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Thread: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coils?

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    Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coils?

    Hi all-

    Just bought my pool and trying to think of things i need to look into before we have it installed.. I want a solar heater, but I really don't want to have to lay them out on the ground (panels) or try and find a way to mount to my roof of my home.. Any thoughts on the solar Arcs or Solar Pro coil looking units that sit on the ground but don't take up a ton of space and are not so noticeable they are unsightly? You can hook several together to heat up the pool more quickly depending on size but it seems everyone is going for panels and I am not sure if it's just because that is the standard or that these other types or known to be not as good? Thoughts? Suggestions?
    Thank you!
    Danielle - Lathrop, CA
    Doughboy Oval 16 x 32

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    If they "don't take up a ton of space" then they won't provide much heat. The amount of heat you get is a function of the size of your solar collector. Unless you have a rather small pool, small collectors will not have much of an effect.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Solar pool heat is all about collector size, under optimal sun conditions with no wind and proper water flow those big black solar panels can be over 80% efficient at converting heat from sunlight into heat going into the pool.
    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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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Thank you both! Maybe we can mount them to our fence or something then, to get them off the ground and not have to put them on our roof without having a lot of cable everywhere or having to dig (more)
    Danielle - Lathrop, CA
    Doughboy Oval 16 x 32

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    If you tell us where your located we could probably give you better advice
    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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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Isaac, sorry..new to this forum.. I'm in Lathrop, CA. (added to your profile JL) It's hot, dry.. Gets to be up to 107 degrees during Summertime. The front of my home is facing East so I get morning sun in the front of the home and in the afternoon the sun is overhead and in my backyard all afternoon and sets behind us. Going to have a 16 x 32 (48" with deep end) Copper Canyon Doughboy set up in June/July time-frame. Thank you
    Danielle - Lathrop, CA
    Doughboy Oval 16 x 32

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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Does anyone have advice or opinions on these three types\brands of solar heaters and which one I should purchase? Thank you all
    1. FAFCO 2-2'x20' Solar Pool Heater w/ Diverter
    2. FAFCO 4'x20' FAFCO Bear Solar Pool Heater w/ integrated valve
    3. Enersol Solar Products 4010 Pool Heater Solar in a Box Kit - 4' x 10'
    Danielle - Lathrop, CA
    Doughboy Oval 16 x 32

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    cramar's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Just to reiterate what others have said, it's all about square footage.

    I have the Fafco Sunsavers and I recommend them. One thing to be aware of is that Fafco sells various models and I believe these are part of their higher quality models, from my previous research you need to know if the Fafco kit is actually made up of individual 2' wide panels or true 4' wide (a single panel that is 4' wide).
    The 2' panels are lower quality, not saying they aren't good just that the true 4' wide panels are better, and I know some people say the 2' panels are also prone to sag if set on an angle.
    The true 4' panels (sunsavers) are rated to withstand freezing (if properly drained) while the 2' panels aren't, freezing may not be a concern in your location but it speaks to the material quality.

    I don't think mounting on a fence would be possible.
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Thank you Cramar.. So, I guess in this case you'd go with option #2 if you were me? The true 4' x 20 Bear FAFCO's?
    Danielle - Lathrop, CA
    Doughboy Oval 16 x 32

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    All 3 of the products you listed are of the kit in a box type, this may or may not be appropriate for what you are looking for, they are generally designed for use with seasonal pools to be installed at ground level or on a rack near the pool, etc. These systems do have an intended target market, and part of that target market seems to be people that just want it to sort of work and don't want to spend any time planning things out or reading instructions. Therefore they have simplified the installation as much as possible (maybe too much), included something more like a "quick start" with cartoons to guide you through the process rather than detailed instructions. This in itself would not be too bad if there was also a detailed instruction manual, but there does not seem to be one.

    I do get the feeling your looking for a bit more of an advanced system so I am not sure this is the right choice for your installation goals.
    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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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Isaac,
    It will mostly be used seasonally, we get very warm weather at least 5 months or so (end of May till Mid October). We have not decided whether to sink it halfway or just do a deep end yet. I would be happy to get use of it 6 months of the year at a comfortable swimming temperature.. I have found some pdf files on some of the solar panels and will shop around a bit more. Just thought on this forum there would be many people using solar and trying to find out what would be best to raise the temp maybe 10 degrees or so enough to be comfortable for the pool we'll be putting up, I think it holds just over 13000 gallons (16 x 36, 48" with deep end).
    Danielle - Lathrop, CA
    Doughboy Oval 16 x 32

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    I have 6 X2X20 panels (sungrabbers also made by fafco) on my roof plumbed in parallel.

    Quote Originally Posted by cramar
    The 2' panels are lower quality, not saying they aren't good just that the true 4' wide panels are better, and I know some people say the 2' panels are also prone to sag if set on an angle.
    What cramer said about sagging is true.

    When I begin to replace them (it may be this year since I took a big chance...and left them on the roof over the winter...I have not run water through them yet), I most likely will go with either the 4X20 panels (which will fit in my current layout and I can replace one for two as the others need it)...or possibly 10 or 12 ft panels mounted vertically instead of horizontally (but I will have to redo my layout all at once).

    Quote Originally Posted by dani1966
    Just thought on this forum there would be many people using solar and trying to find out what would be best to raise the temp maybe 10 degrees or so enough to be comfortable for the pool we'll be putting up, I think it holds just over 13000 gallons (16 x 36, 48" with deep end).
    The number one thing you can do to extend your season is to use a solar cover (especially at night). This reduces the heat lost to evaporation. In my setup I get half of my heat rise from just using the cover. 10 degrees should be doable, I am able to get that at the ends of my season with my setup which has solar panel area 70% of pool area (plus of course the solar blanket on at night). It will be different in your climate, but I would plan for at least half the the surface area of you pool in solar panel area with the option/space to add more.
    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 heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    I've got some Enersol look-alike panels. They are from a Canadian company but are basically the same. This is my first season, so I can't tell you how efficient they are yet. One thing I can tell you is that my pool sits at 73F right now, and there hasn't been much sun here yet. One week it was very sunny and about 80F. My roof where the solar panels were, was at 110F. The pool started at 60F and was at 78F 2-3 days later. Of course, I have lost all that due to the cool temperatures (35F and clouds), but it's on it's way back up.

    I should mention I think I remember reading that the surface you have in solar panels has to be at a minimum 50% of your pool surface, if you are facing the panels south.

    One thing I would recommend if you do get solar, is to get an automatic controller and automatic/motorized valve. You set your desired temperature, and the controller knows when to open the valves to send water to the panels and when to shut it off... Sure takes all the effort and guesswork out of that system! My main motivation was "free.99$" a month pool heating bills!

    Good Luck!
    JF

    13.5k gallons, IG, Vinyl, Hayward C3030 Cartridge, Hayward Tristar 3/4hp single speed, Hayward T-15 SWG, Hayward P4 automation, 234 sqft Solex Solar panels. April 2013 construction, Dolphin DX4 robot, TF-100 test kit, Pentair Deck Jets 2.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    One company you may want to check into is Gullsolar.com they are based out of San Jose
    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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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    Quote Originally Posted by dani1966
    Thank you Cramar.. So, I guess in this case you'd go with option #2 if you were me? The true 4' x 20 Bear FAFCO's?
    I'm only going on the second summer but yes I'm happy with mine, the material seems to be very durable (more than I anticipated) and the heat returns in the first summer were noticeable.
    That said, your site will dictate what you can/can't do and what can go where, so that could be what ultimately dictates what you get.

    I looked at Enersol as well but they were simply out of my budget, I'll admit that the vertical panels are preferred as they drain better and they seemed like a reputable company - they are Canadian after all
    20' X 54" Sharkline Matrix Resin AGP, 9400 Gallons, Sta-Rite 1 HP Dynamo Pump, 150 lb Pentair Sand Filter, Gorilla Pad,
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    what do you guys think of this eco-saver? seems to be getting pretty good reviews on amazon. i am thinking of putting 2-4 of those on my flat top patio, but then i'm a not very handy man.
    http://www.amazon.com/20-Foot-Solar-Hea ... _lg_text_y
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    Re: Solar heaters...panels versus Solar Arc or Solar Pro coi

    2 units likely won't have any effect on your water.
    General rule is solar panel area should be at least 50% of your pool surface area.
    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


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