Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Solar heater installation questions

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    56

    Solar heater installation questions

    Hi all,

    Seriously contemplating installing a ground-based solar heater this season. Have read a lot of the posts here to get ideas. Am thinking about four 4x20 Fafco Solar Bears, laid on black weed cloth on the ground, with a Goldline controller. As our pool is about 720 sf (freeform), this will be a bit under 50% coverage... I don't know if output will be sufficient, but am hoping for maybe 5 deg. increase and/or less need for the solar cover.

    I've attached a (cheesy) plumbing diagram here, and am interested in any feedback on design, as well as any performance comments... On the plumbing, the bold lines would be either supply or return, and the light lines would be the opposite.

    As we have a slight slope toward the pump, I'm wondering if I would need some sort of vacuum breaker on each one to allow drainback. I am intending to leave them connected year-round (though drained along with the pump & filter in winter). They may require blowing out for winter, as I don't know if the slope will be enough for full drainback.



    Thanks for any advice / help!
    29,000 gal. vinyl in-ground mountain lake (freeform); Hayward DE filter, 2 skimmers, Aquabot, Nature 2 (retired); LoopLoc winter cover, Pool installed March 2009... Added 2 - 4 X 20 Fafco Solar Bears with Goldline control and AutoPilot SWG in 2010

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: Solar heater installation questions

    It is important to balance the flow so that all of the panels get equal amounts of water through them. The simplest way to do that is to take the returns from the lower two panels and run it up to level with the return from the higher two panels, join them together there and then run back down. If you leave things the way they are, the upper panels will get much less water going through them, because they have a longer path, and won't contribute as much heat as they otherwise could.

    If you have any problems following my description, tell me what you can't follow and I will try to explain it differently.

    With 50% coverage, you should get a significant amount of heat, definitely more than 5 degrees.

    Using a vacuum breaker to allow the panels to drain is a good idea, though not required. However, the low end of the panels needs to be at least a couple of feet above the top of the pool water for a vacuum breaker setup to work.
    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

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    56

    Re: Solar heater installation questions

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the quick reply. Assuming the heavier (bolder) lines are the returns, does this modified sketch incorporate what you intended?



    Steve
    29,000 gal. vinyl in-ground mountain lake (freeform); Hayward DE filter, 2 skimmers, Aquabot, Nature 2 (retired); LoopLoc winter cover, Pool installed March 2009... Added 2 - 4 X 20 Fafco Solar Bears with Goldline control and AutoPilot SWG in 2010

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: Solar heater installation questions

    Yes, that should do it.
    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

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •