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Thread: Pump and Solar Heater

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    Pump and Solar Heater

    We are looking to install a solar heating system on our pool for the up and coming pool season, but i have a few questions that i am unsure of that is keeping me from pulling the trigger on the install, and was hoping the pool greats around here could give me some advice.

    We are looking to install two 2ft by 20ft panels for our 24ft above ground pool. The pumping equipment has been plumbed over to our garage using 1 1/2 PVC that is about 10 ft. away from the pool. After watching outside we have decided that the most sunny spot for the panels would be on the roof of our garage which is about 9ft above the pump, that is a Hayward 1HP 65gpm. With the panels being plumbed into the return side would this create any problems for the pump having to push the water straight up 9 feet to the panels and then back down to the pool? Should a valve be installed so that we can bypass the panels if the need arises? Are solar heaters really worth it?

    Thank you in advance for any insight!
    24' Round Above Ground
    15,000 Gallons
    Hayward Pro Series 100 Lbs Sand Filter
    Hayward Power Flo LX 1hp Pump
    8 gallon Liquidator 3/8
    BBB Method

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    Your pump should have no problems handling the panels on the roof.

    You definitely want a 3-way or a pair of single outlet valves so that you can adjust the flow through the panels or shut them off as desired.

    Putting them on the roof can be problematic for AG panels. You would be better served to install IG type panels as they are better suited to self-draining. Since IG panels are installed vertically rather than horizontally, you may need to reconsider panel sizes.

    I wouldn't be without my solar panels. They are well worth the investment. I can run most of the summer without a blanket and still have warm water, and I can use the blanket along with them to handle the beginning and end of the season easily.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    I would give the same advice as JohnT, but also say that a solar controller while another $150+ expense can greatly improve the practical performance of solar heat, particularly in areas prone to random daytime showers and or clouds.
    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
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    jamin35008's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    [QUOTE=JohnT;621907Putting them on the roof can be problematic for AG panels. You would be better served to install IG type panels as they are better suited to self-draining. Since IG panels are installed vertically rather than horizontally, you may need to reconsider panel sizes.QUOTE]

    JohnT,

    I'm also thinking of getting the solar heat panels for my AG 24' pool. I live in Rochester, NY and my pool is in partial shade for half the day, however the garage 10' from the pool is in the sun from morning to evening. My pool on the best days might have reached 77* last year(summer here was really cold last year) and I just want to get to that 83-85* mark so my wife will get in without screaming and maybe we can enjoy the pool a few extra weeks on each side of the swimming season. Anyhow, I was wondering about what you said in regards to mounting on the roof and getting IG instead of AG panels.....can you elaborate on that point a little more for me?

    Also I was wondering about my pump as well.....I have a 1hp pump and would have to run the line 35' and then up 10' to the garage roof before getting to the panels. Would it handle that distance or would I be better off getting a independent motor for the solar system?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    -Ben

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    I will jump in here and try to give a few answers, when it comes to solar panels their is nothing inherently different between above ground and inground panels, other than the fact above ground panels is sort of a code word for lower quality shorter life expectancy panels and turn key over simplified kits. Usually these kits are designed to lay out on the ground then to be rolled up and stored / thrown away at the end of the season. They also have overly simplified cartoon like mounting directions, working under the theory that anything more complicated than instructions written at a 3rd grade reading level is too complicated for the DIY'er, even if such lack of directions causes loss of performance in installations. Of course having said that you can always find some solar panel seller that sells those exact same low quality panel packaged with some mounting brackets and call them inground panels, so buyer beware.

    As to the pump, the 35 feet will provide negligible resistance, it is all about that 10 ft of lift. It is hard to say without seeing the head curve for your specific pump, trial and error may be the easiest solution here, go but 1 10 ft section of 1.5 inch PVC (cost about $5, plug a $2 elbow), stand it up and hook it up to the pump and see if the water comes out the top, and if so do you get enough flow.
    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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    jamin35008's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    Thanks Isaac! I was looking at my pump curve in the manual and its saying I should have around 95gpm at 10ft of total dynamic head in feet of water. As for the panels, maybe it would be a better idea of looking at IG panels then. I was planning on taking these down every winter and I want something that's going to last more than 1 season.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    that pump would be fine if there were no filter inline with it which raises head considerably, you also only want filtered water going into solar panels, so they don't clog.. Therefore that pump would likely work if used as a booster pump plumbed downstream from the filter, but not as an only pump.

    Ike

    p.s. expect 15-25 feet of head to be added by the filter depending on type and how clean it is.
    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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    jamin35008's Avatar
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    Re: Pump and Solar Heater

    I was thinking I may need a booster pump but I was going to try using just the one first and see how it did. I could always add the boost pump right before the elbow and the line turns and heads up the 10'. If I did need the pump do you have any suggestions about size/HP/make/model?

    Thanks again Ike!

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