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Thread: Solar Pool Heater

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    Solar Pool Heater

    I have a 15 foot or maybe 16 foot doughboy above ground pool with a 1hp pump and 1 1/2 hard plumbing.

    I want to put a solar heater on the roof of my shed next to the pool. I see two different methods online, I am choosing to go with PVC painted black mainly because its trouble free. However, I do I supply it? I see many people divert the entire flow to the solar collector, and others put in Tees.

    I was going to use Tees and 1' or 3/4' and divert only a portion of water flow however, I can divert it all, but would going from 1 1/2 to 1 inch wear out my pump faster?

    Thank you

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    I highly recommend you not try to DIY a solar heater and instead purchase the commercial pool solar mats. Solar heating is about exposure to the sun and you will not get the sqft and efficiency of the commercial panels for the price of trying to make one yourself.

    The amount of flow diverted to the solar depends on your pumps flow rate and the size of your solar array.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    What Jason said, it just does not make sense to try to roll your own solar panel, DIY installation of commercial panels is something else entirely, I would suggest reading all of the information available at http://h2otsun.com it does slant a bit towards their product, but much of it applies to any brand of commercial solar panel.

    Ike

    p.s. note I do not own h2otsuns brand of panels, I considered them when doing my last solar heater update, but could not justify their price over the TechnoSolis panels I ended up using for my particular circumstances.
    as
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    I think I will go with the vortex panel. However, I think I will order everything else through amazon. Will the Heliocol end caps and CPVC work with the vortex? It all 1.5 inch rubber compression fittings, should work.

    Amazon.com : CPVC Pipe Connector for Heliocol Swimming Pool Solar Panels - HC-117 : Patio, Lawn Garden
    Amazon.com : CPVC Pipe Connector for Heliocol Swimming Pool Solar Panels - HC-117 : Patio, Lawn Garden

    Thank you
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    I don't think Heliocol fittings will work with any other panels.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    You should be able to get the fittings from Solar Direct. Pics of my Vortex panels and plumbing in my build thread in sig.
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    Here is an update.

    I have a 8 x 10 shed with about 5 x 12 surface area on each side. However, I would have to mount the panels with the channels running horizontally. Apparently, that is not an approved configuration. Therefore, I will likely go with a DIY build of some sort. I planned to build a two solar panel system with a automated controller. I guess I just saved $1000. I am not taking up ground space with a giant rack. That is not an option for me.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    I would not say that you saved $1000 ... because if you DIY a setup with close to the same surface area and efficiency, it is still going to cost a good bit.

    You could probably put a 4x10 panel on each side and slope it as much as you can.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    I would not say that you saved $1000 ... because if you DIY a setup with close to the same surface area and efficiency, it is still going to cost a good bit.

    You could probably put a 4x10 panel on each side and slope it as much as you can.
    I saved it because I didn't not have a goal in mind, I am not trying to reach X sq ft of surface area, I was trying to do the best I can with what I have to work with.

    I am going to run two 3/4 runs of CPVC from the peak side of each side of the roof, that way I can drain them both (a continuous run wouldn't allow a side to drain).

    Its the best I can do at this point.

    Basically, 1.5 inch supply splits into two 3/4 inch runs at the roof, snakes down to the bottom, then joins back up into 1.5 inch.

    I will still get a 3 way valve, backflow preventers, and maybe two vacuums (1 for each run).

    Do you think I need them for a closed loop?

    I will hold off on the controller for now, but I do enjoy wiring and such, so maybe the hobbyist in me will just go for it.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    You want to have as many parallel runs of small tubes as you can get. Two long 3/4" hoses is going to be a lot of headloss and not add as much heat.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You want to have as many parallel runs of small tubes as you can get. Two long 3/4" hoses is going to be a lot of headloss and not add as much heat.
    that's what I am basically doing. Two long 3/4 runs. Its not hose, but its 3/4 CPVC, it will hold up better I think and ultimately be less trouble then trying to man handle hoses. I can put 3 or 4 2x4 pressure treated cleats down and then use electrical clamps to hold everything in place. Water and snow can move underneath it.

    I would like to use 2' headers and run lots of parallel 1/2 inch runs, but I would have to find/order 2inch CPVC and then do a lot of drilling and tapping. Maybe a winter project.

    If I do a long 3/4 run I would have roughly 120' of horizontal runs, another 8 ft. of vert., plus inlet and outlet, its will be about 140 ft. of 3/4 inch.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    Sounds like more work and less heating than putting two 4x10 panels on the roof. Good luck.
    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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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    Agreed. I will check tonight, but even slanted I don't have the space. I asked two manufacturers and they both say no to mounting them horizontal (vortex and heliocol). Probably because there is no supports for the channels and the mount hardware is not designed for it.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    I waited to add the solar controller too. The solar controller made all the difference. Opening the valve before work on the days I think it will be sunny is not efficient. Rain, and clouds would cool my pool some days more than I gained. The solar controller opens when it is hot and closes when it is not. All gain, no loss.
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  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    I guess it depends on how much slope you have on the roof. Mine happens to be pretty shallow, so laying them sideways might not be a big deal.

    There are 2x20' panels that are designed to lay horizontal ... I would think there would be a way to do one half that length.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Solar Pool Heater

    There are also assemble you own cut to length panel kits like those from h2otsun.com that are designed to lay sideways one rippled roofs, etc.
    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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