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Thread: Help with Solar decision and my roof orientation

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    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Help with Solar decision and my roof orientation

    I am very interested in heating my yet to be built pool with Solar. I am stuck now, because my roof that I could use for panels faces NORTH. From what I read, this is basically unacceptable. Here is why I am having a dilema with this. My roof is a large soft pitch flat roof that gets BEAT with sun. Does anyone out there successfully use solar facing North? Does it work, just not as efficiently? I have put a picture in of the roof as well, Thanks for your comments.

    My pool will be about a 30K gallon vinyl.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16X24X40 Grecian L Vinyl Pool - Dig 9/4/2007 and first swim 9/21/2007
    Located in Ohio Approx 27K gallons
    Pentair Whisperflow 1 HP 2-speed Pump
    Hayward Sand Filter Jandy AE2500 Heat Pump
    Autopilot Dig-220 w/sc-60 cell

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    Solar panels on a North facing roof will provide some heat, but less than on a south facing roof. How much less depends on the slope of your roof and where you are. The further North you are the more dramatic the difference. Near the equator a North facing roof wouldn't be too bad but in Canada it would mean a major loss of output.
    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
    Jul 2007
    Sahuarita, AZ
    It's going to be less efficient for sure, but you should be able to compensate with more panels... it'll add cost, but it looks like you have a LOT of available roof space. I've read you want a MINIMUM of 60% of your pool surface in solar panel coverage w/ a nice southern exposure. I'd guessing with only northern, you'd probably want in the range of 120% surface coverage.
    My Pool:
    12K gal IG gunite with 7' raised spa, gunite waterfall, PebbleTec Caribbean Blue finish, solar heating & in-floor cleaning system

    Equipment: Sta-Rite 300' Cartridge Filter, Intellichlor IC20 SWCG, Sta-Rite 400k BTU heater, Intelliflow 4x160 main pump & Sta-Rite 3/4 hp waterfall pump, EasyTouch controlls w/ wireless controller, TF-100 Test Kit w/ salt test.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    TFP Guide

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Brunswick Canada
    Chuck, is that picture the back of your house that faces North? If that is the case, you can put your panels on the front of your house. I have around 340 Sq Ft of Surface in my pool, I have 160 Sq Ft of panels facing south, I easily get 10 degree boost when the sun is showing its pretty face. That being said I will be adding 1 or 2 more panels next summer, cuz I am a Tim Taylor Type 1 Personality, MORE IS BETTER

    I have a neighbor who has his panels on the front of his house, if done properly and all white piping is painted black, you can barely notice it.


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