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Thread: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

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    Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    My main issue is prolonging my swimming season as long as I can. I was going to buy a solar cover and build a reel and all that, but then thought a solar panel would be just as cheap. Is there an advantage to one over the other in terms of heating? Pump run time is a non issue. Thanks.

    Jonathan
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    The blanket will keep the heat in overnight. The panels will heat it up during the day. I think even with panels you would want a cover so as not to have to start over again the next morning.
    POOL: Intex ultra new in 2014 (32 x 16 x 52) (seasonal; on concrete pad covered with 1.5" extruded or whatever foam insulation sheets - ugly, but comfy); added a through-wall skimmer; I add salt for feel. EQUIPMENT: Pentair SuperFlo pump (1HP, 2SPD); Pentair cartridge filter (200 sq. ft); Pentair MasterTemp natural gas heater (400,000 btu) Climate/Location: Eastern Nebraska

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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    UGGGHHH. Terrible answer. Nah just kidding Makes sense, I was hoping to get by though. The pool is 33' with a slide and I was hoping to avoid covers, except a winter one. Is one just as effective as the other in raising temps? In terms of per day.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    The blanket does not really raise the temperature much in the day ... better at holding temp at night.

    The panels well do s much better job raising the temperature during the day.

    Ideally you want both as previously stated.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    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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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    If you could only pick one, what would it be? Pool gets full sun all day, 8am-7pm this time of year. And gets used a lot, so taking the cover on and off everyday would suck. I need to do some thing though. Our night are in the low 70's now : (
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    There is no point using panels without a cover at the end of the season. You really need both. The panel adds heat and the cover keeps you from losing it at night. During the middle of the season, either one can help.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    docchop1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I use both. Overnight my pool can go from 90 degrees down to the 70s depending on ambient temperature and wind and such. The solar panels bring the temp back up but often it takes until evening to do it and that's great but what if they want to swim before lunch? Depending on the weather I don't always have to put the solar cover on and when nobody is going to be home I don't always have to take it off so it's not a huge hassle but only a small one. I agree with the other posters that a solar heater and solar cover compliment each other and to really be in control of your temperature you will need both.
    Intex 15x48, Intex Saltwater Chlorine Generator, Intex 14" Sand Filter, TF-100 unicorn eating spaghetti while riding a unicycle on a high wire during a storm edition test kit,

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I have both, this yields the best results.
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
    Foam Cove, Taylor K-2006 kit, BBB method, 8'X20' Fafco Sunsaver Hard Plumb, DIY Fountain, Margarittaville Fiji


    My Build: one-man-one-pool-and-one-deck-agp-pics-t37172.html
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    Ok, next question. I think from everything I read on here, get a 16 mil. As for solar panels. What is the best brand wise. All things considering.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

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    docchop1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I use these and haven't had a single problem. I don't know if they are the "best" but I am having good luck with them. http://www.amazon.com/20-Foot-Solar-Hea ... roduct_top
    Along with the solar heaters I just use a regular blue solar cover. I think it's 12 mil and it's pretty tough. I've read on these forums that the solar cover takes a beating from uv rays and will last somewhere around three years so I just purchased the most affordable one in the size I needed. There is a LOT of debate about the best color and style of solar cover but at the end of the day it really just needs to prevent evaporation because compared to evaporation, all other losses are small. http://www.avonsci.co.uk/main.asp?sitep ... tgain/loss
    Intex 15x48, Intex Saltwater Chlorine Generator, Intex 14" Sand Filter, TF-100 unicorn eating spaghetti while riding a unicycle on a high wire during a storm edition test kit,

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I also use both. We often get 60 degree nights. You can go cheap on both this year. No need for 16 mil, my 12 mil seems like it's too thick. Search around on here, someone made a cool PVC cover holder. I have a reel on an oval pool but the PVC thing would work better for round IMO. As for solar heater, I see someone made one out of a black wooden box and coiled black garden hose. Tee off your return and send some water through the hose.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    What about the solar rings? They attach to each other using magnets and while they leave a little space between they might be an improvement over nothing. They don't require a reel, and they are kind of cool looking.

    http://www.aquasupercenter.com/products ... 4AodMkkA0Q
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    Another plus to solar blankets is that I found it to dramatically reduce chlorine consumption. It is not clear of course.
    11,250 gallon in-ground plaster pool, Hayward/GoldLine AquaLogic AQL-PS-8 control panel, Hayward TriStar 1 HP pump, Hayward SwimClear cartridge filter (324 Sf), Hayward Turbo Cell T-Cell 15 SWG, Navigator Robotic Cleaner, TF-100 Test Kit

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    There have been a large number of negative reviews (and only a very occasional positive review) of the rings.

    Solar covers only tend to last a year or two, no matter what the warranty says, so I just get the least expensive kind.
    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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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I agree with JL about going cheap with the cover...I got a 8 mil and I am on my second season with no obvious degradation.
    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: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    Y'all are awesome. Now just to shell out some cash. Thanks guys.
    33' Seaspray Aegean II - 6' Deep End
    28K Gallons
    2" Hard Pipe Plumbing
    Hayward S244T 300 lb. Sand Filter
    1 HP - 2 speed - Powerflo Matrix Pump

  17. Back To Top    #17

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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I use three 4' x 20' fafco panels on the roof to heat a 15' x 30' x 54" AGP.
    I also use a cheap solar cover.

    Figuring DIY hard plumbing and the extra (albeit small) additional cost of pumping the water for a season, I am into the solar hating for about $1200. For two panels that number may turn into $800.

    Two panels is about my cut off for heat lost overnight (without a cover) vs. heat gained during the day.
    Plus as previously mentioned, the recovered heat is not realized till later in the day.
    Plus, plus, I won't go into how on some days, there are things like clouds and stuff in the sky.


    The cover cost about $120.

    Fairly simple math to see that the cover is the best investment.
    Getting the cover to be a hassle free experience is the key to using it every night.
    I'd say spend your research time and energy there.


    But I highly recommend solar for phase two.
    15'x30'x54" 13,000 Gal AGP
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    I also use both a cover and 2 panels. Extend the season by amount 1.5-2months in total vs neighbors.

    Important to note, as you know a 33ft pool is quite large. On the cover, you'll want to go the 8mil route to save on weight. As far as panels are concerned, any number will help, but realistically you will need 4-5+ 4x20ft panels to properly heat almost 30K gals of water. I use Fafco Solar Bear Panels and after 3 years have been extremly happy with their performance. One tip is to scour craigslist...it's not uncommon to find a panel here or there for half price.
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

    Pool School, TFTestKits, Pool Calculator

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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    27 FT. round and we use 4 - 2x20's and 12 mil solar cover. You'll want to use both because like everyone said, you lose anything you gain during the day at night and then some. We have considered increasing our panels to 6 for next season. I'm getting old and really prefer 86 - 90 degree water temps.
    27 ft round 52" wall
    Cartridge filter
    Above Ground
    2 hp Hayward pump
    Using 2 2x20 solar panels

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    MikeInNH's Avatar
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    Re: Solar blanket vs. solar panel

    Quote Originally Posted by blewbyu
    I'm getting old and really prefer 86 - 90 degree water temps.
    Funny how that works, along with a/c on in the house. The happy temp spread is getting smaller as I get older.
    Mike
    2007 1st full year with AG pool~15k gallons 18'x33' JW
    6/2010 added 2 button Intex SWG-painless except for when reset
    Switched to BBB from Baquacil (couldn't pay me to go back)

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