I have a 24' x 52" round pool. Just ordered my solar cover now I am thinking about how I want to go about making a solar "heater".
I am thinking I am just going to go with the coiled pipe/hose idea but have a few questions and was wondering if anyone had any ideas....
1. I was thinking about just using the black coil pipe. Lowes has the 3/4" 100' rolls for around $45.00. I then debated using soft copper tubing and painting it black, but it would cost twice as much for 100' and would only be 3/8" - so a lot less water would be heated.
Would the copper be so much more efficient that the 3/8" 100' would work better than 3/4" 100' of plastic ?
which leads to question 2.
2. I could put the pipe on my garage roof. As it would be seen when you pull in the driveway, I would build a box to sort of spruce it up cosmetically - basically a wood box with maybe plexiglass for the cover. Since I would be building the "box" if i went with the roof idea, I would obviously paint the bottom and sides of the box black and could also put metal on the bottom of the box. For this, if it would help, was thinking about just using aluminum metal flashing that comes in 50' rolls x 6" and only costs under $15.00.
Would the aluminum be better than wood painted black and also, would the aluminum be better if it was painted black ?
Now the biggie, question(s) 3.
I was thinking, which is usually dangerous, that it would possibly be better to have the water remain in the "manifold" for a longer period of time, heating it up more. If the water is just flowing thru it, it would not have much time to heat up, but if the water were sort of trickling thru it, less water would be exchanged, but the water would be much hotter - am i correct in this thinking ?
100' of 3/4" pipe only holds about 2 1/3 gallons of water and since my pool has around 14 1/2 thousand gallons - that 2 gallons is going to take quite a while to make a difference......so the hotter it is, the better ?
Ideally, how many 100' coils should I use. Would obviously be a big deal if I did go with copper. 3 100' rolls of black plastic = $150 where the copper would run me $300+.....
Then, what i have no idea of, is exactly how big a pump I would need. I believe a slow flow would be better, but I imagine the trick would be getting a pump that would pull the water up to the roof - tho it won;t be pulling all that much I guess and gravity will help it getting down.
i know there is a ton of stuff around the internet on this, but after searching and reading for quite a while, these are the questions I still have - with I guess the biggie being how many rolls of 100' plus the size of the pump.
I could put the hose on the ground, on one side of the pool. The only downside is it does not get full sun until around noon - but then gets full sun until dark. the roof would get pretty much full sun all day - how big of a difference is that extra 4 hours going to make ? i am guessing quite a bit considering the minimal amount of water i will be moving.
would I get more heat by building a brick "fireplace" and making a copper manifold - i have all of the free wood I will ever need, but would be a pain to go out, start a fire and then keep it going all day long .
any ideas appreciated