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Thread: Solar Choices

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    Solar Choices

    Hey everyone...

    I live in south Florida, and want to add solar to my pool. I have got 3 estimates for solar and they are all basicly the same price. Each company uses a different product.

    1. Fafco panels... Most expensive
    2. Heliocol Solar Panels and Solar Industries Panels about the same price.

    The salesman for the Solar Industries was the best, but the estimate with the Helicoil system had more surface area covered for the same price.

    Installed for 3K.

    Does anyone have any experience with these products. The salesman makes their product sound the best, and the others like garbage. Any help pointing me one way would be great.
    14' X 28' igp Free form pool and 6'spa with spill over.
    Aqualink
    2hp Whisperflo pump
    Aqua Rite SWG

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Mantua, NJ
    Posts
    80

    Re: Solar Choices

    I have the Fafco Sunsavers, 5 of the 4x12s. Do not know the others, but the Sunsavers have a 2" header. They can also have the inlet and return on the same side, up to 7 or 12 panels. I forget which number.

    I'm very happy with these panels.
    Joe

    21k IG vinyl, 300 lb. sand filter, 1hp pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, 3/4hp booster pump, 240sq ft Fafco solar, Liquidator

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: Solar Choices

    The actual panels, while different from each other in various ways, are more or less the same. The big differences are in quality of install, and that varies by installer, not brand. Get references from each of the companies and follow them up to see who did a better job with the installation.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Solar Choices

    The company using the heliocol panels have 10 4x10.5 panels 420 sqft and the solar industries has 3 4x10 and 4 4x12 312sqft.

    the solar industries is a solid panel where the heliocol .. all the tubes are separate.

    I am wondering if I can get the heliocol company to remove 2 panels and save some $.

    Also, I have heard good things about both companies...

    Thanks for all your help.
    14' X 28' igp Free form pool and 6'spa with spill over.
    Aqualink
    2hp Whisperflo pump
    Aqua Rite SWG

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Solar Choices

    I do not know where you live in south Florida, but I just purchased SunStar panels fromTropical Pool Heating in Riviera Beach. They have 15 years of experience. The person that I worked with was Mary. http://www.tropicalpoolheating.com/suns ... -p-46.html

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Solar Choices

    I am in the Ft Myers area.
    14' X 28' igp Free form pool and 6'spa with spill over.
    Aqualink
    2hp Whisperflo pump
    Aqua Rite SWG

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Solar Choices

    My uncle has Heliocol and they are at least 15 years old. They have worked great, and he has never had a problem with them. He had to take them down a few years ago in order to replace the roof, but they went back up without a problem. Still heating his pool just fine!
    20k inground vinyl oval, Hayward super pump 1.5 HP, Pacvac 36 DE filter, Hayward inline chlorinator, Brand new liner 2009. 1st pool ever owned.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Poughquag, NY
    Posts
    212

    Re: Solar Choices

    I have Solar industries panels. I have a LOT of them because my roof faces slightly north. 5 4x10 panels and 8 4x12 panels. They are extremely tough and you can get custom panel lengths for not much more than standard.
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Solar Choices

    Thanks for the input about both brands.. Still trying to decide what to go with though... decisions decisions.. we are kind of leaning towards the heliocol..because we get more for the $$.
    14' X 28' igp Free form pool and 6'spa with spill over.
    Aqualink
    2hp Whisperflo pump
    Aqua Rite SWG

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Solar Choices

    Would you recommend covering the pool surface area at 1 to 1 ratio?

    One company is putting 100% on the roof, while others are putting 80%. The panels will be on south facing roofs.
    14' X 28' igp Free form pool and 6'spa with spill over.
    Aqualink
    2hp Whisperflo pump
    Aqua Rite SWG

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    ottawa, canada
    Posts
    11

    Re: Solar Choices

    I am using Enersol Panels http://www.enersol.com/content/view/18/44/ and have roughly 70% coverage, but I only want to heat in the summer as I will be skating in the winter. The sun is almost 90 degrees for my panels so they will be very efficient during the summer. Not sure what you season is but I would start with 80% and add more panels as required.
    20x40 vinyl IGP(120,000 L), with Intelliflow VF Pump.
    17 boxes of Enersol Solar panels,
    Hayward Sand filter, Polaris(Auto-Clear) SWG,

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Solar Choices

    As far as coverage, I guess it depends how much sun you get. My uncle that has Helicol usually has to to shut them off for most of July and August. They face due south, he has a 16 by 32 oval inground pool and 6 - 4x12 panels. It is about a 50% ratio. I would say start at 50, and go up if you are not facing south.
    20k inground vinyl oval, Hayward super pump 1.5 HP, Pacvac 36 DE filter, Hayward inline chlorinator, Brand new liner 2009. 1st pool ever owned.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Solar Choices

    Both roofs the panels would be on are south facing.... and right now with no type of heating the pool is about 88-89 degrees.

    My wife and I are big wimps and wont even get in unless its over 85, so we are looking to really prolong the swimming season.

    The difference between 8 and 10 panels is 400-500% with the heliocol system.
    14' X 28' igp Free form pool and 6'spa with spill over.
    Aqualink
    2hp Whisperflo pump
    Aqua Rite SWG

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