Glass tube pool heater

Metalman23

Active member
Apr 21, 2018
39
Higganum CT
Anybody have any experience installing and using these systems? I got one for free from a friend,
IMG_20200321_131847257_HDR.jpgIMG_20200321_133855666_HDR.jpgIMG_20200321_133947650_HDR.jpg
I'm wondering if I should put a circulator pump that only runs during the day? Or plumb it into the pool pump? Maybe have a diverter tee sending some water to the heater...
 

Steve_in_C

Bronze Supporter
Jul 6, 2017
354
Kinston, NC
Before you install that I'd make sure it has enough heat capacity to be worthwhile. From the this manufacturers website (below), the 20 tube model produces a maximum of 5000 BTU/hr and the 30 tube 7500 BTU/hr. By comparison, many gas pool heaters produce 100,000 - 400,000 BTU/hr. You would probably have to have several of the units in order to be effective. However, the product on the website that I listed looks completely different that what you have. I bet the manufacturer of your product has some specific recommendations for BTUs needed for your situation.

 
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Metalman23

Active member
Apr 21, 2018
39
Higganum CT
Before you install that I'd make sure it has enough heat capacity to be worthwhile. From the this manufacturers website (below), the 20 tube model produces a maximum of 5000 BTU/hr and the 30 tube 7500 BTU/hr. By comparison, many gas pool heaters produce 100,000 - 400,000 BTU/hr. You would probably have to have several of the units in order to be effective. However, the product on the website that I listed looks completely different that what you have. I bet the manufacturer of your product has some specific recommendations for BTUs needed for your situation.

It looks like it has 40 tubes, well each unit has 20,
That a solar heater? Who is the manufacturer? It come with any installation instructions?
Yes, no idea who the manufacturer is and no instructions, the stainless tanks are insulated, and there is a heat exchanger inside, the open end of the glass tube goes into the stainless tank, and the while thing is supposed to be tilted at an angle to catch the sun's rays, I saw some videos yesterday where the temp inside one of these was pushing 100 degrees
That looks like fun. Never seen a solar heater like that before.
I think it'll be interesting to see if I can assemble it properly and if it even works, it's supposed to crwtavheat as long as the sun I shining, I'm actually tempted to hook it up now, especially if our state ends up getting shut down, I'll have a project to keep me busy.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,138
Stuart/FL
Just looking at the heat transfer claim of 7500 btu/hr I agree with previous thread that's not enough to do any good for a pool. I get at least 100,000 btu/hr when my panels are at peak performance right now in Florida. My installation has 9.5 panels. That's only for about 4-6 hr/day but is usually enough for 4-6 deg and gets my pool to or very close to comfortable swimming for my wife so I just top off with gas heat for an hour or two (266K Btu heater).

Will be interesting to see if there's something I'm missing. Price is also robust. 4X12 traditional solar panel sells for about $600. My 9.5 panels cost $5000 including installation. Of course that doesn't compare to your free deal.

Please do keep us informed, it's always neat to see something new tried out on TFP.

Chris
 

Metalman23

Active member
Apr 21, 2018
39
Higganum CT
Just looking at the heat transfer claim of 7500 btu/hr I agree with previous thread that's not enough to do any good for a pool. I get at least 100,000 btu/hr when my panels are at peak performance right now in Florida. My installation has 9.5 panels. That's only for about 4-6 hr/day but is usually enough for 4-6 deg and gets my pool to or very close to comfortable swimming for my wife so I just top off with gas heat for an hour or two (266K Btu heater).

Will be interesting to see if there's something I'm missing. Price is also robust. 4X12 traditional solar panel sells for about $600. My 9.5 panels cost $5000 including installation. Of course that doesn't compare to your free deal.

Please do keep us informed, it's always neat to see something new tried out on TFP.

Chris
I'll post some pics and info when I get started, the way I see it, even if it's only 7.5 or 15k btu, that's a lot more than nothing,

I'm also working on an automated chlorine feeder, using a peristaltic pump, a timer and a 12v power source. I'm more excited about the chlorine feeder than the heater.

Also I'm going to experiment with modifying my pool pump, having to do with flow rate and power consumption, I'll report back with my findings.
 

setsailsoon

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
2,138
Stuart/FL
I'll post some pics and info when I get started, the way I see it, even if it's only 7.5 or 15k btu, that's a lot more than nothing,
Great point and the price was definitely right!.

Good luck and please to keep us posted on your progress. You're venturing into unknow territory which is more than interesting to most of us.

Chris
 

jseyfert3

Bronze Supporter
Oct 20, 2017
596
South-Central WI
That looks like fun. Never seen a solar heater like that before.
Interestingly enough, we saw those all over the place in St Lucia. Hot water heater with hot water storage tank. I believe they work by convection and need no pump for operation.

In a place like St Lucia, with lots of sun and never getting to freezing this style of heater wouldn't even need a heat exchanger. Just run the tap water directly through it like any other sort of water heater. Dead easy. That, coupled with limited resources on a small island, is probably why even the poorest houses had this style of water heater on the roof.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
120
Cabool, Mo
also working on an automated chlorine feeder, using a peristaltic pump, a timer and a 12v power source. I'm more excited about the chlorine feeder than the heater.
We use those for commercial pools. What brand is it? Are you using another for your acid? Do you currently use liquid chlorine?
 

Metalman23

Active member
Apr 21, 2018
39
Higganum CT
We use those for commercial pools. What brand is it? Are you using another for your acid? Do you currently use liquid chlorine?
I do use liquid chlorine now, the pump I got from Amazon so no brand name lol, it's just a 12v pump wth no timer built in, my only concern is the resistance of the stock tubing to chlorine, I'll see how it goes, I may have to replace it with a more chemically resistant tubing if it degrades too fast,
 

YonnyPiscinas

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2020
101
Uruguay - SA
We have a similar device - works by convection . Ours is glazed also. Very common here. 3 of my neighbours have them too.

Ours is on the roof at an angle of about 40/45 and helps to heat up the water for our top floor bathrooms. It fills up the hot water tank (electric) to help reduce the electricity bills.
 

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
120
Cabool, Mo
IIRC, you want neoprene tube.
The pump should have a tube for the rollers that is designed for it. If this is not made for chlorine and acid, it will break, split, stick closed, or clog after a while. You can only get that tube from the manufacturer.
 

Metalman23

Active member
Apr 21, 2018
39
Higganum CT

RDspaguy

In The Industry
Mar 21, 2020
120
Cabool, Mo
I still recommend you contact the manufacturer of your pump for chemical resistant pump tube. I am talking about the short tube that is inside the roller housing and in contact with the rollers. The tube going from the pump to the injector, and from the pump to the jug, is probably ok to use any of the tubing suggested. But if you use it in the pump itself you will have problems. In my experience, the rollers will move the tube through the pump if it is not equipped with the manufacturers tube with fittings that attach it to the roller housing and allow it to push liquid through the tube, not just push the tube out of the roller housing. I have seen them tear the tube in half just from an improper installation of the right tube. But I only worked in the business for 25 years and have only seen a few hundred of these, so don't take my word for it. You will learn the same as I did, by trying it out. At least you live there and will not have to make multiple trips to a distant location to discover that your attempt to make it work with regular tubing was a failure and you still have to find the right tube.
Best of luck. I hope it works out.