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Thread: Solar heater - could it also cool water a little?

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    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Jonesboro, GA
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    31

    Solar heater - could it also cool water a little?

    Here in the sunny south, near Atlanta, our swimming season is pretty long, but longer would be nice! I'd given some thought to installing the extruded plastic collectors on the south-facing roof of our pool house. The solar orientation is close to ideal, the collectors are relatively light, and the plumbing would be so simple, since the pump/filter is in the south-west corner of the building.

    Then I had an idea, a dangerous event for me! I wonder if, in addition to collecting solar energy during the day in early spring and late fall to extend the swimming season, the same collectors could circulate pool water at night during the height of summer to dump excess heat. Our pool temperature seems to approach body temperature in late July and early August, hardly refreshing. I imagine that I'd need some idea of the average low night temperature during the height of summer, and the actual water temperature. I'm not an engineer, but I suspect that the greater the temperature difference (delta T?) between the pool water and the atmosphere the better this might work. Clear nights might be more effective in radiative cooling, while cloud cover might mean only conduction to cooler air would be effective.

    A differential temperature control valve to bring the collector/radiator on or off line would be a nice though probably costly addition for either heating or cooling.

    Any engineers out there? Any one have opinions? Any experience with the roll out collectors?
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Solar heater - could it also cool water a little?

    Yes, running solar panels at night will lower the water temperature fairly effectively.

    A Hayward GL-235 with the valve and actuator you need to automate the solar system costs around $235, though I'm not sure if that model also supports cooling or not.
    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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    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Jonesboro, GA
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    31

    Re: Solar heater - could it also cool water a little?

    Many thanks for the quick reponse! I think I'll collect a little data before "dive in."
    This email is a natural hand-made product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and in no way are to be considered flaws.

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    Re: Solar heater - could it also cool water a little?

    We have a Fafco Solar Bear 4x20 solar heater and the directions state that the cooling effect at night is an option. I also read on a different post that someone has a "fountain" for their pool water that they turn on at night to cool the water.
    21' above ground round; 11,500 gal; cartridge filter; two-speed Jacuzzi pump; roof-mounted solar heater; northern Ohio.

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