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Thread: Solar Panel confusion

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    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    West Tennessee

    Solar Panel confusion

    Where can I read to educate myself on solar panels? We are hoping to finally put a pool in this spring. The builders that we've talked to don't seem to know much about solar panels. I'd like to educate myself and decide if it's a good option for us. Thanks!

    FYI: we've also discussed going with a Heat Pump so I guess I'm trying to compare the two options.

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    Re: Solar Panel confusion

    this is what i know about it in chilly new york. the solar panels work great when it is warm and sunny out, but they will literally cool the pool water in the evening. if the outside temperature drops, the solar panels don't really keep up with the heat loss.

    furthermore, sometimes the cost of the system outweighs the cost of a gas heater installed. the price of natural gass dropped around here so most people have decided to use heaters instead.

    might be a different story for you based upon your location. i am sure others will chime in. that has been my experience with it.
    pool size 15X30 Filters:Cartridge Aboveground Plaster,Pentair Minimax NT Low NOx Series Heater

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: Solar Panel confusion

    Start with ... /index.htm and

    I'm in Indiana and wouldn't be without them. Very economical heat with zero operating cost.

    The quantity of panels mentioned on that site are excessive for most people because they are trying to heat a pool with lower sun angles during the winter.
    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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    dmanb2b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: Solar Panel confusion

    Well I live in Dutchess Cty NY and have a slightly different view. Running the pump/panels during the day and covering the pool with a solar cover at night, my pool is on avg 10-15 degrees warmers than neighboring pools without a heater, whether it be solar, gas or electric. To get around evening heat loss (panels act like a radiator at night when ambient temp drops below pool water temp), you use a solar cover at night to keep the heat in the pool. You also should not run the pump at night or you can shut of flow to panels in the evening.

    Also, once you move out of the metro NYC area, NG is not widely available and folks usually have to rely on LPG which is considerably more expensive than NG, so as personal mentioned your location can certainly weigh on your pro/con list.

    Here is an informative link on solar panels and how they work....

    In summary, my opinion is that solar is a nice option to raise your general pool water temp. If you foresee requiring on-demand heating (ie spa or you like your pool really warm at night), you'll want to supplement solar with a LPG/NG/elec heater or scrap the idea and and just go the gas route
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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