I'm plying away at different components of the pool in the house we bought 2.5 months ago. It has a older rooftop solar system on a west facing roof that has no obstructions. When we moved in early Sep it was cranking out hot water. The previous seller said if he forgot to bypass it during the summer the pool could hit 100°. I turned it off shortly after moving in because of pool information overload, but now have it on again and seeing if it makes a difference. A few questions:
1) What do solar owners think their power consumption is when the solar is on vs. bypassed? I thought pumping all that water 20' up would take a lot of power, but some quick tests looking at our meter with it on and bypassed showed that switched to solar actually used less, which seems impossible. Our power meter read 1.60kW w/o solar and 1.56kW with solar. Not sure what else was in the house at the time but I ran the test 3 times in a 10 minute period and numbers were always the same.
2) Now that we are in Nov with a fewer sun hours and a lower angle of sun, does it make any sense to run our solar? Our pool has dipped to 64° since I bypassed solar, sunny skies and temps now 75° in the day, 50° at night. We were still taking quick dips with our daughter in a wetsuit at 70° so the ability to keep it in the 70s would be worth something to us.
3) These panels look old and you can even see some dried up moss on them in some parts. Has there been any dramatic improvements in efficiency in the last decade that would make replacing these with new ones an attractive option? They are vertically oriented 4' wide ones, maybe 10' long. We probably have 8 of them. Our pool is 500sqft (16x32) so the current system is probably undergunned.
I realize I should of taken photos of these panels, I plan to soon. Thank in advance for any advice.