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Thread: Solar powered pool pumps?

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    Join Date
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    Solar powered pool pumps?

    I'm considering installing an array of PV solar panels on my roof. These are the kind that make electricity, not the ones that heat water.

    I've noticed there's at least a couple companies selling self-contained solar powered filter pump kits (ie Lorentz, SunRay) that include both panels and a pump. I'm trying to understand if there is some advantage to isolating power generation for the pool pump into its own system with these special-purpose components, vs. just having one large array for all the home's electrical needs and continuing to use a regular pool pump.

    Anyone have any experiences either way?

    I live in a very high cost electricity area so solar in general makes sense for sure. Just not sure as to the best way to handle the pool equipment vs the rest of the house.
    17K gal, IG plaster, Triton II Sand Filter, 2.6 HP 1speed pump
    +spa +spillway +solar +polaris 360 robot +Hayward CL220 feeder
    Built 1995
    Operator Proficiency: untalented novice

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar powered pool pumps?

    My understanding of these systems is they tend to use DC motors on their pool pumps which run at opportune times when there is enough sun light, since there is no storage battery you don't take a big hit for charging and discharging loss. The economics of it have to do with cost and amount of sunlight you get.

    Ike
    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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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Solar powered pool pumps?

    I bet being able to run a DC motor directly from the DC power produced by the panels is an advantage compared to pushing it through an inverter to run the standard AC motor.

    The question is how significant is that advantage, and do they more than make up for the trade offs of:
    . using a lesser-known specialy pump brand that has probably has less features compared to the most efficient overall pool pumps
    . effectively wasting / throwing away any excess energy produced by these panels vs. being able to use it towards other home electricity needs
    . potentially not having enough power to run the pumps on a cloudy day; while missing one day occasionally might be OK I'm not sure I'd want to go too many days that way

    I wouldn't have a charging/discharging loss either way since the whole home panel would be hooked up to the grid via net metering anyway.
    17K gal, IG plaster, Triton II Sand Filter, 2.6 HP 1speed pump
    +spa +spillway +solar +polaris 360 robot +Hayward CL220 feeder
    Built 1995
    Operator Proficiency: untalented novice

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar powered pool pumps?

    The pumps themselves are likely to be off the shelf models, only being driven by a DC motor instead of a standard AC motor, DC motors tend to speed up and slow down with varying voltage, so these pumps may run at low speed on partly cloudy days and just run faster on sunny days. You could probably do something like this with a standard DC PV system with just the standard timer, as the larger array would likely be able to supply enough power to run the pump on all but the cloudiest of days. Note my only direct experience with PV solar is use on my sailboat where I have a 55 watt and 2- 20 watt panels which charge the main house battery bank. I don't really see any waste from this sort of dedicated system like you list as a concern above since the power will still be going to running the pump, which may or may not result in excess filtering, if properly sized this should roughly average out. Hopefully any such system you consider would have some way to run from main AC power (AC to DC power supply for the motor) as well for those times when you may have endless cloudy days.

    Ike
    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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    techguy's Avatar
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    Re: Solar powered pool pumps?

    It my understanding that the pumps just run when power is generated and don't when it's too dark. If this provides enough pumping for the filter in your pool, then you have essentially no pumping costs but you are limited to pumping when the sun is out. I have read about farmers and ranchers using these pumps with ponds and watering animals.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Solar powered pool pumps?

    Put it on your whole house. You'd probably put the same amount of wattage on your roof anyway. And you can run your pumps at night if you ever need to. Plus you can run your meter backwards when the pump(s) aren't on, and offset other load.
    18K Gals, Intelliflo VSD, Pentair Catridge, SWG, Solar & Gas Heat, Pebble Tec, Jandy AquaLinks, Pool Pal for Android.

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    Los Angles / CA
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    Re: Solar powered pool pumps?

    I am also looking to reduce the energy requirements of my pool pump.

    I found this site that has kits that produce over 1 kilowatt per day and
    all you have to do is plug it into the wall like any other appliance.
    I have not tried it but am interested to know if anyone else has experience with
    this product.

    it is model PNG200 at plugngen.com

    Hope this helps.

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