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Thread: Quick Solar Heater Question...

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Quick Solar Heater Question...

    I understand how the channeled black mats are designed to work. The radiant light energy from the sun falls upon the black mat, heating it...then the water comes into contact with the black plastic & absorbs the heat...yada yada...

    I also understand how, if water is channeled through the mat at night...assuming the air temperature is cooler than the water...the mats can be used to cool a pool.

    Then this stands to reason as well...right? :

    If my pool water is cold (right now at 70 degrees) and the sun is going down (no longer shining on the mats)...but...the ambient air temperature is still over 70 (and right now it's 83)....then I'm still picking up heat through the mats. a reduced level...but I'm still heating the pool through the transfer of ambient air heat through the mat.

    And allowing the pump to channel water through the solar heater, even while in raising my pool temps (albeit slowly).

    Any flaw in my analysis here? Thanks...
    16x32 vinyl inground pool
    2 speed 1hp Hayward Super Pump

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Baton Rouge, LA
    your analysis makes sense to me... heat most always transfer from the warmest to the coolest...(assuming the cooler place is a conductor of heat)

    assuming that there's no place in the system that is cooler than the initial water temp.... like air...

    obviously if you are feeding the water back in and its running over a spillover where you're relieving the heat into the (cooler?) air, you'll be losing heat to the air.... right?
    18,000 gallon gunite free form, with spa, 4x160, EasyTouch, SWCG, Pentair cartr filter, Colorlogic lights.

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana
    Two flaws that I see in the logic. Air contains relatively little heat compared to water at the same temperature, so there really isn't much energy to transfer, and since the temp of the panels isn't much higher than the water, any transfer that does occur will be slow. The other problem is that while black things absorb infrared well and heat up, black things also radiate heat to the universe very well too. This is the same reason arctic animals are white instead of black.

    The energy you are using to run the pump is far more than you are gaining from the warm air. An accurate thermometer in the flow of both the inlet and outlet water is the best way to know when to run the solar.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  4. Back To Top    #4
    I agree with Chris. hot goes cool and cool goes warm until they find an equilibrium. If your pool is 70F and ambient air is 83F then water running through the solar panels will raise in temp, maybe not efficiently but it will change. Same as your analogy of cooling the pool water when temp are cooler, which I guess will be more effecient.
    20x40 24,000 gal IG plaster/CircuPool RJ45 SWG/2 skimmer/2sp 2.5hp Jandy Stealth/340sq ft cart filter/600sqftHeliocol Solar Panels/6ft semi circlr tanning ledge/25ft deep end bench/5ft sheer descent/2 lion head water features/1300sqft travertine paver/2 Colorlogic lights/Hayward Navigator/3step 2ft raised bond beam

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Arlington, VA
    Our solar heater has a temperature sensor on the roof and in the water stream - so long as the ambient temperature on the roof is above the temperature of the pool water, it operates.
    34,000 gallon pool with charcoal Marquis aggregate finish
    Jandy stealth pump, cartridge filter and Aquapure SWG
    Solar heating with Goldline controller
    Polaris 380 Blackmax

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