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Thread: Solar Heater for an Intex pool

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    Solar Heater for an Intex pool

    Older thread, but curious on general recommendations on a shoe string budget?

    I was considering getting either one or two Game 4512 XD1 domes with a 3 way valve to "slow the water down" to allow it to heat up more.. this for my 18'x52" pool (7000 gallon), living in SW PA with water temp in the mid 50s in april, hoping to get the temps to come up to 75 by mid may along with solar cover at night..

    I was also considering going with the solar arrays ( Smartpool S601P $246 for 80 sq feet) either with a homemade rack on the ground at a 45 degree angle or on the roof of my pitched garage with plumbing to the garage 30 feet away (upgrading my intex pump to a Best Choice 4500 gph 1hp pump this week too).. the garage would get sunlight most of the day, if not the whole day... although the garage angle faces west technically, so does the ground location i would likely put these, unless i put it mid yard (less ideal)

    Its my understanding that ideally with these solar arrays you need to spend another $250 for a solar actuator that auto shuts off the flow when no sunlight?

    Im thinking i'd need more than 80 square feet for my pool size, likely 160 sq feet, so this means about $500 plus possible actuator (vs probably $1200 for a 150k btu heater + unknown installation costs)? edit: i think the surface area of my pool is around 450 square feet.. so half that area would be more like 225 sq feet (so 3 sets of these S601ps)

    So right now leaning towards giving the game 4512's a shot or at least 1 to start, to see if i can at least get a 10 degree rise overall (i'm also thinking using the solar cover, night only (vs day+night) i might get 10 degree rise max alone)?

    This is the second season for me with this pool..
    (this post got moved from a reply to an older thread)
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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    Re: Solar Heater for an Intex pool

    Quote Originally Posted by theskyisthelimit99 View Post
    Older thread, but curious on general recommendations on a shoe string budget?

    I was considering getting either one or two Game 4512 XD1 domes with a 3 way valve to "slow the water down" to allow it to heat up more.. this for my 18'x52" pool (7000 gallon), living in SW PA with water temp in the mid 50s in april, hoping to get the temps to come up to 75 by mid may along with solar cover at night..

    I was also considering going with the solar arrays ( Smartpool S601P $246 for 80 sq feet) either with a homemade rack on the ground at a 45 degree angle or on the roof of my pitched garage with plumbing to the garage 30 feet away (upgrading my intex pump to a Best Choice 4500 gph 1hp pump this week too).. the garage would get sunlight most of the day, if not the whole day... although the garage angle faces west technically, so does the ground location i would likely put these, unless i put it mid yard (less ideal)

    Its my understanding that ideally with these solar arrays you need to spend another $250 for a solar actuator that auto shuts off the flow when no sunlight?

    Im thinking i'd need more than 80 square feet for my pool size, likely 160 sq feet, so this means about $500 plus possible actuator (vs probably $1200 for a 150k btu heater + unknown installation costs)? edit: i think the surface area of my pool is around 450 square feet.. so half that area would be more like 225 sq feet (so 3 sets of these S601ps)

    So right now leaning towards giving the game 4512's a shot or at least 1 to start, to see if i can at least get a 10 degree rise overall (i'm also thinking using the solar cover, night only (vs day+night) i might get 10 degree rise max alone)?

    This is the second season for me with this pool..
    As we have discussed in earlier threads, the more solar surface area the better, and the controller will help you get the most heat from the array.

    Depending on the panels, you want about a 5GPM flow rate per panel. The idea is to add steady heat throughout the day to minimize heat losses in the pipe and array. The panels should not be hot to the touch when in use.

    Here is some pics of my solar rack:



    Here is the pump area and plumbing. The pipes going off to the left are the send/return from the solar rack. The first pic is from the end of last season, when I first got the new pump & filter:



    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Solar Heater for an Intex pool

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    As we have discussed in earlier threads, the more solar surface area the better, and the controller will help you get the most heat from the array.

    Depending on the panels, you want about a 5GPM flow rate per panel. The idea is to add steady heat throughout the day to minimize heat losses in the pipe and array. The panels should not be hot to the touch when in use.

    Here is some pics of my solar rack:



    Here is the pump area and plumbing. The pipes going off to the left are the send/return from the solar rack. The first pic is from the end of last season, when I first got the new pump & filter:



    Thanks for these pictures.. looks like a superb setup. do you notice any sort of decrease in flow on the return end having this going on with that 1.5hp pump? With my 0.5hp intex, after i added about 15 feet in each direction of pvc to the test subjects, that of the game solar domes for now.. i noticed that my robot when the pump is on recycle mode, seems to do get stuck easier i think..

    I also cant decipher how i should have the 3 way diverter valve.. ie: 12 oclock position seems right, but i'm unsure what aiming it left (towards return flow) or right (towards the input from the filter) is meant to accomplish, i'd think both would by pass the solar devices. The diverter kit came with a T with pressure gauge too, so far it is showing halfway in the green or about "5".. the T had a standard smaller diameter opening compared to the other hoses, so it feels like the smaller opening there would restrict flow a bit (going from pvc 1.5 to that T in the kit). (I posted a picture in my other game dome thread)
    My Intex Ultra 18'52 build
    My SmartPool Solar Panel Build
    6981 Gallon + Hayward 1.5HP Matrix + 21"
    Solar S601P SmartPool 160sq feet solar panels
    Intex 7K Gallon SWG, Hayward WideMouth

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