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Thread: Solar Cover Experiment

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    Solar Cover Experiment

    As you might expect, the nights here in MN are still a bit on the brisk side (50ish). I have been leaving the solar cover on each night which has allowed the temp to stay around 80-83 without running the heater. I left the cover off last night to see how much heat I would lose (keep in mind I am running my pump 24x7). Much to my surprise, I only lost about 5 degrees. I thought for sure it would have lost at least 10-15 degrees.

    I plan to leave it off for several says with the pump running. Hopefully the aeration and rain will help get my TA down. I of course have an gal on MA handy if needed.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    With nights in the 50s, how in the world did you get your pool water up to 83 without a heater! I'm freezing here in Colorado with solar panels and a solar cover and can't get the water above 65!
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    I've noticed that with my cover off, I may only lose 5 or 6 degrees as opposed to maybe 3 or so with the cover, but it seems easier to get back up to temp with my heater when the cover is on (especially on sunny mornings, of course). And I have a heat pump, so the darn thing seems to run forever just to get those extra couple of degrees.
    Todd
    --------------
    Pool: 16x36, 16,800 gal., vinyl, sand filter, SWG & AquaCal Heat Pump
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    Not to threadjack, but what kind of solar cover is the best bang for the buck? They have the cheapy "bubble wrap" looking stuff at the pool store that you purchase by the foot and only lasts one season. Is that what people are using?
    Good Times

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    I should add that I did use the heater to get 80+ after the liner change. Initially the water was 60 or so. Took the heater about 12 hours to raise the temp 20 degrees.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Queequeg
    Not to threadjack, but what kind of solar cover is the best bang for the buck? They have the cheapy "bubble wrap" looking stuff at the pool store that you purchase by the foot and only lasts one season. Is that what people are using?
    I believe mine is 12 mil. Blue top\grey bottom. Works fantastic.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    That 5 degree loss in your pool represents just over 1,000,000 BTU's that you need to add to get back to where you were. At today's price of natural gas you are talking somewhere around $15. I would keep the cover on.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjdurrant
    Quote Originally Posted by Queequeg
    Not to threadjack, but what kind of solar cover is the best bang for the buck? They have the cheapy "bubble wrap" looking stuff at the pool store that you purchase by the foot and only lasts one season. Is that what people are using?
    I believe mine is 12 mil. Blue top\grey bottom. Works fantastic.
    We used to have the blue/grey one, very heavy and nice, stayed in place and worked great. After 4 seasons it became to heavy for me to get off by myself (I have RA, so the hands are an issue) and we chucked it for the cheapy.

    Second week on the pool and one big gust, and it blew off.

    I now make sure the cover has water on it to weigh it down and if we are gone for extended times I put filled bleach jugs in a few spots. Keeps it in place.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    Yea.. the 12mil is nice.. but it is a pain to work with.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirbinster
    That 5 degree loss in your pool represents just over 1,000,000 BTU's that you need to add to get back to where you were. At today's price of natural gas you are talking somewhere around $15. I would keep the cover on.

    Just curious how you came up with this? I don't doubt you, but you have me interested.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    1 BUT heats 1 lb of water 1 degree. A gallon of water is about 8.3 lbs. Say the pool has 20,000 gallons, that would be about 167,000 BTUs to raise the water 1 degree, or 834,000 to raise the water 5 degrees. Those numbers will be higher or lower if the pool is larger or smaller.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Interesting, thanks.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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    Came out to a million by assuming an efficiency also.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirbinster
    Came out to a million by assuming an efficiency also.
    Good point. A good pool heater might be 80% efficient, which means you need over 1,000,000 BTUs to get 834,000 BTUs into the water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Yea, I am in big trouble and am dreading the gas bill... eeeek. We used it quite a bit in May to keep the pool at 85. But I can't put a price on the joy it has brung my kid and her friends. Luckily my heater is brand new and I am not using the 15yr old heater that was there.
    2003 Coleman MAAX Collection Model 706 - 400gal

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