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Thread: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

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    Mandolina's Avatar
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    Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    I have a 16 foot round, 5,000 gal intex ultra frame pool. It has a solar cover on it when it is not in use. The pool itself is in shade most of the day - there is bright sun 20 feet away from the pool, but the pool temperature is around 69 degrees.
    The pool is not close to any gas lines, so it would cost thousands of dollars to put one in. I only have direct sun from 11 am to 4 pm. I tried a single Game SolarPro XD1 heater, but it does not heat the pool and it only makes hot water for a short period of time. My dog and I need 85 degree water to continue our aqua therapy, any suggestions?
    16' x 48" 5000 gal. Intex Ultra Frame AG Pool, Los Angeles, CA
    Hayward Full-Flow Cartridge Filter System with 2 Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump,
    Intex SWG, Intex Wall Mount Surface Skimmer, Solar cover & Solar Roller,
    Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200 Adjustable Roll-Guard Safety Ladder,
    Kokido SkoobaMax Vac, Custom Canine entry & exit ramps,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Solar heating is about square feet of exposure to the sun. Sounds like you need a lot more solar panels to add more heat. But, you also need realistic expectations, at best solar might be able to get the water up around the high air temperature. And only able to achieve that if you keep a cover on the pool as well.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Firstly, that lil solar collector doesn't have good reviews.

    Secondly, what Jason said, if you don't have a sunny area to place a panel, then you wont get good heat return from ambient heating. Any panel requires direct rays. Your pool has 254 sq feet, so your minimum you should have in panels would be around 150 Sq Feet. You would get good heat increases if you used two fafco 4 x 20 panels, south facing in direct sunlight. Keeping the solar blanket on will also help.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Solar pool heat is dependant upon size of the solar collectors, to realistically manage 85 degrees in year round in your climate, you are looking at needing at least 100% surface area coverage on the pool panel size, plus probably use of a solar pool cover when you are not swimming. If you would settle for 9 or 10 month swim season you could probably get away with a 60-75% surface areas, the problem is there is just not that much heat available from sunlight in December and January in the continental US, even in southern California.
    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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    Mandolina's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by pooladdict View Post
    Firstly, that lil solar collector doesn't have good reviews.

    Secondly, what Jason said, if you don't have a sunny area to place a panel, then you wont get good heat return from ambient heating. Any panel requires direct rays. Your pool has 254 sq feet, so your minimum you should have in panels would be around 150 Sq Feet. You would get good heat increases if you used two fafco 4 x 20 panels, south facing in direct sunlight. Keeping the solar blanket on will also help.
    Thanks so much for your informative reply. I've returned the "Game SolarPro." I do have a solar cover on the pool. At 7:30 am this morning the outside temp is 58 degrees and the pool water is 68 degrees. I think we could possibly put two 4X 20 panels on the south side of our garage roof. The garage is about 17 feet away from the pool and then another 8 feet up. Do you use a separate pump for the solar system? I thought my Hayward 80 GPM, two speed pump might be capable for the solar system. Thanks again I'll check with Fafco.
    16' x 48" 5000 gal. Intex Ultra Frame AG Pool, Los Angeles, CA
    Hayward Full-Flow Cartridge Filter System with 2 Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump,
    Intex SWG, Intex Wall Mount Surface Skimmer, Solar cover & Solar Roller,
    Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200 Adjustable Roll-Guard Safety Ladder,
    Kokido SkoobaMax Vac, Custom Canine entry & exit ramps,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    No separate pump. Your Matrix pump should do fine for the solar on high speed.

    BTW, there is almost no way you are anywhere close to 80 GPM.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Mandolina's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    No separate pump. Your Matrix pump should do fine for the solar on high speed.

