Wife and I are are close to finalizing details on a pool build here in sunny Albuquerque. We are keen on using a solar heater (pool surface is 576 sq ft, so looking at around 460 sq ft of panels), especially after another TFP member who is local is going without a gas heater. The local pool builder only offers the premade panels, but we would prefer the "black mat" style heater so I'm thinking of a DIY install. I've looked into some manufacturers I've seen listed on here (specifically Hot Sun http://www.h2otsun.com/ ) and was looking for some feedback on them if anyone has opinions. I could not find their products on the Florida solar information site...
With a recent quote I've gotten, they've included a Pentair Suntouch controller and my other question is: will a suntouch be able to handle basic automation for my entire system (intelliflo pump, pentair sand filter, SWG and solar heat)? I'm completely in the dark on automation and I don't quite know my what my needs will be as I've never owned a pool before. I know that I'll need some sort of schedule to circulate the water through the filter and swg, operate the skimmers, operate the dedicated line for a pool cleaner and then have another schedule for solar heating...but I can't wrap my head around what that works out for automation needs. The pool builder offers a "manual timer" with his builds and I'm not sure if it would be worth it to add a more robust automation system at install.
Thanks for your help!