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Thread: Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

    I've been considering solar for a while for heat. I have lots of shade and have a roof over a patio so I can put maybe 15x15 worth of solar up there and no one would see it. The heat would be for April, May, Sept, and Oct. Is it practical/possible to make the solar run my pump in June, July, and August, and do heat the other months listed? I imagine it can be done but that doesn't mean it's practical. Any thoughts on where to research something like this?

    Thanks.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

    It is fairly difficult to run a pool pump from solar panels. Pool pumps tend to require lots of power, more than you can typically get from reasonably sized solar panels.

    Another complication is that you really want completely different kinds of panels for heating water vs powering the pump. Pool heating solar panels produce hot water, not electricity. While it is possible to produce hot water with solar electric power it is inefficient. Likewise, producing electricity from hot water is inefficient.
    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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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

    Oh, that's right, the water runs through piping in the panels. I forgot about that. Heck, it was worth the what-if. Thanks for redirection.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

    Another option, albeit an expensive one is a solar pool pump. Here is an example of one. They are DC so don't suffer from some of the conversion loss of solar electric panels and the panels are sized just for the pump so are a bit smaller. So in theory at least, you could have both types of panels. A small one for just the pump and then use the standard solar pool panels as well to heat the pool.

    This is an option that I am seriously considering because since I have my panels on the second story of the house, I cannot use low speed of a two speed pump nor can I use the Intelliflo at a RPM of below about 2400. So the Intelliflo would save me some money but a solar pool pump might save me a lot more. The downside of course is that you cannot run it at night but then again, I could just the leave the pump I have connected for that.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    dayhiker's Avatar
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    Re: Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

    Dang, that's pricy. My power bill goes up about 150-200 during the summer, so say 4.5 months * 200 = $900/year. It'd take 5-6 years to recoup without counting time value of money. Ouch.
    The avatar is Spalding from Caddyshack
    18x36 vinyl IG - approximately 24000 gal
    Jandy SHPM1.5 Pump (1.5 HP); Jandy APURE 1400 SWG; Polaris PB4-60Q Booster Pump; Jandy CL340 Cartridge Filter
    (3) 4'x12' Aquatherm solar panels
    Next project, pump sound enclosure and lots of pool landscaping [6tons of stone 8) funnnn]

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar for heat AND pump - any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by dayhiker
    Dang, that's pricy. My power bill goes up about 150-200 during the summer, so say 4.5 months * 200 = $900/year. It'd take 5-6 years to recoup without counting time value of money. Ouch.
    One of the reasons I haven't jumped on that. Hopefully, they come down in price in the not too distant future as solar becomes more popular.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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