    BTW, there is almost no way you are anywhere close to 80 GPM.
    I'm new to pool lingo. What does 80-GPM design flow rate mean in the description? Also when I run the pump on high it makes a lot of noise, it seems more than efficient enough on the lower speed - but maybe not for roof top.
    Product Description
    Hayward XStream above ground full-flow cartridge filter system with 2 speed Power-Flo matrix pump. It is designed specifically for the rigors of above-ground filtration. Extra large filter body ensures an equal distribution of dirt and debris throughout the filtering element ensuring a longer more efficient filtering life. Glass-reinforced, noncorrosive filter tank for long life. Features 100-square feet 2 cartridge elements, Power-Flo matrix pump, quick connect union, convenient one-piece base, 80-GPM design flow rate. The XStream filtration system is equipped with the Power-Flo Matrix pump designed for durability and dependability and features an industrial-size strainer basket to collect a lot of debris without a lot of maintenance. Systems include (2) 1-1/2 by 6-feet lengths of hose, hose adapters and clamps and feature a union connection for simple installation and winterization.
    16' x 48" 5000 gal. Intex Ultra Frame AG Pool, Los Angeles, CA
    Hayward Full-Flow Cartridge Filter System with 2 Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump,
    Intex SWG, Intex Wall Mount Surface Skimmer, Solar cover & Solar Roller,
    Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200 Adjustable Roll-Guard Safety Ladder,
    Kokido SkoobaMax Vac, Custom Canine entry & exit ramps,

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Flow rate is a function of your head loss (resistance to flow) which is based on the pipe sizes, lengths, filter size, number and size of eyeball returns, number of vavles, etc ... every pool is different. On your pool you may get X GPM, but put the pump on a different pool and it would get Y GPM. That 80GPM would be if you had VERY low head loss and would be pretty excessive for a 5k pool. FYI, my pool is almost 4 times bigger and with my pump I only get about 40GPM on high.

    Solar heating is more efficient at higher flow rates, and likely high speed would be needed to prime the panels. For 160 sqft of panels, they only need about 16GPM of flow, so you may get enough flow running on low after you prime on high.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    I have a 16ft Intex 5000 gallon pool with a solar cover and the Eco saver panels. I run a Intex 2650 sand pump and it runs through the two panels and I hit 85 with mine in the summer months. I live in Victoria B.C (near Vancouver). I've been real happy with the 2650 pump and the Eco saver solar panels. I think a lot depends on the outside temperature and what the solar panels are exposed to as far as sun warmth. Remember not to run your panels if they're not exposed to the sun, it can cool down your pool!
    41x25x18 Humpback Haven
    Graduated from 16ft Intex

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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    I bought the space saver and it got my pool to 96 this summer. Until yesterday, my pool was 84. The sale price is awesome. I have wanted them for a while but they were $199. I got them for $99 a few months ago so the price is creeping up.
    http://www.doheny.com/poolsupplies/A...tem-18101.html

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    Mandolina's Avatar
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    Re: Is anyone currently solar heating their above ground pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Flow rate is a function of your head loss (resistance to flow) which is based on the pipe sizes, lengths, filter size, number and size of eyeball returns, number of vavles, etc ... every pool is different. On your pool you may get X GPM, but put the pump on a different pool and it would get Y GPM. That 80GPM would be if you had VERY low head loss and would be pretty excessive for a 5k pool. FYI, my pool is almost 4 times bigger and with my pump I only get about 40GPM on high.

    Solar heating is more efficient at higher flow rates, and likely high speed would be needed to prime the panels. For 160 sqft of panels, they only need about 16GPM of flow, so you may get enough flow running on low after you prime on high.
    Something to consider. Thanks, Jason!
    16' x 48" 5000 gal. Intex Ultra Frame AG Pool, Los Angeles, CA
    Hayward Full-Flow Cartridge Filter System with 2 Speed Power-Flo Matrix Pump,
    Intex SWG, Intex Wall Mount Surface Skimmer, Solar cover & Solar Roller,
    Confer Plastics A-Frame 7200 Adjustable Roll-Guard Safety Ladder,
    Kokido SkoobaMax Vac, Custom Canine entry & exit ramps,

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