I'm about to begin our pool refurb before our swim season starts in Australia. We moved into this house in December last year and the pool is fully manual chlorine with no heating other than the solar blanket.
Looking into it, my understanding is that for solar to be effective I need to have the same surface area as the pool (approx 40sq.m) on the roof, facing North. This is a problem on several fronts. The pool is probably 10m (33ft) lower than the tile roof, and the majority of the roof faces East and West, with maybe 15% facing North which is not the pool area. I would need much more surface area on these East or West faces.
So in considering other options, gas heating is out of the running due to being quite expensive and inefficient.
I hadn't really considered electric heating for the same reason, however I can get an 18kW heat pump for $3,000 (plus installation)that should do the job nicely, and it uses 1600W of power, which equals around $2 a day if it runs for 12 hrs. This seems quite reasonable to me, given the solar kit would be close to $4,000 (plus installation), plus you still need to run a pump with that.
So in summary:
PRO's: No plumbing over the roof, cheaper (or at best similar)initial outlay, can heat any time of year, simple installation, can heat a spa
CON's: Approx 3 x cost of operation compared to solar, shorter life span (10yrs)
Have I missed anything or does anyone have any comments? I'm not looking for all year swimming, just something to give the shoulder season an extension of a month or so.
Thanks for reading.