I bought an Eco Saver solar heating panel late last season when it went on sale at Amazon, but I only just got around to installing it last weekend.
Of course it has been cloudy, cool, and rainy ever since, but as soon as we get some sunny days I'll try to measure its performance.
I wasn't sure how I was going to hook it up so I tried a couple of different ways. First I connected it directly to my Intex 2650 sand filter. You need an extra hose for this, not supplied with the EcoSaver panel.
I disconnected the hose that went from the filter to the return on the side of the pool, and reconnected the end formerly connected to the filter to the output from the panel instead. My extra Intex hose went from the filter output to the input of the panel. I used these Intex hose adapters purchased from Doheny's.
This worked, but I didn't like that the pressure gauge on my filter went up into the yellow zone. It had previously been almost to the top of the green. I really don't want to impact my filtration or cause problems with my main pump and filter.
Maybe with splitters and diverters I could get the pressure down, and also give me the ability to easily turn off the panel on cool days, but I didn't want to overcomplicate things. I don't want a permanent installation. I just plan to unroll the panel when I want to use it and roll it up when I don't need it. I don't want to kill my grass, and I also won't need the panel when the water is in the high 80's like it is now. It's no big deal because it only takes 2 minutes to roll or unroll the panel.
So I put my 2650 back the way it was and decided to put the Ecosaver on it's own system. But what to use for a pump? I was thinking of an old sump pump I own. Then I remembered that I still have the original Intex cartridge filter that came with my pool. I also have an inlet from the pool that I'm not using since I installed a Hayward skimmer a couple of weeks ago.
I used my extra Intex 1 1/2" hose connected to one of those Intex "B" adapters that came with my 2650 to the inlet of the cartridge filter. The other end of this hose went to my original, now unused, inlet from the pool. This is an Intex inlet and Intex hose so no adapter required here.
For the outlet from the cartridge filter to the panel I used one of the the original 1 1/4" hoses that came with the pool, secured with hose clamps. For the output from the panel I used a longer piece of 1 1/4" hose, clamped to the panel and zip tied to the pool frame. It looks ugly but it works.
I measured the flow from the panel and I'm getting about 600 gph. The water coming out of the panel is noticeably warmer than the pool water. For brief moments when the sun was out I measured about 2-5 deg. (F) increase in temperature. However, even with my small pool, this isn't going to result in much of an increase in pool temperature, and it is already obvious that the manufacturer's claim of one panel for my size pool is not sufficient.
Here are some pictures.
This shows the larger Intex hose carrying water from the pool to the small Intex cartridge filter. What I like is that I can turn off this valve at the pool when the panel is not in use. This way I don't have to worry about a leak in the panel or one of the hose connections draining my pool overnight.
Here are closeups of the connections at the cartridge filter.
The connections to the panel.
Here is the panel unrolled.
Here is the panel rolled up. You can see the output hose from the panel zip tied to the upright.