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Thread: Question about solar panels (Up-date)

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    linda1's Avatar
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    Question about solar panels (Up-date)

    Up-date: Just wanted to let you know I purchased 2 Fafco 4x20 sunsaver solar bear solar panels. Thanks so much for your help. I'll be back with lots of questions when my DH goes to install them!

    We have a gas heater, but would like to supplement it with solar panels. I've been checking around and think I will buy the Fafco brand. I've noticed they have the ultra and economy series. I can't seem to find out what the difference is between the two. Does anyone know the difference? We think we'll start with 2 4ftx20ft panels. Will this help heat the pool or be a waste of time and money. We are located in Western Pa. and have a 30ft above ground pool. Any suggestions on the best place to purchase? Thanks!
    30 ft. round Conquest agp, 19,800 gal; Pentair Easy Clean 1 hp DE EC60 filter system
    Hayward H250N gas heater; TF100 Test Kit
    2 Fafco 4x20 sunsaver solar bear solar panels
    Dolphin E 10 ~ Zoomerang slide
    Majestic 8000 Above-Ground Pool Step

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    Re: Question about solar panels

    Hi, Linda,

    Others here will be able to explain the difference. I am no help on that or where to buy but I am posting to say that Fafco seems a very popular brand here on the forum and the panels are DEFINITELY not a waste of time or money.....they'll help a lot, especially if you have a solar blanket.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Question about solar panels

    Insulating your above ground pool may save you the need to buy the solar panels at all and reduce the running cost of your current setup

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar panels

    Using a solar cover is a must. Also a 30ft pool is rather large for just 2 panels. Don't worry about getting the deluxe model...it's just some added hoses and a cheap valve and a few clamps, which you will likely end up replacing any way. I have two "economy" Solar Bear Fafco Panels, they are 4x20 and in one piece and quite sturdy. The other option is sungrabber (also by Fafco), but may be just slightly lower in quality and actually although advertised as 4x20 as well, they are actually two 2x20 panels.

    The two 4x20 panels on our pool do great (24ft round) and if you did not have a gas heater to supplement, I would tell you you need at least 4 4x20 panels, but even 2 panels will help you cut down on some heating costs.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    linda1's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar panels

    Thanks for the information. I do use a solar cover religiously. I have arthritis and just can't stand the cold water and thought the solar would help. I try not to use the gas heater other than for special occasions.
    30 ft. round Conquest agp, 19,800 gal; Pentair Easy Clean 1 hp DE EC60 filter system
    Hayward H250N gas heater; TF100 Test Kit
    2 Fafco 4x20 sunsaver solar bear solar panels
    Dolphin E 10 ~ Zoomerang slide
    Majestic 8000 Above-Ground Pool Step

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Question about solar panels

    In western PA, if you have good southern exposure, you'd likely be able to get by with 3 panels + solar cover and feel a significant difference vs. no heat and just the cover

    Also, if you decide to go solar, do search craiglist as it is not uncommon to come accross a panel or two, very cheap. I could have picked up a panel for $50 last season, unfortunately I found it right after I ordered my 2nd panel
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Question about solar panels

    Quote Originally Posted by linda1
    Thanks for the information. I do use a solar cover religiously. I have arthritis and just can't stand the cold water and thought the solar would help. I try not to use the gas heater other than for special occasions.
    Is your solar cover a thermal cover (foam insulation)? do you have any insulation around the sides of your above ground pool?

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