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Thread: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

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    Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    Starting up the 2nd season of my pool - and finally looked long enough at the plumbing matrix of valves, holes, cut pvc, etc....and I think that the previous owner had some roof solar panels...and wanted to see if it might be worth setting some back up!

    Here are some pictures to show what I'm talking about:

    Wide Angle:
    Attachment 60606

    Close Up:
    Attachment 60607

    The top Jandy Valve you see comes off the return line, has a cut PVC pipe going into a hole in the wall (!) and the other port goes to a line in the ground and out to the water slide. Bottom Jandy Valve comes off the booster pump, has another cut off PVC pipe cut going out, then a T that has been capped just after that, that returns to the polaris return pipe in the pool...but after the t back out to the pool is a weird ball valve/hose connector...so there's that

    The pool shed/adjacent roof is south/south west facing so it's almost perfect fit.

    My pool shed doesn't have a lot of rooftop space (maybe slightly larger then 8x10)...but it has an upside of being not very high up (probably 8ft at the lowest side, 4-5ft pitch up)...there is another roof next to it that I supposed I could add solar to, but that would probably add quite a bit of resistance/head pressure to it.

    I have a new (last season) Pentair Superflow VS which isn't the most powerful motor, but it's plenty for big for my current setup (without solar)...about 28k pool, approximately 18ft x 36ft. I know there is a surface footage to solar panel suggested ratio...but I don't think my one roof would support that many! So I'm guessing I'm looking at $300-$400 in panels, but do I need a controller?

    I have a beastly old Jandy Lite2 propane heater that LOOOOVES to guzzle propane...I "heated" the pool a half dozen times last year to warm it up on the weekends for swimming...so if I could just bump the temp by 5-8 degrees by just solar it might just be worth it (I pay about $400/year for propane with the pool taking up 90% of that bill).

    Just didn't know what people thought about solar efficiency/worthwhile if it's only a few hundred or so to get it going given my current plumbing....and my swimming season. Thanks for any help you all can offer - TFP has been an awesome resource for me - close/opened my pool last year by myself and pool opened up almost clear (minus some dirt/worms/frogs) and cleaned up in 2 days after a short slam cycle!
    ~28K Gallon, Vinyl, Pentair SuperFlo VS, Sand Filter/Hayward MultiPort, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Chlorine, Polaris 280 with PB4-60
    Diving Board AND Slide (sorry Insurance Co!)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    What size is that pipe? Looks to be smaller than 1.5". If so, you might want to replumb the pad.

    So I'm guessing I'm looking at $300-$400 in panels, but do I need a controller?
    If you want solar to automatically shut off when the water gets too hot. You could skip it if you want to manually turn it on and off.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    What size is that pipe? Looks to be smaller than 1.5". If so, you might want to replumb the pad.

    If you want solar to automatically shut off when the water gets too hot. You could skip it if you want to manually turn it on and off.
    All the main plumbing is 1.5" (inground and in/out of the pump and filter) - everything on that run off the return is reduced to 3/4 (I think...not in front of it now).

    I'm in Maryland so I don't think we ever get "too hot" from the sun, so I think manually would be fine...so that's once cost down
    ~28K Gallon, Vinyl, Pentair SuperFlo VS, Sand Filter/Hayward MultiPort, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Chlorine, Polaris 280 with PB4-60
    Diving Board AND Slide (sorry Insurance Co!)

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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    You really need a way of not running the solar when there is no solar gain, otherwise you could be cooling the pool


    10,000 gallons inground Leisure fibreglass pool, Hayward powerline pump, Quality120 glass media filter, 27kw output air source heat pump and thermal cover.
    Retractable cover with Polycarbonate roof and glass side for all year round use. K-2006C test kit and Speed stir

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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by denniswiseman View Post
    You really need a way of not running the solar when there is no solar gain, otherwise you could be cooling the pool

    Yeah, I took a look at the systems, I was kind of shocked how cheap they are (around $300) - most of my pool equipment is already automated with zwave, so I might check out some zwave valve controllers...but I think the pentair/hayward stuff is relatively cheap already.
    ~28K Gallon, Vinyl, Pentair SuperFlo VS, Sand Filter/Hayward MultiPort, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Chlorine, Polaris 280 with PB4-60
    Diving Board AND Slide (sorry Insurance Co!)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    - everything on that run off the return is reduced to 3/4 (I think...not in front of it now).
    That is way too small and should be replaced with at least 1.5" pipe.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    That is way too small and should be replaced with at least 1.5" pipe.
    Ah sorry, I wasn't clear - here's a wider view of the whole pad:
    Attachment 60649

    All of the plumbing is 1.5" - but the "polaris" side of things is 3/4 which should be fine - when I put in the new polaris pump it said 3/4" was fine. Are you saying I'd need 1.5" for solar?

    Thanks for the info!
    ~28K Gallon, Vinyl, Pentair SuperFlo VS, Sand Filter/Hayward MultiPort, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Chlorine, Polaris 280 with PB4-60
    Diving Board AND Slide (sorry Insurance Co!)

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    Are you saying I'd need 1.5" for solar?
    At least 1.5"
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Used to have solar (I think)...should I get some panels?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    At least 1.5"
    Got it - thanks!
    ~28K Gallon, Vinyl, Pentair SuperFlo VS, Sand Filter/Hayward MultiPort, Jandy Lite2 Heater, Chlorine, Polaris 280 with PB4-60
    Diving Board AND Slide (sorry Insurance Co!)

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