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Thread: Cheap DIY heater - next step is a controller

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Mountain House, CA

    Cheap DIY heater - next step is a controller

    I built an inexpensive DIY solar heater for my 15' above ground pool.

    We get cold night winds where I live that just chill the heck out of the pool water, so that even though it's warm during the day, the water is often pretty chilly.

    I modeled my heater after this:

    But, since it's an AGP, I had to build an elevated frame for it, which I built out of 2x4. I also did not use a solar pump, I am using the original Intex filter pump that I got with the pool (I upgraded to a big sand filter/pump for use on the pool).

    So currently I have to remember to turn on the pump for sunny days and remember to turn it off, otherwise it becomes a very effective water chiller at night.

    So my plan is to automate this with a couple of temperature sensors, one mounted on the solar surface and one either in the air or possibly in the water, and to have a relay turn the pump on when the temperature difference grows big enough (that is, the sun is heating the panels).

    Anybody interested in this project? If so I will try to document it.
    10k gal IG w/ salt system, spa, gas heater, and auto cover.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: Cheap DIY heater - next step is a controller

    I am one that is all for such projects when needed, but wanted to suggest looking on ebay, etc. for commercial controller products that do what you are talking about complete with servo operated diverter valves, etc. Search for products by goldline, or solar pool control, old sotck and discontinued models often show up there at a fraction of retail price. There are several listed at the moment, even one older basic model with a couple of days left to go on the auction and no bids starting at $1.

    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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