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Thread: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

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    Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    Hello All,

    FNG here and I'd like to thank all the contributors to this site that have helped to significantly shorten my learning curve as a new and first time pool owner. I've been studying the site and the invaluable information I've gleaned here has inspired me to join up and post a question. So, here goes.

    I recently purchased a home with an in-ground pool which suffered from neglect by the previous owner. With the help of a local pool guy, my system is up and running, my water has gone from a black lagoon to sparkling clear and I'm ready to take the reins and see if I can't maintain this puppy all by my lonesome. With the help of TFP, of course! My kids were so excited to see the pool clean and clear this past weekend that they dove right in, in spite of the water temperature being no higher than 54 degrees! Ah, to be young!

    My setup is listed in my signature but I'd like to add that I believe there was, at one time, a gas heater connected to the system as there is a gas line and concrete pad next to the filtration system. I've been considering getting a heater but I cringe at the thought of the expense of running gas heaters or heat pumps and I'm not crazy about the idea of a solar system that pumps water up to the roof of my split ranch. Today I stumbled upon a heat pump set-up that uses solar panels to produce the electricity to run a heat pump. At least, I think that's what they're selling.

    Details are listed here:

    http://www.solarpanelsplus.com/products/shp48/

    I'm hoping that some expert advice and/or firsthand experience with this unit (or one like it) from another member might help me decide if this is a viable system worth considering.

    Thanks again for creating this site and allowing me to join. Looking forward to the summer!
    In Ground 17,500 Gallon Freeform Vinyl Liner - Hayward S220T Sand Filter - Hayward Super II Pump - Kreepy Krawly Kruiser Cleaner
    If I had a dollar for every time I told my wife that there's no way we're buying a house with a pool, I'd have enough money to install the pool that came with the house we bought!

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    Welcome to TFP! Nice first post! And a first post after you cleared up the pool! Even better.

    There have been several discussions about this product, none that I have seen are very encouraging. You are better off with traditional proven pool heating products. Solar panels if you have good southern sun exposure and roof space. Or a heat pump will serve better. There have been several good discussion threads on heat pumps the last couple of weeks. Looks like a lot of people in your neck of the woods are happy with their heat pumps.

    If you want to install a PV electric generation system then that is another forum.

    As for your kids diving in 54*, WOW!! Brrrrr!

    Have you memorized this yet?
    TFPC for Beginners
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    The quick summary version: don't combine two unrelated products into one. If solar panels are a good investment, get solar panels. If a heat pump is good for you, get a heat pump. Combining the two into one product has no possible advantages and several significant disadvantages.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    Thanks for the replies gentlemen. Maybe the most obvious solution is to just get a gas heater. After all, I've already got the slab and gas line at the ready. I just fear that I'll not be able to cover the $400 monthly cost for the luxury of an 85* pool. Lots of other expenses to consider.

    And yes, pooldv. I have taken the sacred oath and committed myself to the BBB Method. Went to Costco today and bought myself a couple of 50 lb. buckets of Clorox 3" Chlorine pucks, 3 gallons of Clorox bleach and two 10 lb. bags of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. A Taylor K-2006 kit, some AquaCheck 7-Ways as well as a whole bunch of other gear is en route as we speak. Now I just have to decide if I should rebuild my Polaris 360 or buy a new auto-cleaner. Maybe a suction type? I dunno.
    In Ground 17,500 Gallon Freeform Vinyl Liner - Hayward S220T Sand Filter - Hayward Super II Pump - Kreepy Krawly Kruiser Cleaner
    If I had a dollar for every time I told my wife that there's no way we're buying a house with a pool, I'd have enough money to install the pool that came with the house we bought!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    Wait, why did you buy 100 pounds of pucks? Those are not recommended.
    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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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    Good news on maintaining your own pool TFPC-style! Easy with those pucks, make sure you keep an eye on your CYA level.

    It appears to me that heat pumps cost about a quarter to heat as compared to propane and about third compared to gas. Lots of people here are posting that it costs 50-100 bucks/mo to heat their pool up there with a heat pump. Of course, solar panels will heat it for just the cost of a little extra pump run time.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    A heat pump can be substantially less expensive than gas, but only when a couple of conditions are met. Heat pumps are best at maintaining a constant temperature when the air temperature is 70+ degrees. Heat pumps are very bad for "event" heating (that one nice weekend in the fall) and lose efficiency quickly as the air temperature goes down (i.e. not so good in the spring and fall in most places).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    25 days ago we filled our pool for the first time. Our options to heat the pool were electricity or propane. A year ago I installed solar panels to generate electricity. If there is excess electricity generated over a year it gets sold to the power company for 5 cents kWh. I now have a heat pump to heat my spa and pool. I have not used any propane and relied solely on the heat pump to heat the spa. I have the spa programmed to come on at 5:30 PM every day and heat the spa. It can take 3 hours to heat the spa, but I've had the spa up to 104 F. I also have an electrical meter on my pool system. I've averaged $1.15/day to circulate the pool and heat the spa based on 5 cents/kWh. I am getting a great ROR on the electric solar panels and now I can heat my pool and spa with electricity economically. It won't take 3 hours to heat the spa tonight because I've had a cover over the spa and it started at 85 F. It should be up to 103 by 7 PM.
    April 1, 2015 first fill of infinity edge of about 15,000 gallons. Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen, iAquaLink, Jandy 2 HP variable filter pump, Jandy 2.5 HP single speed feature pump, Jandy CL580 cartridge filter, Jandy heat pump, Jandy propane heater, spa of unknown size, 3 LEDs in pool, 2 LEDs in surge pond and 1 LED in spa, Eclipse EC-10 Del Ozone oxidizer and 4 Jandy laminars with Jandy CS100 filter built by California Pools in 2015.

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    Re: Solar Powered Heat Pump - Will this really work?

    I assume That ROR means something similar to ROI (return on investment).

    Based on your front money costs, how long will it take you to break even?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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