Anyone using SOLAR SUN RINGS?

dpool

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2007
101
These seem interesting but a bit more expensive than just a solar blanket. Anyone tried these yet? Wadda ya think? Do they set up as simply as they are advertised? How about storage while swimming or off season? Thanks!

dp
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
from previous discussion of these two alternatives, I have gleaned the following information.

Solar Sun rings are not particularly effective. The purpose of a solar blanket is more to prevent cooling by evaporation (much of it at night) than to heat the water with sunshine. So if the vast majority of the water surface is not covered, you don't get the effect.

Bubble wrap is a much thinner plastic, and will not hold up to the chems and sunlight as well as a solar cover.

Sorry to burst your bubble wrap!!

(couldn't resist that one!!!!! :p )
 

heatmisr

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2007
299
Northern NJ
I have them for an AGP and so far, I don't like them. They get very dirty, trap a lot of gunk and the water does not circulate at all when they are in the pool. I got them late in the season, so I can't comment on the heating aspects. I also determined that I needed a ring or 2 more than what was recommended for the size of my pool.

I will give them another shot before I write them off completely since they were a bit expensive, but for now, I would not recommend them.
 

dpool

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2007
101
Heatmisr,

Thanks for the info. That's what I'm looking for - real world data on how these things work. I think I'm just going to get a regular solar (bubblewrap) blanket for this season. I'm even thinking about getting the cheaper 8 mil (I have a small AGP) that's less expensive than TWO RINGS. It's my experience in just seeing these around pools that their 'shelf life' is limited anyways. Since we've never had anything - that will do better than nothing. Now if I can figure how to put some kind of a bracket and hoop to store the thing on the untravelled side of the pool ... .

dp
 

TresW

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 26, 2008
162
Forney, TX
If you're thinking about 8 mil you might consider going to 12 mil as is recommended on these forums. It doesn't cost much more, but will last a lot longer. Apparently any heavier than that will cost more yet, but will not yield longer life or better insulating value.

I've read a lot about the solar rings on various forums and the consensus seems to be as described above, they don't work very well. Apparently if used in a windy area they get all bunched up at one end of the pool too (although this may be due to overinflation). They are also difficult to store when not in use and have to constantly be reinflated.
 

dpool

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2007
101
TresW

Thanks for the info. I hadn't looked here for info on the 8 mil vs 12 mil and will take that into consideration and I'll go take a look around the 'net to see what I can find.

As for the solar rings, storage was one of my concerns, too. since there about 5 ft in diamater - that's a big FLAT space to give up or even if hung up on a wall.

dp

I BELEIVE!
 

newfool

Well-known member
Mar 21, 2008
81
Florida
Thanks for info, sis in law had gotten them and said that the pool temp increased about 11 degrees in one week, outside temp staying fairly consistant with mild and sunny days. I was considering them, but the storage and cleaning issue alone have turned me off of them, ty again :-D
 

RonI

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2007
22
San Diego
I use them in a free form pool. They help to keep the heat in overnight but I would have to agree that storage is kind of a pain.
 

PoolinPA

Member
Jul 27, 2007
12
:? Heavier not necessarily better. We had a heavier cover and on our free form pool it was so unwieldy on the reel that we ended up not using it. One person could not do it alone. A thinner cover would have rolled easier and might have actually been used!
 

smuggs

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 10, 2007
141
Gloucester County, NJ
so, my question is for those of you who have experience with them, is do you end up with pool water that is warmer than the ambient temperture? If so, by about how much?
 

RonI

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2007
22
San Diego
smuggs said:
so, my question is for those of you who have experience with them, is do you end up with pool water that is warmer than the ambient temperture? If so, by about how much?
I use these but I really do not know how much they actually heat the water as I have solar panels on the roof. I don't think that I could get my pool water warmer than the ambient temperature at the end of a day just using the rings though but I don't really know. Our pool faces west and we get a lot of sunshine too. My main reason to use them is to help prevent heat lost at night.
 

smuggs

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 10, 2007
141
Gloucester County, NJ
RonI - good point on reducing the nightly temperature loss....that's what I really intended to focus my question on, but I must not have been awake enough after a long night with 2 kids not sleeping (6 yrs / 6 mths). In any event, what has been your experience on nightly temperature loss while using the rings vs. not using them? I currently seem to lose 2-3 degrees/night (high during day around 75-78; low at night 55; water temp 73 peak/70 low)
 

