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Thread: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

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    Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    I looking for help with selecting a solar controller for my 24' round AGP.

    I have a 4 x 20 solar bear panel and plan to get a second next year. The original plan was to manually control the solar this year and automate it next year, but considering controller this year. I have been waffling between Pentair SolarTouch, SunTouch and the GL-235. Any feedback on these models or is there another that I should be considering? My pump is single speed and I don't plan on replacing it for the next 5 years. It is currently controlled by and basic Intermatic analog timer.

    I would ideally like to controller to turn on the pump if it is outside the scheduled time to hear/cool the pool. Here is what I (think) I know about the controllers.

    Solar Touch - Still requires me to keep the Intermatic, but will require some creative wiring to have a timer and a pump override. (Includes valve and actuator )
    SunTouch - Seems to be all in one, if I can figure out the correct option package and if I need an additional relay to run the pump (Includes valve and actuator )
    GL-235 - Discounted this as it can't turn on the pump, but seems to be a crowd favorite here and I may be missing something. (controller only)

    I would also like to add a Stenner Pump next year also.

    Any feedback you can give would be appreciated

    Thanks.
    13,500 Gallon 24' Round Vinyl Above Ground Pool installed in 2015
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    The SunTouch is a full automation system that comes with four relays.

    The SolarTouch is a modern solar controller with good options for Pentair brand variable speed pumps.

    The GL235 is an old standby that has proven extremely reliable over the years.

    None of them are good at turning on the pump when solar heat is available, they all assume a schedule when the pump runs, and then they turn the solar option on/off.

    The SunTouch operates as a timer as well as a solar controller. The other two require an external timer.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    What Jason said, plus:

    The GL235 comes in two versions, one with a high power relay that can turn on a pump, one that can't

    I have the Aqua-Solar AQ-SOL-LV-TV with an added RIB relay to control low / high / off on my 2 speed pump, digital display, etc. overall it works for me, but if I had to do it over again I would probably go with the Suntouch as it is more modern (software setup vs jumpers and mechanical timer)
    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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  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    Thanks. So even though the SunTouch is a timer is won't automatically override the filter schedule on a call for heat or cooling?


    13,500 Gallon 24' Round Vinyl Above Ground Pool installed in 2015
    Hayward Perfrle EC50 D.E. Filter 1.5HP, Daily runtime ?? hours
    TF100 Test Kit
    Starting out with BBB from Day 1

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    I think the Suntouch has a solar override feature option to turn solar on when timer is off, I know my Aquasolar does
    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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  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    No, none of the original three will turn on the pump when it starts off.

    One version of the GL-235 can turn a booster pump on and off, but it won't correctly sense the water temperature when the pump is off, resulting in erratic behavior that isn't really what you want.

    The SolarTouch has a mode where you can run a variable speed pump at a very low speed to track the water temperature, and it will then turn the speed up to a higher speed when it decides it is time to run the solar panels. But that requires an IntelliFlo pump.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    No, none of the original three will turn on the pump when it starts off.

    One version of the GL-235 can turn a booster pump on and off, but it won't correctly sense the water temperature when the pump is off, resulting in erratic behavior that isn't really what you want.

    The SolarTouch has a mode where you can run a variable speed pump at a very low speed to track the water temperature, and it will then turn the speed up to a higher speed when it decides it is time to run the solar panels. But that requires an IntelliFlo pump.
    This is how I operate my solartouch. Run the VSpump at 1100 rom which draws 150w, which is enough to skim and the SWG to make chlorine. When solar heat is available the Solartouch opens the solar valve and bumps the RPM up to 1950 rpm to run my solar panels efficiently. When heat is no longer available or needed it closes the solar valve and sets pump back to 1100rpm. Pics and details in my build in my sig.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Above Ground Pool Solar controller

    Jason, I can see your point on this, but I guess it depends on how the equipment is setup, where the pool temperature sensor is installed, etc. In my case with the AquaSolar and an indoor pool with an indoor equipment room the water temperature in the pipe is close enough to pool temperature that I get fairly good results. If that pipe were in bright sunlight I can see how this would be erratic. The solution for most people might be relocating the pool temperature sensor to the skimmer, which may be easier said than done.
    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
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

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