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Thread: Solar?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Houston, TX
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    Solar?

    So I tried searching but got a little overloaded ...

    One thing the wife and I have talked about was adding a pool heater to extend our season. I'm not necessarily talking winter just a few more months earlier and later spring and fall. We live in houston and thus get maybe 5 days a year that are "freezing", lots of sunlight, and have a HUGE backyard with very little shade so Solar seems to be a good and cheap option compared to a gas heater. I'd rather not mount anything on my roof, as I said I have a large yard where I could build something to attach solar panels.

    1. Can someone point in the right direction to information on buying and installing a good solar panel system?
    2. Can I do it myself or do I need to hire a pool tech?
    3. Is it actually worth the effort?
    4. Does need to be mounted to the roof high up or will anywhere that gets good sunlight work?

    Thanks for the help
    26k gal | IG Plaster | DE | Pentair Superflow 1HP | TF 100

  2. Back To Top    #2
    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: Solar?

    Here's some good info:
    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/sol ... ter/pools/
    http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/ ... ol-heaters

    1. The links above can get you going.
    2. You can do it yourself (but really depends on your skill set.)
    3. It will extend your swim season. Only you can really determine the price/effort.
    4. Anywhere that gets good sunlight. Roofs are handy, they're out of the way. But if you've got plenty of land there's no reason not to use it. Typically for southern states you want at least collectors that surface area of the pool. Based upon: (http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/sol ... sizing.htm)
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar?

    I would also suggest looking at the h2otsun.com web site, while much of their information is used to endorse their own product, which by all accounts are good, just pricey, there is also a lot of good generic information, much of it hidden down in the sub pages. As to if solar is worth it, I feel it is if you have reasonable expectations, and don't expect it to perform like your home heater thermostat, particularly at the beginning and end of the season. I live about 150 miles east of you and updated my solar heater to 2/3 pool coverage and an automatic controller last year (old leaking solar heater came down with the old roof year before last). My pool is an indoor pool, so results may be somewhat different, but I was impressed with performance this fall, as it finally started loosing ground keeping the pool at our preferred 84-85 degree swim range around the time of our first freeze of the year the last week of October, and the last swim of the year was a 16th birthday party for one of the neighbor kids on November 15th, water was a cool 76, but the kids did not seem to mind, not too bad when you consider we had near freezing rainy conditions much of the week leading up to the party (pool was at 80 degrees 5 days earlier).

    As to non roof top installation, there are options, traditionally you will see rack systems, but there are also some creative alternatives, such a mounting "roof top" style on outdoor structures like Pergola roofs, or vertical / near vertical installs on fences, etc. (these somewhat depend on climate (angle of the sun) and effeminacy. Speaking of angle here is a web page that shows optimal angle for solar panels, but not just year round fixed angle, but also optimal for spring / fall and winter angles.

    http://www.macslab.com/optsolar.html

    One mistake many of the solar advice sites seem to make, at least for our region is they suggest optimal year round solar angle, which may apply to photo electric panels, however here we really don't need any solar heating of our pools in mid summer, we need it in spring / fall and could care less is mounting angle is optimal in July.


    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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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Solar?

    If you are not mounting the panels on a roof, one item to look into is how to physically protect the panels. These are large units made of relatively thin plastic so are easily damaged. For example if a dog jumps on top of them. By mounting on a roof, physical access to them is limited. Also any land under the panels really cannot be used for anything else.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar?

    dschlic1 has a point here, but it should be noted some panels are physically tougher than others.

    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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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Solar?

    You can always build some type of sunshade as both a cover for a dining/sitting area and a solar panel mounting structure
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    FloridaSolarPro's Avatar
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    Re: Solar?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    You can always build some type of sunshade as both a cover for a dining/sitting area and a solar panel mounting structure
    This would be highly dependent on whether local codes allow it. In Southwest Florida we have very strict building codes with respect to wind. An engineered structural attachment is key in meeting code. Lots of people ask if they can just put solar on the ground, make a plywood structure, or attach it to a screened enclosure. The answer around here is invariably, "NO!"
    Jason Szumlanski
    Vice President
    Fafco Solar

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Solar?

    I agree about the ht02sun.com, a lot of good info there. I too have been reasearching info for my upcoming pool install. I like the customability of the ht02sun panels but not the way the headers attach. A few glue joints is expected, not in favior of all those joints that have to be glued. Thats just my opinion. I have found costs anywhere from 100 to $300, just for the panels. You might find used ones cheaper.
    12 x 26 Viking FG IG, Bermuda Model, 3 1/2' to 5', 7000 Gallons, Diamond Series Maya, Hayward 1 1/2 HP Maxflo VS, Hayward Stay Clear Plus Cart Filter C17502(S), Hayward Aqua Rite SWG w/T3 cell, Color Changing FIBERSTAR Lighting, Aqua Bot Supreme Robotic cleaner, Brushed Concrete with CCI Liberty Tan color, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Armor Foundation penetrating concrete sealer(lifetime warranty).

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