Great forum - learned a lot by lurking about the past month or so!
We live up in Maine and, though our weather hasn't yet been the greatest this year (a little on the cool side so far this spring), we're still getting several sunny days in a row and it seems like our solar system isn't as effective as I'd hoped.
We have 6-4x10 panels (all that would fit) on the south roof which receives direct sun from about 10 AM - 5 PM. Water temperature started at about 60 degrees as of Sunday and it's been sunny and in the mid 70s ever since. I turn the system on about 9 AM and let it run until about 5-6 PM and the water temperature has only increased 4, maybe 5 degrees in the past 4 days. Is this normal? It would seem that even if I didn't have the solar panels, the warmth alone would increase the pool temperature at that rate, wouldn't it? I've read other posts that claimed up to 10 degrees in a single day (ie, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Michigan). I even threw the solar cover on yesterday, but it didn't seem to make a difference.
Is it possible that my flow is the problem? When I run the pump/filter by itself, the pressure is normally 8-10 PSI. When I engage total solar panels, the pressure goes up to about 12, but I get air burps out of the returns, so I must close the return ball valve a little (pressure goes up to about 15 PSI) until the air ceases. Is this too much pressure or not enough flow or is it too much flow because of the increase in pressure? Not quite sure how that works.
I've felt the panels on the roof and they are cool to the touch when operating so it seems as if they're working OK. Would love to hear comments, especially those in cool climates with solar heating and your average rates.
I hope I provided enough information to assess.
I think it may be time for a separate Solar forum (IMHO).