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Thread: Solar Panel Question

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    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Latrobe, Pa
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    Solar Panel Question

    I am looking to purchase a solar panel for my 14x42 intex pool. Would i be better off using my 1600 gallon sand filter with a diverter valve or using my smaller 1000 gph pump with seperate lines. Im leaning towards the smaller pump which i would believe would allow the water to reach a greater temp before being pumped back into the pool as apposed to using the sand filter with the diverter half open which i think would allow the heated water to mix with the cooler water prior to being introduced back into the pool and cooling it down.
    Intex 14' x 42". 3557 Gallons, 1600 GPH Intex Sand Filter, Intex CS8110 Swg Post 2009, 2x20 SunHeater Panel.
    Custom Built Equipment Deck, Small Fountain, Intex LED Light, Custom Built Manifold.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Solar Panel Question

    For best efficiency you actually want as much water flow through the panels as possible and allowed by the panels. Letting the water reach higher temperatures in the panels actually lowers efficiency since you aren't taking all the heat you possibly could out of the panel.

    That said, the difference between the pumps isn't that large and there are some advantages to using a separate pump for solar, though it does mean extra hoses and a little more complexity.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Solar Panel Question

    I was thinking the seperate pump for the reason that i can also use a timer on it for peak sun hours and also my wife would not half to worry about the diverter valve. how much of a differance do u think the smaller pump would make.
    Intex 14' x 42". 3557 Gallons, 1600 GPH Intex Sand Filter, Intex CS8110 Swg Post 2009, 2x20 SunHeater Panel.
    Custom Built Equipment Deck, Small Fountain, Intex LED Light, Custom Built Manifold.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Panel Question

    It depends on how large your panels are. You usually want about 0.1 GPM per sqft of panel. Your pump 1000 gph pump is about 16 gpm, so good for about 160 sqft of panels.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    linen's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    Re: Solar Panel Question

    That is an intex 1000 gph pump? I am not sure you would get the 16 gpm Jason mentioned, those pumps are overspeced IMO. You will still want the filter in there so the crud doesn't get to the panels, but you will have to keep it really clean. Worth a try though, unless you are putting them at a raised elevation (on roof), then that intex pump (the 1000 gph) will not do it. The panels should feel cool when operating with enough flow.
    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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