Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Convert solar collector into pool heater?

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    15

    Convert solar collector into pool heater?

    I had a solar water heater from the 80's, recently replaced with an energy efficient all electric.

    I have a huge solar collector on my roof. Any ideas on converting it into a pool heater? IE pump water in, monitor temp in collector (I would have to install new thermometer or temp sensitive relay?, pretty sure it's not functional anymore), when hot pump into pool and refill solar collector from pool.

    Wondering if anyone has done this?

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Posts
    344

    Re: Convert solar collector into pool heater?

    I think it's a good idea in theory, but unless you have a very small pool, it's probably not enough to make a dent. The usual rule of thumb seems to be surface area of the solar collectors needs to be 50-100% of your pool surface area. This is also affected greatly by your location...amount of sunlight, air temperatures, use of a solar cover on your pool, etc...

    I'm sure a couple others will chime in here soon too...
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: Convert solar collector into pool heater?

    The design of domestic hot water solar panels and swimming pool solar panels is normally very different. Domestic hot water is trying for fairly high temperature gain and low flow rates, while swimming pool solar panels are trying for low temperature gain and high flow rates. Still, they will provide heat and every little bit of heat helps.

    You will be able to control them with a standard swimming pool solar controller (or manually). The main challenge is figuring out the right flow rate, presumably fairly low compared to a swimming pool solar panel.
    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

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    341

    Re: Convert solar collector into pool heater?

    My solar guy said those can produce enough heat to soften the PVC over long hours of use. Plus from what I recall, the copper in them might not like the chlorine very well.
    20k Gunite/Prism Blue-Pebblesheen, Pentair Tagelus TA-100D Sand Filter, Heliocol Solar Water Heater, 2 bubblers and 2 waterfalls installed 2007, 3hp IntelliFlo VS Pump 011018 installed 2013, Aquabot Turbo T4 RC and Stenner 45MHP10 w/The Liquidator container installed 2012.
    Antigua Spa by Artesian Spas: 325 gl, 52 jets, 6 hp 2 sp & 6 hp 1 sp, Circulation System 24 Hour Whisper Pure, Ozonator, LED digital lighting, The Artesian Pillowfall installed 2007.
    Retired: 2hp Pentair Whisperflow, Legend Platinum w/booster pump, PH Adjuster

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
    Posts
    37,887

    Re: Convert solar collector into pool heater?

    If they have copper pipes, which is common but not universal, the issues are the same as for a copper heat exchange coil in a pool heater. The crucial thing is to keep the PH from getting below 7.0.

    Depending on the flow rate you can achieve the water coming out of the panel might be too hot for PVC. If so, you will need to use high temperature pipe till it gets mixed with some pool water.

    Using domestic hot water panels to heat a pool is not normally a great idea, but if they are just sitting there unused then I say go for 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

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Poughquag, NY
    Posts
    212

    Re: Convert solar collector into pool heater?

    I would do it too. Check out CPVC, they carry it at home depot etc. It is used for domestic piping and is rated for high temp (you do need special glue and fittings). Since you are going to have to really limit the flow anyway, you can probably use much smaller pipe than normal solar and you will want to use a bypass so you can adjust the flow rate/pressure.
    20 x 40 vinyl IG. SWG. Solar. Ikeric VS pump.

Posting Permissions

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