Difference btw AGP and IGP Solar panels

Apr 27, 2008
Hello -

What is the difference between the Above ground and Inground Solar panels, like Solar Bear and the others?

Is the panel the same and the kit different?

I plan on putting the panels on the 2nd story roof which gets sun from noon until 5:00 PM. The pool gets AM sun already. I plan on installing a manual bypass for cold days, that will be located by the pump.

Are there any hidden deals out there on panels?



LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
Wyoming, Michigan
I have done some research, and from what I can tell the only difference is how the header pipe on each end of the panels is constructed. With in-ground (or permanently roof mounted) panels, the water feeds in one end of the panel, goes through all the tubes, and returns out the other end. With above ground panels, one header has a divider in the middle of it. Water feeds into the header, down half of the tubes to the other header (which has no divider), back thru the second set of tubes, and then out the other half of the input header. I believe the reason for doing this is to make it easier to disconnect the existing flexible plumbing from the AG plumbing system and loop it through the panel without needing to run hoses clear to the other end (12' - 20' away). If you are running a single AG panel, the far end simply has the header capped on both sides (since its only needed to get the water from one half of the tubes to the other). Because all the water is forced to run through the tubes in each panel (for AG units), connecting multiple together with result in higher restriction to flow than with multiple IG units. If using multiple panels, think of the AG units as running in series through all the tubes where the IG run in parallel.

I have heard of people drilling out the header on AG units to allow them to plumb them like IG units, but I personally haven't tried this.