Is a Solar Heater possible if my pump equipment is not next to the house?

internet

Active member
Aug 22, 2016
35
Martinez
I imagine the answer is always going to be that anything is *possible*, but I'm wondering more what's practical or efficient. I've included a (very professionally drawn) picture of the roof, equipment location, and usable roof space. Equipment circled, red line to house represents about 40 foot run, and then the very accurate boxes are useable roof space. I'm in Augusta, GA and we get good sun exposure. The second image is from Google's Project Sunroof that shows sun exposure. The square footage available is somewhere between 650 for the large part and 250-300 for the smaller part, but that's anything but a totally accurate measurement. Just what I can get from GIS maps.

All that said, I'm looking at a run of something like 100 feet all told from the solar panel (?...the thing that goes on the roof) back to the pump. How practicable is that? Our gas heater finally bit it after I threw too much money at it and I want to go with the best possible option for our location. Perhaps I need to stick with gas because of the distance from the solar install location to the pump? I don't know. As an extra note, roof is relatively new. I've seen that question come up a lot in the solar heater threads. Thanks.

97549

97550
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,172
Bangor Maine
My pad is inside a pool house which is 70’ from my garage roof where I have 8 - 4x12 panels. Plumb your lines with 2” to the panels and minimum of a 1.5 hp pump.
 

internet

Active member
Aug 22, 2016
35
Martinez
So is there basically a distance restriction? I mean, there's gotta be since you're moving hot water and losing heat as you go, but I guess I'm wondering just what is it? Or how well would insulation help out. If it's the case that I can run it that far, my garage roof would be absolutely perfect. It's the one that gets the most sun and we'd never have to look at it.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
You should have no problems other than where to run the pipes so they look nice.

That short of a pipe run is insignificant in terms of plumbing loss when compared to the resistance of the panels themselves.

Your pump should have zero issues running that kind of panel set up. The only drawback is you may have to run the pump on high speed more than normal. That's assuming you have a 2 speed motor.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
The heat loss thru the pipe is minimal, PVC is a poor conductor of heat and there is a relatively small surface are to conduct heat.

If possible do not bury the pipes and if you do bury them you may consider a insulating pipe wrap for the pipes that are buried. In the end though even buried pipes won't lose that much heat.

So no there is not practical limit to the pipe run other than is your pump strong enough to move the water. At least in terms of a residential setup.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
25,408
FL panhandle
It is very easy on the pump to pump water horizontally. There is about 2' of head loss for every 100' of horizontal 2" pipe. So, that means pumping 100' horizontally is about the same as pumping 2' vertically. Your pump can pump more than 60 gpm at more than 80 feet of head loss.
 
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norcalpool1

Silver Supporter
Sep 16, 2017
70
Silicon Valley,CA
My pool + roof set up is similar to that in the picture. From the pool equipment pad, two pipes run under the lawn to the home's wall (15ft), run along the wall (20ft) at ground level (visible), then go up to the roof's bottom end (10ft). The roof is sloped 15 degrees, and there are five 12ftx4ft collectors. (The pipes seem to be of different sizes though. One of them is 2" and the other is 1.5" or 1.75". I don't know why it is so)