many people in Florida use the solar panels to cool off their pools by circulating water throught them during the night !
    14X24 ig vinyl pool 3ft-4 1/2ft deep - 7000 gal
    Aqua Genie skimmer and return - no main drain, 1 hp hayward pump, 27" Hayward filter with Zeobrite,
    Aqua Logic P4 controller + SWG, 2 lights
    192 square feet of solar panels controlled by P4, 5KW electric heater (just in case...)

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Yep, I'm in Florida, but we have a lot of shade on our wooded property, so I only get full sun until about 3 PM. I didn't really expect 10 degrees, but if it can add a few more weeks of swim time on the front and back of the season, I'll be thrilled. I figured starting with 4x20 would be good and then we could always add to it if we felt we needed to. Thanks for the links! I will study them while I wait for my panels to arrive.
    Sue

    18' round Sharkline Matrix AGP / 8600 Gal. / sand filter / Aqua Trol SWG
    Pool owner since 2001. Thanks to TFP for helping me convert off Baquacil after six years!

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