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Thread: Solar heat

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    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    180

    Solar heat

    I'm thinking of adding some solar panels to my above ground pool.There are lots of manufacters out there and I was wondering what qualities I should be looking for in a good mid priced solar set up?Basically which brands are worth the money?
    Rob

    Cozumel AGP 24' 14,700 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5 hp pump
    Sta-rite Cristol-Flo II 2.3sq.ft. sand filter
    SWCG,Uni-bead liner
    Borates
    TF-100 Testkit....$68,cheap insurance for a trouble free pool season

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    SW Indiana
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    9,086

    Re: Solar heat

    I have Aquasol/Solar Depot panels and have been happy with them.
    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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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Sebring, Florida
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    30,077

    Re: Solar heat

    In additon to what JohnT mentions, Fafco panels get generally good reviews here on the forum.....I personally do not have any experience.....just repeating what others are reporting.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
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    Re: Solar heat

    Thanks for the information.
    Rob

    Cozumel AGP 24' 14,700 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5 hp pump
    Sta-rite Cristol-Flo II 2.3sq.ft. sand filter
    SWCG,Uni-bead liner
    Borates
    TF-100 Testkit....$68,cheap insurance for a trouble free pool season

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    10

    Re: Solar heat

    Hey CB, I use the Sungrabber system, got it off ebay. I started with a manual valve and check valves then added the Helio-Matic controller, Jandy actuator and sensors. I have 6 2X20 panels mounted on my second story roof. It's about a 30' lift for the pump. The system works great and I can get the pool to swim temp in late March early April with it staying warm until early October. Just remember you are using sunlight and ambient air temp. so it won't get the pool to say 75 when it's 50 out. The only issue I've had is one panel sprung a leak (panel 7) so I just removed it last season and ran on 6. I will be replacing it this season. The other was going down to a 1hp pump to try and save some energy but it doesn't have enough lift to keep the air check valve shut and I get air in the system. VERY inefficient, I'm going back to a 1.5hp pump. My panels also point to 78 degrees east. Also not the most efficient. All that said I am VERY happy with my install and the heat I get from them. Another great feature is on the really hot days you can use them at night to cool the pool off. One word of caution on the automatic setup. When there is water sitting in the panels on a hot day it gets extremely hot and can cause a burn from the returns when it cycles on. Just be careful.
    USN Retired 1999
    I've cut the pipe twice and it's still too short.
    San Juan Phoenix IG, 14,400 gals, light blue, fiberglass, Hayward Colorlogic light with wet niche, Flotec 1hp single speed, Hayward S180T sand, Aqua Rite salt controller with Hayward T-15 cell, Helio - Matic solar controller with Jandy 3-way valve and actuator, 6 - 2x20 Sungrabber Solar panels, Torx timer with freeze protection, Brushed concrete with Cantilevered Edge, 6 inch inside perimeter ceramic tile. Taylor K-2005 test kit.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    180

    Re: Solar heat

    I was looking at those very panels earlier.Good to hear that they work as advertised.Are you running 2 check valves currently or 1 diverter valve and 1check valve?
    Any experience with the solar bear panels? I like the idea that they are 4ft. wide(less connectors).
    Rob

    Cozumel AGP 24' 14,700 gallons
    Pentair Dynamo 1.5 hp pump
    Sta-rite Cristol-Flo II 2.3sq.ft. sand filter
    SWCG,Uni-bead liner
    Borates
    TF-100 Testkit....$68,cheap insurance for a trouble free pool season

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    10

    Re: Solar heat

    I started with a two way shutoff valve between supply and return pipes to the panels and two check valves. I now have the automatic 3-way and one check valve on the return line from the panels. I think it helps them drain down so no freeze worries. I don't have any experience with the bear panels. I know the Sungrabber's advertise a 4'x20' kit but they are actually 2- 2'x20' panels. Either way you go I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well they work.
    USN Retired 1999
    I've cut the pipe twice and it's still too short.
    San Juan Phoenix IG, 14,400 gals, light blue, fiberglass, Hayward Colorlogic light with wet niche, Flotec 1hp single speed, Hayward S180T sand, Aqua Rite salt controller with Hayward T-15 cell, Helio - Matic solar controller with Jandy 3-way valve and actuator, 6 - 2x20 Sungrabber Solar panels, Torx timer with freeze protection, Brushed concrete with Cantilevered Edge, 6 inch inside perimeter ceramic tile. Taylor K-2005 test kit.

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