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Thread: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

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    Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    Ok, I just put a deposit on a 24ft pool, woohoo! Excavation needs to come out and give me an estimate on a retaining wall and make sure we can fit the 24ft, or we may need to go to 21. Anyways, My one shop has a sale tomorrow, 20%. I would like to buy a solar panel. One shop has an Earth's Element, 2-20ft x 2ft set. ($260) But the shop that is having the sale, has a Fafco brand 4ft x 20ft one piece for $295 (This is the 20% sale price)

    Do you recommend I pay the extra $50 for the one piece? (I have the room for it, in the yard)

    Secondly, will one be enough for a 24ft pool? (I live in Ohio)

    Lastly, How would you recommend I hook it up to the pump? Unfortunately, the panel needs to be on the other side of the pool. I don't like the idea of the pump needing to pump water all the way to the panel all the time (diverter valve switched off at correct times of course.) Is there a way to install a diverter "at" the pump instead? Can I "Y" off the outlet of the pump, and put a valve on the side going to the panel, but then how would I go about running it back inline??
    14.6K gal., 24ft, 54" above ground. 2HP, 2speed Hayward pump (4psi low, 18psi hi), 150sqft cartridge filter. 4x20 solar panel (6 psi).

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    One panel will help, but for a 24' pool you would really rather have four or more panels.

    There are many ways to run the plumbing. The simplest thing to do is to put a three way diverter valve after the filter, run one side down to the panels, and then just rig the return line from the panels over the wall of the pool. Or you can put in an extra return over by the panels, or you can run a pipe all the way back to the pump and merge with the return there. There are lots of options.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    One panel will help, but for a 24' pool you would really rather have four or more panels.

    There are many ways to run the plumbing. The simplest thing to do is to put a three way diverter valve after the filter, run one side down to the panels, and then just rig the return line from the panels over the wall of the pool. Or you can put in an extra return over by the panels, or you can run a pipe all the way back to the pump and merge with the return there. There are lots of options.
    Wait, you suggest 4 or more 4ft x 20ft panels?!?! Most panels are only 2ft wide, these are 4ft. No way do I have room for 8x40 feet!!! LOL
    14.6K gal., 24ft, 54" above ground. 2HP, 2speed Hayward pump (4psi low, 18psi hi), 150sqft cartridge filter. 4x20 solar panel (6 psi).

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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    Oh, by the way, If I run a hose over the wall. (I doubt I would put in another return), do you suggest I lay something under it, so it doesn't rub the resin top rail. I have a little Intex pump, that went to a 12ft or so inflatable ring pool. Think it would be a good idea to just run that to the panel, and back into the pool, and bypass the main pump all together?
    14.6K gal., 24ft, 54" above ground. 2HP, 2speed Hayward pump (4psi low, 18psi hi), 150sqft cartridge filter. 4x20 solar panel (6 psi).

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    Assuming your pool is about 10k gallons. One 4'x20' panel will add about 1-2 degrees per day to the water temperature depending on the wind and air temps. I have 450 sq-ft of panels for a 20k pool which allows me to maintain a 88 degree pool for about 4 months out of the year. Your pool is about half the size of mine so for the same performance you would need about three 4'x20' panels. You could probably get away with two panels but you would need to use a pool cover to help maintain the heat.

    Also, you will want to have fairly decent flow through the panels to maintain efficiency so as long as the pump can maintain 0.1 GPM/sq-ft of panel, you will probably be ok.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    What's your location? I have 2 Fafco 4x20 one-piece panels (in the Northeast) and love them. They get full sun from 10am - 3pm and using a solar cover at night, we have no problem maintaining 80+ deg water, while most of our neighbors struggle to get to the mid 70s.

    I would recommend 2 of the Fafco 4x20 panels vs the 2x20 panels. We tried to get by with one panel, but it wasn't enough for a 13k gal pool.

    Check pricing on ebay as I recall paying low $200's for ours (pretty sur they were $195+$40 shipping ), but do also check craigslist, etc as used panels do pop up every so often.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    I am in ohio, so I know it wont really extend my swimming season or anything. But my wife will use the pool more if it is warmer, lol, so I gotta atleast try. And thanks for suggesting ebay. I looked there, and then elsewhere on the internet, and found them about $50 cheaper than the sale price of my local area. I have another question:

    1) How much more efficient do you think it would be, if I installed it on my roof, which faces south. It would have sun the entire day. (Where I will have it on the ground, it should have sun about 10am to sunset) Is it worth the trouble of doing that? I don't like the idea of putting holes into my roof though.
    14.6K gal., 24ft, 54" above ground. 2HP, 2speed Hayward pump (4psi low, 18psi hi), 150sqft cartridge filter. 4x20 solar panel (6 psi).

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Need advice on solar panels to heat AGP

    Morning hours tend to be cooler and less heat is transferred. Also, ground installations tend to be better shielded from the wind so it may be more efficient than the roof. However, if you have more room on your roof for more panels, then it would probably be worth it.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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