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Thread: Looking into solar heat

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    S1ngram's Avatar
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    Looking into solar heat

    Right now I'm in the beginning stages of research. One thing I have decided is that the panels will need to be mounted on the ground. It seems like there are a few different ways to ground mount. Which is best? Solid backing, open backing with braces, directly on ground or other? Wouldn't installing the panels over brick provide further heat even after the sun has faded for the day? Would it be damaging to the panels?

    Have any of you had Heliocol or Fafco panels and bought less expensive panels later and been just as happy with those?

    Because of my location, these will be an owner install, so I'm also taking ease of install into consideration.

    I welcome any thoughts, warnings and helpful tips as I confidential to research this topic.

    Thanks!
    27' round Seaspray Evolution, AG, 17,100 gallons, Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Dual Speed 1.5 hp, Filter: Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, June 18, 2014, Kreepy Krauley Lil Shark, TF-100 test kit, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    I have mine turned on now. Roof mounted, facing the south.

    incoming water temp: 82

    solar return water temp: 90

    All I gotta say is solar heating is amazing.

    Is the section of yard south facing? That does make a difference.
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
    (1.5 HP motor) Raypak PR266AEN (266k btu) gas heater. TF-100 Test Kit.
    Dolphin E10 Cleaning Robot.

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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    You don't really want to mount any solar panels on the ground. (But see the Fafco Solar Bear system)They are not something that you want stepped on and they will do better angled. Best probably varies with your topography and latitude. But angled somewhat Southwest will probably give you the most heat.

    If you are diligent you can buy Heilcoil and Fafco used-- look at ebay and craigslist. There is a site that will search craigslist nationally so you might try that.

    The big names are sold through distributors who generally bundle installation. I've never heard of someone being able to purchase directly from the manufacturer of the big names. But that doesn't mean you can't. I'd call their 800 number and ask for a dealer. Then get some bids from them.

    I have no idea what some of the lower cost panels ar like -- I'm laying in my pool.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    S1ngram's Avatar
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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    I spoke to a Heliocol dealer. The nearest one is over 4 hours from me. He said they had do-it-yourself kits for people that were so far away.

    Now you've given me another place to look. Geez, thanks a lot

    I'm assuming that the warranty won't be transferable though so I'd need to be pretty cautious. It would need to be local so I could see it in operation.

    Thanks for comments so far.
    27' round Seaspray Evolution, AG, 17,100 gallons, Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Dual Speed 1.5 hp, Filter: Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, June 18, 2014, Kreepy Krauley Lil Shark, TF-100 test kit, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System

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    S1ngram's Avatar
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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    I spoke to a Heliocol dealer. The nearest one is over 4 hours from me. He said they had do-it-yourself kits for people that were so far away.

    Now you've given me another place to look. Geez, thanks a lot

    I'm assuming that the warranty won't be transferable though so I'd need to be pretty cautious. It would need to be local so I could see it in operation.

    Thanks for comments so far.
    27' round Seaspray Evolution, AG, 17,100 gallons, Pump: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix Dual Speed 1.5 hp, Filter: Hayward Pro Series High Rate Sand Filter, June 18, 2014, Kreepy Krauley Lil Shark, TF-100 test kit, Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System

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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    You could try Craigslist to try and find some panels.
    Approx 15,000 gallon gunite pool, fiberglass finish. Hayward SP2302VSP, compools solar controller, 6 4x10 "Sealed Air" brand solar panels, Clean and Clear 520 cartridge filter

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    I am also a big fan of solar panels. Pics in my build thread in sig. I think angled south is best with a solid back to avoid wind cooling the panels. The best thing I did was add the solar controller. It made a big difference to automatically close the solar when solar heat is not available due to clouds and rain. My solar controller also ramps up the speed on my VS pump when solar turns on. I have only ever had this set of panels.
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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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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Looking into solar heat

    When looking at solar panel designs it is all a matter of trade offs, ground mounting in prepared bed is an option if you have enough room, this usually means preparing a smooth ground surface, spreading plastic ground cloth and a layer of smooth gravel to keep plants (roots, etc.) from trying to grow into the panels and just lay them out on the ground. The trade off here is that you may be far away from the optimal mounting angle for your latitude. See this web site Optimum Tilt of Solar Panels often people make the mistake of mounting pool solar panels at the optimal year round angle for PV solar electric panels, but the demands of pool heating are different. Depending on your region you may want to mount at either optimal summer angle, or optimal spring fall angle, or somewhere in between. This will depend on the expected length of your extended swim season. You appear to be at 40 degrees north, so your optimal summer angle is 12 degrees from pointing vertical, and your spring/fall optimal is 37 degrees (Optimal summer angle would run from April 18-Aug 24th) Which is close to the typical swim season for much of your latitude, so if you are just wanting to boost your summer pool temperatures, sticking with something around 12 degrees from vertical, but if you are wanting to extend your season much beyond those dates you should plan to tilt closer to the spring / fall 37 degrees which are optimal starting on march 5 - October 7th. Of course extending your season will require more panels and just boosting summer time peak, as the available amount of heat from the sun in the spring and fall is much lower due to the lower peak solar angle. The kicker is all of this much be weighed against the relative cost of the panels, the cost of the mounting platform, and the available space to mount panels. If you have the available space it may be worth it to just ground mount more panels vs building expensive racks to tilt them to optimal angles.

    Having said all that installing over brick may add some benefit, but the brick should be mostly protected from solar heating during the day by the panels, so you may not get as much gain as you would like. Remember a solar panel with optimal flow through it should be relatively cool to the touch when operating (a couple of degrees above pool temperature)

    Ike
    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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