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Thread: Number of 4X12 solar panels for AGP

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    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Solon, Iowa
    Posts
    170

    Number of 4X12 solar panels for AGP

    The setup I'm going with seems more common with IGP, so I'm hoping I can get by with a panel area slightly less than 50% of the pool surface area given I don't have a deep end to the pool. This is for eastern Iowa (latitude is south of Chicago). Full sun, south exposure on ground racks figuring ~ 30 degree incline. I'll be using 4X12 FAFCO (2 inch header) panels and a Goldline controller. 15 X 30 oval AGP (no deep end - standard 52 inch side-walls). We religiously use a 12 mil diamond (blue/silver) solar cover at night. Just want to get the pool into the mid-80's (85?) by late May and keep it there through perhaps mid-September.

    I'm thinking four panels are going to work just fine (that's what I ordered), but since I haven't started building the rack yet now's the time to buy a fifth if someone here thinks I"m undersizing. The south yard faces the street and my wife isn't crazy about an industrial-looking bank of panels. Four will fit nicely - five will start to look a little intense.

    Kelly
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
    1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump with 21 inch sand filter (Zeobrite media)
    Mineral Springs (Aquatrol) SWCG, Rigid PVC plumbing, 2 inch
    Four 4X12 Techno-Solis solar panels, rack mounted, Goldline Solar Controller

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    8,618

    Re: Number of 4X12 solar panels for AGP

    You'll have exactly the same square footage I have in Indiana on my 20X36 IG with a deep end. I get excellent results. You may find that you can lay them down flatter than the standard recommendation since most of the swim season will find the sun directly overhead or even to the north in my location. Maybe almost completely flat. You really can't swim when the sun gets low in the southern sky because of the cooler air temperatures, and that's what the recommended angles are for. I'd suggest making your racks either adjustable or easily modified so you can pick an angle that works best and is most pleasant to look at.

    I got my pool to 96 last summer during a late season cool spell when I got lazy about checking the temperature and left the solar running. I believe you'll be happy with the results.

    At the very least, you want a timer on the pump so you can wait until the sun is hitting the panels to start running.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Solon, Iowa
    Posts
    170

    Re: Number of 4X12 solar panels for AGP

    thanks for your insights, John. I'll stick with 4 panels and flatten the angle a bit so they aren't so obtrusive (especially with a little fencing and plantings). Air temps here result in a reasonable pool season from late May to mid-Sept. So maybe I'll start at 20 degrees, use flexible plumbing (inlet/outlet is about 12 feet from the filter and pool), and make the rack angle adjustable to some extent. Latitude here is around 43 I believe.

    My pump runs on a timer for the SWG, which is usually 9AM-4PM. I'm still trying to figure out if I can tap the Goldline controller into the Aquatrol timer, or if I can buy another timer that I can plug into the GFI receptacle and use for the solar controller.

    Kelly
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
    1.5 HP Sta-Rite pump with 21 inch sand filter (Zeobrite media)
    Mineral Springs (Aquatrol) SWCG, Rigid PVC plumbing, 2 inch
    Four 4X12 Techno-Solis solar panels, rack mounted, Goldline Solar Controller

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