I have been looking for a new pool cover and have a 'new' idea - might have already been done, but it's new to me, and I have not seen any pictures - looking to see if anyone has any pros, cons, or advice.
We have an outdoor in-ground pool, 8 x 4 meters ( 26 x 13 ft ), and rectangular in shape.
We had a safety net installed when we moved in, just over 4 years ago. It is now starting to perish and needs replacing.
We also live on a windy hill, line of sight 900 meters ( 0,6 miles ) to the ocean, and 80 meters ( 260 ft ) up, so we get a lot of wind over the pool.
This creates a problem with dust being captured by the water, as well as turbulent water ( we even get swells in the water at high wind ) which I think increases evaporation and loses heat.
I believe the dust particles in the water are contributing to the 'not perfectly clear' quality, and also increases chlorine demand.
As we have 2 kids ( 7 and 5 yrs ), my main goals are :
2. dust prevention
3. chemical reduction
4. reduce evaporation and heat loss
5. solar heating effect of a cover would be a 'nice to have'
I considered replacing the net, but does not solve the dust and other problems, and I really hate the hassle of dealing with all the clips.
I considered a solid PVC cover ( material like a roll-down blind ) but these tend to have poles extending on to the top of the coping tiles ( not sure if you call it the same - the last row of paving tiles around the edge of the pool ). The walk-way around the pool is narrow, and the kids use it a lot, so would not want a tripping hazard there. Also has no solar benefit, and can't see the water ( pool is 6 ft from the living room glass doors, so it is very visible ).
The automated polycarbonate slats are just far too expensive, and would cost more than building a new pool.
The solar bubble-wrap blankets have no safety at all, and a very short life span of around 3 years. Also the wind would take it out the pool very easily.
So here's my idea :
Using clear fiberglass or polycarb corrugated roof sheeting ( has a square-ish hills / valleys profile something like this --\__/--\__/--\__/ ).
It is easily available in 6m ( 19,5 ft ) lengths, and not too expensive.
Each length would be cut in half, with the 2 halves overlapping about 3 ft. This would create a panel 13 ft long, to fit the width of the pool.
The outer ends of the panels have a rubber trim ( like where the car door seals to the bodywork ), so that they do not scratch the fibreglass pool lining at the top edge of the pool, and this will also increase boyancy. Additional foam blocks could be mounted under the hills of the panels if additional lift is needed.
The panels then sit flat on the surface of the water.
Each row overlaps the previous row by one corrugation.
A simple 2 rope mechanism could, once the panels are in place, push the 2 sections of each row away from each other ( locking them to the inside edge of the pool ) or pull the 2 sections together ( away from the edge of the pool ) so they can be lifted out. Distance of movement here only needs to be 4 inches max.
The fact that the panels are on the water surface should mean that they would have about the same strength as if they were on firm ground ( that's the safety feature ), the panels are in contact with the water for solar heat transfer, they are not dependant on the water level as they can be locked-in at any level, and the rubber edge trim would keep dirt from getting blown into the water.
The sliding of the 2 sections so it pushes against the edge of the pool would prevent them from being removed by kids or blown out by the wind.
I do play with Arduino boards and electronics as an occasional hobby, so it shouldn't be too hard to design a mechanism to hook some eye-rings on the panels and lift them out the pool, keeping them flat - if someone can get the Shuttle to automatically dock to the space station, I think we can lift some panels out the water. They can then be hosed off to remove the dust / debris buildup. Automated, it should be possible to remove ( 26ft pool / 3ft per panel row = ) 9 rows of panels within 2 or 3 minutes.
Any thoughts, comments, concerns or reservations ( I have to soon 'sell' this idea to my wife ) ?