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Thread: Which solar panels to buy?

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    Which solar panels to buy?

    I've been reading on here about solar panels but I haven't seen any specific brands mentioned. Is this what most people use?

    http://www.intheswim.com/Pool-Equipment ... g-Systems/

    I'd like to get some type of heating and solar seems like the most cost efficient option by far. Is this what I would need or would you recommend something else?
    15' x 30' x 52" Oval AGP; 1hp Hayward Powerflo LX Pump; Hayward Sand Filter; 4 2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels; Compupool CPSC36 SWG

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    Those work fairly well if you have a place facing the sun that's not obstructed most of the day to mount them.

    I'd get more than recommended if you want to do the most good.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    I have the sungrabbers that intheswim carries, and for the most part I like them. See my sig.

    Please put your pool details in you signature so we know, where you live, agp or igp, how big is pool etc.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    I updated my pool details. I live in Kentucky. I could put these on my roof if needed and they would get plenty of sunlight from 8am until around 6pm. I also plan on adding a SWG before opening the pool this year. I had it put in last spring and it stayed pretty warm even without a cover but I'd like to add a little more heat. I do have a solar cover but we didn't even bother using it last year. I was thinking of trying two 4' x 20' solar panels to see how much difference that would make then adding more if needed.

    If the cost was taken out of the decision, which would be better between solar and propane heat? I'm thinking propane would heat the water much quicker but it seems like the solar would be a constant heat source as long as the pump was running.
    15' x 30' x 52" Oval AGP; 1hp Hayward Powerflo LX Pump; Hayward Sand Filter; 4 2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels; Compupool CPSC36 SWG

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    I am not sure an AG pump, would have the power to pump up to solar on the roof (hopefully someone can confirm)

    If you take cost out of the equation of COURSE propane is faster/better, it too can be heating/holding temperature whenever the pump is running and will do so at night as well if desired. The problem is ... I doubt you really mean "cost is no object".
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    I am not sure an AG pump, would have the power to pump up to solar on the roof (hopefully someone can confirm)
    Most ag pumps can handle solar assuming it not too high (1-story), the biggest challenge is really the initial priming of the panels. My ag pump can do it on high, but not on low.

    Quote Originally Posted by sturge33
    I was thinking of trying two 4' x 20' solar panels to see how much difference that would make then adding more if needed.
    That is what I have on my pool (see my sig). By the way, it you buy what intheswim is showing they are 2'X20' panels (I have 4). Your pool surface area is not too different from mine, when I use the panels with the solar cover (solar cover is a must at night) then I can gain ~8-10F running the panels while the sun is out with June sun angles.

    As jbliz said...the cost of running propane for very long may shock you.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    I think propane would end up being a big cost for me since my kids are in the pool almost every day. And cost definitely is a factor. I guess I'm just curious as to the performance of solar vs propane. Solar would operate any time the pump was on while propane would likely be used only to heat the pool for a little while then turned back off. I had also wondered about the pump pushing the water that high to the roof. The water would only need to go up one story but I would also need to maintain a flow rate high enough for a SWG. I also have a place out of the way where I could put the panels that would be about 6 feet above the pump and still get plenty of sunlight but they would be on the ground instead of the hot shingles on the roof.

    I had seen some 4x20 panels on a website but couldn't remember which one. I think I've looked at a 1000 sites trying to see what my options are. I just didn't know if that type of panel would do the job or if they were junk since they are quite a bit cheaper than other heating options.
    15' x 30' x 52" Oval AGP; 1hp Hayward Powerflo LX Pump; Hayward Sand Filter; 4 2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels; Compupool CPSC36 SWG

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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    linen,
    Not to get off topic but I noticed you have an Intex SWG. How long do you have to run it each day for your pool?
    15' x 30' x 52" Oval AGP; 1hp Hayward Powerflo LX Pump; Hayward Sand Filter; 4 2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels; Compupool CPSC36 SWG

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by sturge33
    linen,
    Not to get off topic but I noticed you have an Intex SWG. How long do you have to run it each day for your pool?
    Typical in the middle of the summer is ~6 hours on the intex. If it is really hot/lots of bather load, then up to 10 hours. I have the newer intex model (CS8110) with the copper bars (which I removed). This model has half of the output that the older model (8110...with no copper bars) has. I think the spec is 12 g/hour of chlorine output on my model.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    Currently I'm running my Intex SWCG only 1 hour a day, maintaining a FC of 5ppm with a CYA of 60.
    That will go up as it gets into summer. Pool is used almost daily after school and on weekends by an eight year old fish
    18' x 42" Intex (4786 Gal @ 80% capacity) Intex 8110 SWCG, 2000 GPH cartridge filter.
    Full Sun, Well Water, Borates at approx. 50
    TFTestKit-100--The Pool Calculator--Pool School

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    Quote Originally Posted by sturge33
    I think propane would end up being a big cost for me since my kids are in the pool almost every day. And cost definitely is a factor. I guess I'm just curious as to the performance of solar vs propane. Solar would operate any time the pump was on while propane would likely be used only to heat the pool for a little while then turned back off. I had also wondered about the pump pushing the water that high to the roof. The water would only need to go up one story but I would also need to maintain a flow rate high enough for a SWG. I also have a place out of the way where I could put the panels that would be about 6 feet above the pump and still get plenty of sunlight but they would be on the ground instead of the hot shingles on the roof.
    Well your "hot shingles" will not be very hot after you cover them with solar panels. Only the sun hitting the panels really matters not what is under them (within reason).

    Solar is a 1 time cost and you can be adding heat anytime the pump is on (with the understood caveats). Solar will not allow you to quickly heat up the pool for some off-season swim. Propane heater may cost about the same up-front, but you have to pay every time you use it. Although, you could heat your pool up any time you want given a few hours notice.

    Here is AZ we can not run the solar during the summer unless you want a 100 degree pool (some even run the solar at night to cool the water). The solar just allows us to extend the swimming season some on both ends.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Warmer water in the summer and/or extended season? In cooler climates, it becomes difficult to extend the season much when the nights are very cool ... using a blanket obviously helps.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Which solar panels to buy?

    My goal is to raise the temperature throughout the summer, not necessarily to extend the swimming season. I have a son with special needs and sometimes during the summer the water is cooler than he can tolerate. It sounds like solar might be the best option for me especially if mounting it on the roof doesn't help. I have a really good place to put it on the ground.
    15' x 30' x 52" Oval AGP; 1hp Hayward Powerflo LX Pump; Hayward Sand Filter; 4 2'x20' Sungrabber Solar Panels; Compupool CPSC36 SWG

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