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Thread: Getting your solar panel black

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    Getting your solar panel black

    I have a few rubber solar panels on my roof and after a few years they are starting to become gray and don't seem to be heating up the water like they used to. I was thinking that it might be a good idea to put something like this on it to get it nice and black again, but I notice that it says that it acts as a UV filter as well, which I am assuming will be a bad thing for getting the panels hot to warm up the water. What is recommended when the solar panels start to turn gray?
    _________________
    14,000 gal in-ground pool (2011); approx. 11'x35'; WetEdge Satin Matrix II - Northshore Plum; SpectraLight SL-500 Ultraviolet Disinfection System, O3 Ozone & In-Line Chlorinator (erosion chlorinator is not used - bleach instead); Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050; Pentair Quad D.E. 60 filter; MDXr3; Pentair Amerilite niche w/PureWhite LED retrofit; Pentair 400K BTU Nat Gas heater; Kreepy Krauly® Legend® II Platinum (grey) w/ booster.

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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Getting your solar panel black

    Welcome to TFP!

    Filtering UV is not a problem and could help make the panels last longer. There is minimal heating from the UV (< 400 nm) and represents about 3% of the total energy while visible light (400-700 nm) is about 48% and infrared light (> 700 nm) is about 49%.

    I'm not so sure, however, that the product you describe will restore the blackness of the panel. They aren't usually made like tires that are a mix of natural and synthetic rubber and fibers, but rather from a soft synthetic rubber such as EPDM or soft plastics such as polyethylene or polypropylene. You could certainly try it on a small section to see if it works.

    The panels you have must not be of very good quality since the color should be mixed throughout the plastic (as with FAFCO panels) and not just a surface coating and not something that fades over time. My 9-year old panels look as black as when first installed and they heat the pool efficiently.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Getting your solar panel black

    Thanks for your quick answer. For some reason the board didn't notify me of your reply, so I didn't notice it until now. I'll give it a try on a small part to see what happens.
    _________________
    14,000 gal in-ground pool (2011); approx. 11'x35'; WetEdge Satin Matrix II - Northshore Plum; SpectraLight SL-500 Ultraviolet Disinfection System, O3 Ozone & In-Line Chlorinator (erosion chlorinator is not used - bleach instead); Pentair IntelliFlo VS-3050; Pentair Quad D.E. 60 filter; MDXr3; Pentair Amerilite niche w/PureWhite LED retrofit; Pentair 400K BTU Nat Gas heater; Kreepy Krauly® Legend® II Platinum (grey) w/ booster.

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