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Thread: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Has anyone had any experience making a DIY solar heater out of this type of Poly Drip Tubing ?
    It's 1/2 in. x 1,000 ft. Drip-line. It's made of low-density polyethylene and coated with a UV inhibitor. It's rated up to 80psi which is plenty for my purposes.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Here's an old thread on that topic: please-help-with-my-diy-solar-heater-t13809.html
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Solar heating is mostly about surface area. So even if that size was perfectly efficient, it would still only be around 40 sq. ft. which is equal to about 1 2X20 panel which can be bought for ~$100. In addition, the large diameter and the long run (unless a header is fabricated to run more lines in parallel) makes the efficiency of this design even less (not even close to the 2X20 panels...and others available).
    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: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    The reason I want to make this heater is actually all TFP's fault. The water is for the most part perfect all the time and only requires a little acid every now and then. I guess I just wanted to make a DIY heater out of sheer boredom, thanks to TFP.

    I guess I'll check out eBay for some panels, at least I'll have a little work mounting them to the roof and plumbing them in.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    The first solar heater on my pool was made from similar tubing 25+ years ago, commercial panels beat it in every respect.
    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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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    I had 2500 feet of 1" poly on this house when we moved in. It did ok, but was always fighting leaks since it would not drain in the winter. Much happier with the panels now which more than double the square footage.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Here's a DIY solar pool heater site with references to several different systems.

    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Po ... eating.htm

    Just throwing tubing up on the roof is asking for failure, which is why i think alot of the coil type systems don't work well. If you really want to try it, copy a system that works well.

    skeeter
    47 yr old(1977) 18,000gal Kidney shaped 38ft long plaster Pool with built-in Spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS3050 Pump, Pentair 48sf DE filter, Raypack RP2100 gas heater. HTH 5-way test kit

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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    So what manufactured systems provide the best "bang for your buck?"
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Most panels have very similar heating performance ... there are some differences regarding efficiency when conditions are "off" ... like windy, etc

    So the most bang for the buck is in the lowest price for a reputable brand. There are a lot of panels for sale on Ebay for under $100 and you should be able to find discussions about most brands in the forums.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    So I'm seeing Enersol, SmartPool, Game, Horizon and Splash. Are these all "reputable?" I notice the majority on eBay are Game "dome" type. Those look almost like a DIY job with a cover.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    We've got 300' on the roof of the "pool house" now of the pipe. On a sunny day you can feel warmer water flowing from the returns, but not sure just how much of a gain we receive. Like you stated, we played with the idea mostly out of boredom. If true heat was wanted, I'd stay with panels.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Forget the domes ... stick to the panels. I don't recognize any of those names, but a lot of things are rebranded.

    I would check out solar-discounters as they seem to have reasonable prices, carry a lot of name brands and have been around for awhile. They have some stuff on ebay too.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Bang for the buck is relative when you consider life expectancy vs labor cost to replace, etc. There is also the question of header size, as there is usually a $20-$40 per panel premium if you want 2 inch headers only really needed on banks of more than about 8-10 4ft wide panels. Another thing to be ware of is the warranty on panels, many warranties only cover installations by their licensed dealers, some major panels are available to the DIY market mostly through private label programs (Auqatherm through Elm Distributing, and Techno Solis through Solar Direct), private label panels are covered through the private label company so if buying from Solar Direct you would have to deal with them on warranty issues, not Techno Solis). There are a couple of other common gotcha's on warranties in the solar panel market, first none cover freight, and some offer a prorated deal where after X years all it means is the ability to buy a replacement panel at 1/2 of suggest retail price (which is all too close to every day discount price available online)


    Regardless there is no one right solar panel, it partly depends on your climate, type of installation, etc. For example a flat rigid panel like the Techno Solis panels I have may perform better when installed at less than ideal angles and when there is wind as opposed the rippled tube style that AquaTherm made popular which may provide more area for solar absorption if mounted facing due south with little wind. By contrast the rigid Techno Solis panels may suffer more from expansion stress if partly shaded, which is not a problem in my location until late in the day when the sun is going down.\

    Ike

    p.s. I bought mine from poolheatpumps.com and was very happy with the transaction even though they did take 3 weeks to arrive, after getting them home and unloaded I found I was missing a fitting from one of the pre bagged panel kits (later I found one of the other panel kits was over one on a different fitting), I emailed my rep at poolheatpumps.com and they sent me a replacement kit, no questions asked. Price was also cheaper buying my Techno Solis panels from them with 2 inch headers than buying the rebranded 1.5 inch headers would have been from Solar Direct (big savings were on freight price)
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    The front roof faces SSE (about 155) and has no source of shade except for the tree lines on the horizon at sunrise and sunset. There is little to no constant wind except during weather events.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Are you limited by roof space? In other words is it worth it to you to pay more for a slightly higher efficiency collector, or do you room to add an additional cheaper collector. In other words if collector A is 5% more efficient, but cost 15% more than collector B which one would you pick?
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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    JesseWV's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    Roof space is not an issue. I suppose starting with a cheaper panel that I can add on to later would be a good option.
    16k gal, 28'x3.5', Vinyl A/G, 1hp Pentair Dynamo 2-speed Pump, Hayward S160T Sand Filter, Intermatic HB800RCL Digital Timer, Intex 8110 SWG, TF-100 Test Kit, SpeedStir Author: Jesse's Graphical Pool Testing Log

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    Re: DIY Solar Heater from LDPE ?

    If your looking for a project then getting commercial panels will be plenty of project!!
    My own project turned out to be more work than originally anticipated, not hard, just more.
    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
    My Build 'To-Do' List for other DIY'ers: my-pool-build-list-t40249.html?hilit=list

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