RonI

LifeTime Supporter
May 9, 2007
22
San Diego
smuggs said:
RonI - good point on reducing the nightly temperature loss....that's what I really intended to focus my question on, but I must not have been awake enough after a long night with 2 kids not sleeping (6 yrs / 6 mths). In any event, what has been your experience on nightly temperature loss while using the rings vs. not using them? I currently seem to lose 2-3 degrees/night (high during day around 75-78; low at night 55; water temp 73 peak/70 low)
Lately, I have been seeing a 2-3 degree drop at night with the rings on but it depends on the water temperature during the day. When we had a heat spell a couple of weeks ago, I had 84-85 degree water but lost 5-6 degrees over night without the cover. The nights were probably in the upper 50's or low 60's. This last weekend with 84 degree water and with the cover on, I managed a 3 degree loss. The last couple of days, it's been much cooler during the day. I started at 81 and in the morning, it was 79. The next morning, it was at 77. We haven't had too much sun the last couple of days so the solar hasn't kicked on.
 

riverheightsnancy

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2007
33
Flemington, NJ
Solar Rings

I bought about 12 of the Solar Rings last season and that didn't cover the entire pool but about 75%. I live in Central NJ, and while it does get hot here (my pic is the last recent entry on the submit your photo for the slide show thread), our pool location has a lot of very tall established trees and we are up the "mountain" a bit so our overall temp can be 3-5 degrees different than just being in town. So we bought the rings. My biggest issue with the rings is that you have to inflate them! I could never get mine to look like the way they look in the photos. If you put too much air they curl on the sides, or fall into the water when underinflated. The directions say not to overinflate, it is really hard to know. They come all folded up, so getting the air in is difficult.

My pool's ambient temp tends to be around 72-76 (I know that is kind of cold), the Solar Rings would bring the temp up to a more consistent 78-82. I hardly ever got over 86 unless it is really, really hot for an extended period of time and there is a lot of sun. My pool does get shade depending on the angle of the Sun.

I am thinking of trying to return them to the maker as defective, because some of the rings get water in the air channels through the blow-up valve, so they actually have water in the part that is supposed to be blown up. I really wanted to put a solar blanket on a spool, but my husband didn't like the look of it and thought that the wind-up spool things was expensive. In comparison, the Solar Rings were just as expensive and more of a pain to blow up. I actually think that the idea is a good one, the application is flawed. IF the solar rings were a pop-up type of mechanism (like a pop-up pup tent) or a Hula-hoop type thing, they might work better. I tell you when I had to pump-up 12 rings by hand, and (when my hand got super sore) blow-up the rest, I was not a happy camper!

If you have any other questions, I would be happy to answer them. I am sure I am sending them back.
 

vincentesq1

New member
May 8, 2008
2
Bakerfield, CA
Solar Rings

I bought 13 solar rings and a spa ring for my pool last year. It was difficult to inflate the rings, but once inflated it worked fine for about 2 weeks. After that, they started to deflate one by one. Within a month, all my rings had air leaks on them and could not inflate; which means that they could not stay afloat on the water surface. What a waste of money. It is such a great idea, but the design is defective. The spa ring however, still works fine and I am still using it. I would only recommend the spa ring. I would rate the solar rings for pool as an "F". I wasted a couple hundred dollars worth of solar rings.
 

jjdurrant

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2008
575
MN
They suck. I wasted $300 on them. Hard to inflate, keep clean, and they blow all over the yard.

Get yourself a nice solar cover.
 

Wee Heavy

Member
Jun 22, 2007
6
North NJ
Last year some similar comments convinced me not to try these. Although I love the idea.

This year I intend to build my own similar 'Floating Solar Disks' based on plans I got on ebay.

They are essentially sturdy frames with standard solar panel material attached. Obviously I am concerned that I might spend just as much money PLUS a lot of energy and not be happy. Ergh. I expect I will do it anyway.
 

balagon

Active member
Jun 1, 2007
27
Los Angeles, CA
I read in the ad copy that using the solar rings vs. solar blankets cuts down on mustard algae, my long-time nemesis. Anyone have any data on that? Though based on the comments above, I'm sticking with the bubble cover for now.
 

djcodyblue

New member
Jan 7, 2008
2
Houston, TX
To answer some of the questions raised about the Solar Sun Rings.

We have an in ground pool and live in the Houston, TX area. We received Solar Sun Rings for Christmas and have had them in ever since. Our pool today is 74 degrees and our friend's pool with more sun is 55 degrees. The rings cover about 70% of the pool and move along with the hose from the pool shark. Occasionally one will bend over a bit, but not often. Inflation....I'm probably slightly over inflated, but the under inflated ones collect more rain water.

WE chose these over a full cover because we have dogs and didn't want them to get stuck in the cover if they fell in the pool.