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Thread: best DIY solar kit

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    kingman, az

    best DIY solar kit

    Hello everyone, I became a first time pool owner when I recently purchased a home with a 33' X 20' in ground pool with adjacent in ground spa. I live in a rural area so there are few choices of pool care companies. I am a bit low on confidence as one sold me a refurbished single speed pump for $600. After my first electric bill I did some research and of course should have gone with a variable speed pump. Long story short I'm looking for some good reliable sources of basic information as I get the pool up to speed and really appreciate the time anyone can give to answer.

    My question for today is about installing a DIY solar heater. I have a large area of flat south facing ground with no shade behind a wall close to my pool pump and would like to do a ground mount system there. I live in northwest AZ so it gets below freezing at night for roughly 6 weeks per year. Any advice on the best DIV system to buy? An internet search turned up VORTEX (calculated to need 8 panels 4' x 12'), any other good or better options out there? Also, any advice for building a ground mount system that will facilitate draining the panels when necessary?

    Thank you in advance for any advice, it is appreciated!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana

    Re: best DIY solar kit

    Welcome to TFP!

    I can only vouch for the Aquasol panels I have. Looking on the web, the Vortex doesn't raise any red flags with me.

    Panels are normal installed so they self-drain. That's accomplished by tilting them slightly toward the inlet side. This is required whether it freezes or not, because water left in the panels in the summer can overheat them.

    If you want more shade as a bonus, you can often just build a tall ground rack/pergola combination for very little more money than a ground rack alone would cost.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Louisiana

    Re: best DIY solar kit

    The Vortex panels are Solar Directs private label version of the Techno-Solis panels. Private label panels are popular in the pool solar panel industry as this is a technique that is used to shift warranty claims from the manufacturer to the distributor, sometimes this is used to sell the same panel under two different names with two different warranty lengths, one at a higher and one at a lower price. There are a few members here that have used Techno-Solis panels, if you use the search function you can find at least a couple of detailed installation threads including my own from a couple of years ago. There is even a thread on how to repair this type of panel using plastic welding techniques.

    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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