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Thread: Solar thoughts

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    rbinn's Avatar
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    Solar thoughts

    Hello,

    I thought I would throw a question out and see what the prevaling thought is.

    I currently have a 3/4 hp sand filter combo for my 9x18 pool. I have hard plumbed to pump with 1.5 pvc. My return is also 1.5 but I have a "T" to a 1/2 inch that goes to my roof. There is a ball valve above the "T". The 1/2 inch pvc goes into about 200 feet in 2 separate coils of black thin walled 1/2 in tubing then returned to the pool via another 1/2 in pvc pipe. Pump pressure sits at about 8 which is about 3/4 into the green on my pressure gauge. Flow is continually4-5 degrees above pool temp. so its working. Small flow, but never the less working.

    After looking at some of the commercial solar setups I thought I would consider this:
    1) convert T to roof to 1.5 in with ball valve.
    2) build manifold at low end of roof with 4 inline 1.5 to 1/2 in T's with end cap.
    3) from each 1/2 in nipple feed a 100 ft coil of 1/2 in black tubing.
    4) top manifold would be same as lower except plumbed directly into the pool return instead of separate feed.

    I don't know enouph about the math involved to see if this would work. I do know that the thin wall pvc is cheap
    And the stuff I currently use has been on the roof for 4 yrs.

    Looking forward to your thoughts..

    Rob
    9 x 18 Hydro Force AGP, Aqua Pro AP ASFAL 75 pump and sand filter, Hayward Skimmer, Raypak 106A propane heater, Sunquest Solar Panels, Pentair Rainbow test kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    It is now generally cheaper to buy the commercial panels that to try to DIY a system together ... is you look at the cost per square foot area exposed to the sun (which is what matters for solar heating.
    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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    rbinn's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    It is now generally cheaper to buy the commercial panels that to try to DIY a system together ... is you look at the cost per square foot area exposed to the sun (which is what matters for solar heating.
    Thanks for the reply. The trouble I keep seeing with the commercial units is that they seem to only last a year or two before things start go. I just hate the thought of paying 6 or 700 $ for a system that is bound to fail. I get really good afternoon sun on the roof from about 12 til 4 however the pool is partially shaded at that time.
    R
    9 x 18 Hydro Force AGP, Aqua Pro AP ASFAL 75 pump and sand filter, Hayward Skimmer, Raypak 106A propane heater, Sunquest Solar Panels, Pentair Rainbow test kit.

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    Re: Solar thoughts

    The cost per sq-ft of poly tubing is more than that of some manufactured panels so it isn't a real bargain either.

    Note too, that a 100' of 1/2" tubing is only 4 sq-ft. Hardly worth the effort unless you have at least 10 coils. Solar is all about sq-ft of coverage and below 10% is pointless.
    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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    rbinn's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    The cost per sq-ft of poly tubing is more than that of some manufactured panels so it isn't a real bargain either.

    Note too, that a 100' of 1/2" tubing is only 4 sq-ft. Hardly worth the effort unless you have at least 10 coils. Solar is all about sq-ft of coverage and below 10% is pointless.
    Ok, so I guess the million dollar question is what type would everyone recommend based on info stated?

    Thanks for the input
    guys, it helps...
    Rob
    9 x 18 Hydro Force AGP, Aqua Pro AP ASFAL 75 pump and sand filter, Hayward Skimmer, Raypak 106A propane heater, Sunquest Solar Panels, Pentair Rainbow test kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    My used set (no idea of age) of Heliocol panels I installed have worked with 0 issues now for 2 years ... no idea where you got that idea that they only last a couple years. New they come with a lifetime warranty on materials I think.

    But I suppose you get what you pay for ... if you get the really cheap ones and do not install and drain properly, they may not last as long.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Do you have space next to the pool to place the panels like these:

    Amazon.com: SmartPool SunHeater Solar Heating System for Aboveground Pools 2 Outdoors

    The problem with roof mounted panels is you need the extra hardware for mounting and the extra pipe and rise can be too much for a standard AGP pump so you may not get much flow rate through the panels.
    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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    Re: Solar thoughts

    The panels are "install and forget". I scoured the site and Google prior to buying and I did not see much about the panels failing. Sure, they might spring a leak but that is an easy fix. You can buy them on Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and any number of other online retailers. Once installed, I believe you will have no regrets.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    rbinn's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by f3justusc View Post
    The panels are "install and forget". I scoured the site and Google prior to buying and I did not see much about the panels failing. Sure, they might spring a leak but that is an easy fix. You can buy them on Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and any number of other online retailers. Once installed, I believe you will have no regrets.
    Thanks for the reply. I guess as anther poster mentioned "you get what you pay for". I live in the Pacific Northwest, where although our winters are relatively mild we do get some serious wind. Is possible to install some of the higher end panels so they can be removed in the fall?

    Thanks for the input, as you can tell I have a hard time parting with my money
    Cheers,

    Rob
    9 x 18 Hydro Force AGP, Aqua Pro AP ASFAL 75 pump and sand filter, Hayward Skimmer, Raypak 106A propane heater, Sunquest Solar Panels, Pentair Rainbow test kit.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    There are different designs ... for example, the Heliocol panels have individual tubes running between the headers. This allows wind to pass through the panels making damage due to wind less likely. In fact for awhile I had them just sitting on my roof and they did not blow away. They are also very easy to remove the clips now holding the panels to the roof and then separate the panels from each other if you did want to remove them (although not sure this is needed).

    Other panels are more rigid and all the tubes are connected so it is more of a solid panel. This may slightly heat better (due to no wind passing through), but they are also giant sails and require more roof penetrations to hold them in place.
    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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    rbinn's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    Do you have space next to the pool to place the panels like these:

    Amazon.com: SmartPool SunHeater Solar Heating System for Aboveground Pools 2 Outdoors

    The problem with roof mounted panels is you need the extra hardware for mounting and the extra pipe and rise can be too much for a standard AGP pump so you may not get much flow rate through the panels.
    Thanks for the reply. I have no option but going to the roof. I wonder if I could somehow retro fit these?

    Thanks,

    Rob
    9 x 18 Hydro Force AGP, Aqua Pro AP ASFAL 75 pump and sand filter, Hayward Skimmer, Raypak 106A propane heater, Sunquest Solar Panels, Pentair Rainbow test kit.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    There many other that can be attached to the roof. Just look through the list:

    Amazon.com: pool solar panels roof

    pool solar panels roof | eBay

    Just make sure they come with the mounting hardware.
    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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    rbinn's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    There are different designs ... for example, the Heliocol panels have individual tubes running between the headers. This allows wind to pass through the panels making damage due to wind less likely. In fact for awhile I had them just sitting on my roof and they did not blow away. They are also very easy to remove the clips now holding the panels to the roof and then separate the panels from each other if you did want to remove them (although not sure this is needed).

    Other panels are more rigid and all the tubes are connected so it is more of a solid panel. This may slightly heat better (due to no wind passing through), but they are also giant sails and require more roof penetrations to hold them in place.
    Thanks, I am going to have closer look at the Heliocol. They seem to be a bit more sturdy than average ebay or amazon offerings.

    I really appreciate the feedback...

    Rob
    9 x 18 Hydro Force AGP, Aqua Pro AP ASFAL 75 pump and sand filter, Hayward Skimmer, Raypak 106A propane heater, Sunquest Solar Panels, Pentair Rainbow test kit.

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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar thoughts

    Given your location I think freeze prevention is going to be important, this means panels that not only drain well on their own, but installed so you can blow the remaining water out of them and isolate them in the winter. Therefore one of the more rigid designs may work better for this aspect of things.
    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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